Waterloo Arts Asks, Neighborhoods: Community or Commodity?

m Coy, Self Portrait.

In June and July, Waterloo Arts gallery will host three artists who have recently created bodies of work by playfully experimenting with the objects, space or subject immediately available to them, creating sculpture from everyday mass-produced objects, painting domestic space and capturing shadow images using a cellphone. Jennifer Irene Masley is a sculptor who has been researching form, irreverently using mundane materials in her studio to create miniature sculptures. Lindsay Martin Gryskewich created paintings within the domestic space, explaining, “as the pandemic and new motherhood kept my studio practice centered in the ever evolving workspace of a home and yard, my work sought to frame every day surroundings into seasonal composition studies.” M Coy will be showing a series of collages using shadow images taken from their cellphone as they explore continuity between the external and internal expressions of self.

Jennifer Irene Masley, Object 2.

Opening in August, Timothy Callaghan and Krista Tomorowitz have invited fellow Collinwood artists to respond to the closing of the Euclid Beach Mobile Home Park scheduled for September 2024. According to the Collinwood Nottingham Historical Society, the site was established as campgrounds after the amusement park opened in 1895 and by the 1930s, it was home to cottages and trailers until the park closed in 1969. The mobile home park was later purchased in the 1980s and operated under that owner until it was sold to Western Reserve Land Conservancy (WRLC) in 2019. Matt Zone, senior vice president at WRLC, said, “this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to intelligently create a long-term strategy that could be transformational for the North Shore Collinwood neighborhood and the Cleveland-Euclid border.” In March 2023, when the WRLC announced plans to close the park, there were 139 households living there.

On view at Waterloo Arts during the twentieth anniversary of the Waterloo Arts Fest (September 9), this juxtaposition acknowledges tension between the artists that help to make a place better, and the inevitable capital interests that follow when that place starts to draw people. Unfortunately, as neighborhoods become attractive to centralized entities, whether those entities control public or private dollars, communities often lose the ability to influence development decisions that directly affect them. For the past twenty years, Waterloo Arts has asserted that the arts district benefits the neighborhood, but they also believe that development should involve and benefit the community and that artists are not cheerleaders for the cities, but important builders of culture.

Lindsay Martin Gryskewich, He Wakes Early for the Qualifying.

15605 Waterloo Road
Cleveland, Ohio 44110


Coy, Gryskewich, Masley, Opening reception 6-9pm Wednesday, June 7

Callaghan & Tomorowitz, Opening reception 6-9pm Friday, August 4

Waterloo Arts Fest, noon-7pm Saturday, September 9

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