Show Celebrates Work of CIA Faculty Artists and Designers

Maggie Denk-Leigh, Promise. Screen print with trace charcoal drawing on kozo paper.

As with nearly everything in 2020, the coronavirus took some of the celebratory verve from the opening of Cleveland Institute of Art’s annual Faculty Exhibition. The show itself goes on, however; and even without a party, there’s plenty to celebrate.

On view in the Reinberger Gallery through January 29, the exhibition includes work by photographer Barry Underwood, whose Linear Constructions series features photographs of, essentially, drawings that he temporarily constructs with light within natural landscapes. We see printmaker Maggie Denk-Leigh’s gentle series of screen prints layered with charcoal drawings on handmade paper. Michael Meier issues brash social commentary in brilliant oils.

And there’s so much more.

Faculty from CIA’s fifteen majors reveal themselves as artists and designers working in a creatively dynamic region during an era of social turbulence and technological expansion.

“The faculty show is a dearly held tradition at CIA,” says Nikki Woods, director of Reinberger Gallery. “It’s a showcase of the creative work of our faculty, but I think most importantly it is emblematic of our community. It’s the only exhibition where you’ll see the inclusion of all the representative majors in one room.”

While the show is intended to be enjoyed by the public, it’s also one of the best examples of how the gallery serves its core audience: CIA students.

“It’s an open invitation for students, staff and faculty to learn from each other and draw curious connections between the work,” Woods says. “It’s an excellent educational experience for artists and creative people at any point in their careers.”

Common threads sometimes appear, even in a show of work by such an expansive group. One of those, Woods says, is “an element of care.”

“When I say care, I mean care in the work’s craft and its capacity for vulnerability,” she says. “Of course the volume and tone of each voice varies, along with its message, but I think many of the exhibition’s artworks show us how artists demonstrate and inspire care through practice, process, action and criticality.”

Public appointments are available Wednesdays and Fridays from 10:00am to 5:00pm beginning Friday, October 23. Groups are limited to five people. All visitors are required to wear masks at all times while in the building. Please contact to schedule a visit. You may also visit the show online at




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