Among Other Ambitions

Timothy Callaghan, Heart Break Wall, gouache on paper, 35 X 35 inches, 2020


The arts, which have long promoted authenticity and social engagement, have spent the past year bravely extolling their accomplishments in transitioning from direct experience to virtual experience. It is understandable—everyone placed their best foot forward, working with what was possible. Still, as brave as everyone was, it was still life fallen apart. It has been a zombie life—not the flesh-eating kind of zombie that breaks into houses in popular horror, but the magical voodoo kind of zombie that stumbles around, living yet not living. Even so, this in-between time in an in-between life has given us opportunity to reimagine how the arts integrate into our possibilities. The value and virtue of our pandemic year will depend upon how we take what we have learned as we create a new future.

This summer, it will happen slowly, like a child taking first steps from one embrace to another, then wobbling across the living room unencouraged. Then, as months pass, we will walk. Then, we will dance.

William Busta Projects (WBp) is located on the second floor of the Gold Building on Waterloo Road, newly renovated and home to artists and arts-related businesses (including flagship tenant Photocentric Gallery). Beside the Gold Building, Michael Loderstedt has planted a vineyard and transformed a building remnant into a stage. Corn grows along the chain link fence and pumpkin vines begin to wander among shoots that will soon become stalks. Bees buzz their way home and chickens peck at their feed in this hive of activity. As goals, the Blue Windmill Project contains rainwater run-off to irrigate plants, creates performance space for music and poetry, and nurtures an enclosed garden for tenants and visitors.

As WBp builds an archive, filling cabinets and shelf after shelf with artist files, catalogs and books, WBp will preview some of the artists which it will feature in Summer Means Fun in the Sun (maybe). It is a living-room-sized assembly of artists who live in Cleveland Lakeshore neighborhoods, with the addition of artists who have been featured at the William Busta Gallery, including Timothy Callaghan, Kristin Cliffel, Dexter Davis, Hildur Ásgeirsdóttir Jónsson, Lori Kella, Michael Loderstedt, Jessica Pinsky, and Bellamy Printz.

Among other ambitions, William Busta Projects is an archive of information about art created in the Cleveland region since 1960.

Summer Means Fun in the Sun (maybe) opens with Walk All Over Waterloo on Friday, June 4, from 5 to 8 pm and continues through July 3. Hours during exhibitions are Wednesday through Saturday, noon to 5 pm. Other than during scheduled exhibitions, WBp is open by appointment and by chance.

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