“For a star to be born, there is one thing that must happen: a gaseous nebula must collapse. So collapse. Crumble. This is not your destruction. This is your birth.” —Zoe Skylar
On Independence Day 2019, about 11:00pm, I started to receive texts, calls and messages from various people that something was happening at the gallery. I was at work, which is time consuming, but from various photos sent and having a moment to step away to make a couple phone calls, dread began to slowly form within my core.
After a long shift of watching the eastside neighborhood surrounding me celebrate with fireworks into the late night, I made my way to the gallery expecting the worst. Approaching the corner of West 54th and Storer Avenue, I could see from a distance this situation was not good. No fire, but the gallery suffered structural damage overnight. As we assessed the situation, it obviously caused the gallery to close immediately for repairs. The front awning collapsed, ripping the top brick façade of the gallery and causing major damage to the roof, as well as minor damage to the interior. And more than likely, it will take longer to get the building prepared for inspection. Thank God no one was hurt, the gallery was empty, and no pedestrian was near on a busy intersection. I had stopped by myself earlier that evening to pick up artwork. So many different scenarios were avoided by providence.
Artist/producer Anjalise Galindez along with other artists were present throughout the day preparing for an upcoming fashion show that weekend. The current resident artist who continues to blossom producing many successful shows since the new year began, developing new formats and expanding the talent roster while representing the gallery admirably. Making this new version of the gallery a beacon for the youthful artists of color today, these millennial children continue the creative vibe that was and is, La Cosecha Galeria. The location may have meant something to me personally when it opened, but it has come to mean so much more to this collective of young artists that use it to explore and express their creativity.
We have been encouraging artists to express themselves in ways unthought-of previously. We’ve been dedicated to the propagation of all art forms, supporting local, international, emerging or established artists and community arts programs since 2001. Yet you never really know what you do has meaning until disaster strikes.
The community response during and support after the incident are beyond humbling, bringing forth to my realization that this is no longer my own vision, but everyone’s. The spiritual and grateful beings, the group of artists that inhabit the gallery, are using the situation as the motivation to help renovate the entire venue—adding a music recording studio, implementing programming for workshops and art classes, broadening their own idea of what is possible. They are building upon our own platform for creatives that impacts the community, and continues to spark ambition in entrepreneurs with networking-focused events that brings together a diverse assembly of people and a variety of ways to think. It’s where development and incubation period end and a leap of faith to execution begins.
We will recover, we will build up, and we are patiently accepting our evolution.
La Cosecha Galeria
5404 Storer Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44102