Ohio City, Inc. – Maria Lopez an Javier de Riba, Barcelona, Spain: The Necessities of the Wall by Charity Thomas


Javier de Riba and Maria Lopez began painting indoor murals four years ago, and since then, have branched out to create installations and large-scale outdoor murals. That’s what brings them to Ohio City this Fall. Hosted by the neighborhood development organization Ohio City, Inc., they are among the half dozen artists visiting Cleveland this fall as part of the Cleveland Foundation’s Creative Fusion program. According to Ashley Shaw, the Economic Development and Property Manager at OCI, the goal of this specific project is to bring in visual artists to create murals around the neighborhood, particularly in the Detroit corridor, from West. 25th to West 40th street.


Maria and Javier  began working together by creating an artist collective called Reskateboarding, in which they recycled old skateboards. With backgrounds in graphic design, they selected artists to work with, arranged events, and curated gallery openings through this collective. It was this work that allowed the pair to meet illustrators and artists whose work they admired, which was the impetus for the incorporation of a more illustrative style in their personal work and was an important factor in the development of their artistic career, and the collaborative venture they call Reskate Arts & Crafts.


The two gain inspiration from interacting with people and other artists from whom they can learn about different processes and media. They place emphasis on the materials they choose in order to make the most of their expressive capabilities. Color and powerful illustrations are what drive their aesthetic, and they wish for each project to be coherent with the environment around it.


Their aim is to create work that communicates ideas of culture, roots, and tradition. They are eager to arrive in Cleveland and become familiar with the area before deciding on any final designs for their work through the Creative Fusion project.  When asked about possible content for the work they will do while in Cleveland, Reskate explained, “…each project requires a different approach. We will wait to see the space and get to know the city. We need to feel the necessities of the wall in order to develop the proper message and aesthetics.”


You’ll find details about Javier and Maria, and Reskate Arts & Crafts at reskatestudio.com. And you’ll read more as this story unfolds on the CAN Blog and, in the Winter issue of CAN Journal.