Cleveland to Berlin and Back
Living in Berlin shocks me awake.
In my teens I fantasized someday I would move to Berlin. I thought: that’s where the zeitgeist was, that’s where things start, where I can let loose and taste rebel culture. My dreams were born of a restlessness I didn’t know how to satisfy. Berlin seemed dark and gritty, and that was attractive to me.
Now that I live here, I realize I may not have been so horribly mistaken. Berlin is raw; moving through the city one constantly confronts the global realities nobody escapes in an urban context, realities changing the face of Berlin and shocking me into a different way of seeing. Not to say there isn’t grit in Cleveland; Clevelanders are strong, feisty, and hardworking. But grit looks different here, feels different here, like sandpaper against skin. But here they say, that’s the Berlin style.
Still, Berlin happened by chance for me. I was struggling. I was reexamining my creative motivations: How could I merge my art, my work, my play, my activism, my contribution? And then, traveling through Europe I met an artist in Berlin. We shared similar ideas about art-making and how that could translate into life. He offered ways to understand what it was I was hungry for. We decided we should collaborate and try to make a reality of our common thinking and desires.
Berlin had allowed this artist to evolve an unorthodox approach to everything, the way of the autodidact, the maverick. This experience was, he says, a kind of privilege that enabled him to develop his work. He has exhibited in every kind of space and condition, from underground warehouses to formal galleries and art fairs. We influence, inspire and challenge one another through an organic creative dialogue that can only happen in close context.
In Cleveland I had the revelation of my own creative potential. In Berlin I am living it, delving ever more deeply. I have found freedom—not a loud and ostentatious freedom as I imagined, but a quiet, insular, inner creative freedom. I am exploring different ideas, colors, materials, found and repurposed supplies, organic thickeners, self-made textures, and local pigments. All make their way onto my canvases. I embed Berlin in my paintings.
I am excited to be back at Hartshorn Studios to present my newest works Cleveland to Berlin and Back: Lila Rose Kole and Collaborations with Kenno Apatrida.
LILA ROSE KOLE & COLLABORATIONS WITH KENNO APATRIDA: CLEVELAND TO BERLIN AND BACK | 5–10PM FRIDAY, MAY 10 | Hartshorn Studios, 2342 Professor Avenue
ARTS RENAISSANCE TREMONT | 3 PM SUNDAYS | Pilgrim Church, 2592 West 14th
March 17 Bach Birthday Celebration!
April 7 Ivan Zenaty, violin / Dmitri Vorobiev, piano
May 5 Amanda Powell, soprano
WALKABOUT TREMONT, 2ND FRIDAYS | 5–9PM MARCH 8, APRIL 12, MAY 10
Check out new art, fashion, music, food, drink and entertainment at WalkaboutTremont.com
c/o Tremont West Development
2406 Professor Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44113