Crossroads: Still We Rise at The Sculpture Center and on Twelve Outdoor Sites in Cleveland
The city of Cleveland and the metropolitan areas it anchors have a long history of racial exclusion and segregation. To this day, Cleveland remains racially segregated, with most of the Black population clustered in the eastern side. Compared to the rest of the country’s 100 largest metro areas, Cleveland ranks 98th in racial inclusion, with massive gaps in earnings, poverty, and employment.1
While redlining was banned more than fifty years ago, the effects of it are still felt today. Many people have been systematically left behind in neighborhoods because of this unethical policy.
“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” Booker T. Washington
Crossroads is Cleveland’s first-ever augmented reality experience which showcases artworks by twelve Black Cleveland-based artists in collaboration with twelve proud, predominately Black Cleveland neighborhoods. Each artist is commissioned to create a work of art that is informed by a site of political, cultural, or historical significance and the neighborhood residents. The collective experience of all twelve artists, their work, and the voices of their neighborhoods will be amplified in an augmented reality exhibition in The Sculpture Center galleries and outdoors on site. The artwork will be viewable for free using a smartphone or tablet. The resilience and fortitude of the communities and artists are reflected in the exhibition title Still We Rise, and will most certainly spark conversations affecting our lives and communities.
The Sculpture Center initiated Crossroads as a unique art experience that utilizes immersive technology to connect artists, their artwork, and our communities around issues of national importance. As curator I envisioned Crossroads to expand the perceptions and expectations the media, politicians, and the uninformed have of East Side residents and their communities. I chose to focus on six communities that have faced the aftermath of discriminatory government planning and racially-biased foreclosure schemes. These resilient communities are more than their perceived symbols of urban blight: these neighborhoods are full of history, culture and home-grown activists born of necessity. I am honored to share these East Side gems to the public via the twelve brilliant Black artists that have been selected, and pleased to give voice to those that are unheard, underrepresented, and forgotten.
- Fishbane, Lara and Adie Tomer. “How Cleveland is bridging both digital and racial divides.” Brookings. March 9, 2020. brookings.edu/blog/the-avenue/2020/03/04/how-cleveland-is-bridging-both-digital-and-racial-divides
REVEALED ARTIST KYLIE FORD: PASSING THROUGH | MAY 21–JUNE 26
REVEALED ARTIST EMILY DUKE: CARELESS WATER | MAY 21–JUNE 26
CROSSROADS: STILL WE RISE | JULY 16–SEPTEMBER 18