Cleveland Public Theater – Ananda Nahu, Salvador Bahia, Brazil
Renowned Brazilian painter and muralist Ananda Nahu is a master in stencil technique with extensive experience leading community-driven public art projects from Rio de Janiero to New York. She uses vibrant colors and bold combinations of patterns and shapes, a process she describes as a “remixing of different cultures.” “[My style is] characterized by integrating harmoniously different interpretations of cultural and historical aspects of various places in the world. These aspects are united in characters that transmit messages of strength, beauty, and positivity that reflects the beautiful and divine nature of the human being.”
This fall, Creative Fusion fellow Nahu will be paired with Cleveland Public Theatre. “Looking at Ananda’s artwork, her murals are very community based. And what’s unique to Ananda’s process is she is specifically motivated by community, and that is at the heart of CPT’s core mission,” said CPT Director of Community Ensembles Faye Hargate. Nahu will collaborate with CPT’s Brick City Theatre program, an intensive arts programming partnership with the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority that began in 1999.
The Lakeview Terrace is located behind the West 28th Street onramp to the Shoreway–a massive blank wall that separates it from Ohio City and Detroit Shoreway–neighborhoods which have seen major artistic and residential growth in recent years. According to Hargate, “There is a real lack of public art in [Lakeview Terrace], so we felt this could be a great use of Ananda’s work and of our relationship with CMHA.” The blank wall will soon be home to a mural directed by Nahu, who will engage residents in collaboration on the mural, sharing her techniques for painting with materials such as spray paint and acrylic ink.
“Everyone will participate in creating a unique composition, giving opinions, talking about movement, colors, shapes, and artistic styles. Sharing experiences lived in the city and its historical aspects will serve as a reference for the subject of the painting, creating a mural made by its people, for its people,” says Nahu.
Ananda will have support on her project from award-winning Cleveland artists and fellow painters/muralists, Gary Williams and Robin Robinson of Sankofa Fine Arts Plus, a non-profit “committed to bringing art with positive messages to the city’s streetscapes and public spaces for the purpose of instilling a sense of pride and empowerment in those communities.” Williams and Robinson are behind the impactful “Our Lives Matter” mural on E. 105 and Yale Avenue, as well as the monumental Ruby Dee mural on the exterior of Karamu House. “Gary and I believe Ananda’s mural style and technique will uplift and inspire the community by giving them a sense of pride and accomplishment, says Robinson. Collectively, Nahu and all these collaborators will make the near West Side a richer place, ensuring there is a multiplicity of stories represented.
Chalk Muralism with Ananda Nahu at CPT’s Pandemonium: 7 pm – midnight, September 10