Art in Tremont Reaches New Heights

Part performance art, part display art, part work of art, Climb Cleveland in Tremont has created a unique art venue and an alternative showcase for emerging and more established local artists.

At its core, Climb Cleveland is a rock climbing and bouldering gym, but creator Chick Holtkamp’s vision was to create a comfortable, welcoming space for the community—a “big house with living rooms” as Holtkamp describes it.

What better for the living room walls than art from local artists?

Since opening in March 2017, Climb Cleveland has displayed a variety of local artists and photographers on its first floor and basement “living room” walls, mixing display art with its sculpturesque surroundings.

The list of artists who have displayed works at Climb Cleveland reads like a veritable who’s who of the local art scene—Emmalyn Tringali, Rob Strand, Tim Herron, Jon Sedor, Howard Collier, Billy Delfs, Evan Prunty, Julius Barkley and Glenn Murray, to name a few.

Hundreds of multicolored climbing holds on the walls create their own art. Mixed with display art, an iconic building that’s more than 100 years old, and dozens of boulders Holtkamp has brought back from climbing trips around the country, there’s a lot to please the eye.

“I see our space as a work of art, like a sculpture. Showing art is a natural fit,” says Holtkamp. “Beauty is part of the climbing experience. Art brings a beautiful background to our gym and makes Climb Cleveland unique among climbing gyms for climbers and for artists alike.”

Holtkamp tasked local artist and avid climber Adrian Eisenhower with curating the art and ensuring monthly rotations. Eisenhower has a studio at the Hildebrandt Building and is a 2017-2018 teaching fellow at the Cleveland Museum of Art. He received his master’s degree in painting at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

“The space was created to showcase movement and creativity, and to be part of the community. Showcasing local artists adds to the feeling of community and values creative output in its many forms,” says Eisenhower.

Housed in the former home of a Ukrainian social hall, Holtkamp purchased the Tremont building in 1982 to rehab the upper floor for his personal residence. He’s used the basement as a climbing gym for more than 30 years, giving his friends the keys so they could climb whenever they wanted.

By opening Climb Cleveland, Holtkamp has extended an invitation to the entire community to climb, socialize and be creatively stimulated in his artfully decorated “living room.”




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