The Cleveland Foundation Presents Creative Fusion: Make Art Everywhere
Eleven artworks by local and international artists were commissioned through the Creative Fusion program this season, but murals do not make a place. It’s the new businesses that have cropped up–bringing with them vibrant storefronts, picnic tables, and more activity on the street–that make a place. It’s the residents who sit at those tables eating those artisanal bagels, and who were here long before Hingetown and Gordon Square were a thing. This is urban resilience in a shrinking city, and it’s set against the evolving backdrop of new art.
Large-scale murals are not the direct fix for underfunded schools, pockets of violence, or a busted transportation system. But they are a sign of life. People live here. Observe your surroundings—what have you learned about the people who share this place with you? That message, too loud to ignore, makes looking down while walking nearly impossible.
The timing of this project couldn’t be better for SPACES. Neither could the proximity between the wall our Creative Fusion resident, Michela Picchi, chose for her flying tiger, and our new home that opens on January 14th. The two points almost merge in the shallow, block-long depth of field of the Detroit corridor: a colorful mural on the south side of W.28th Street, and a site for the creation and display of experimental work on the north side of W.29th Street. The ten other artworks—located on and near Detroit Avenue between W.25th and W.32nd streets, and sponsored by Cleveland Print Room, Cleveland Public Theater, Ohio City, Inc., and Transformer Station—also exhibit a highly concentrated record of creative activity, as well as a reckoning of local issues that range from parking to better connecting Lakeview Estates residents to the rest of the neighborhood.
The collaboration with these organizations and the resulting artworks further indicate that this is where SPACES is meant to be, and I look forward to seeing what else will go up on the walls in our new neighborhood over the next 5 years.