Student Creativity on View at CIA

The opening reception for In Our Skin, the inaugural Black History Month exhibition staged by
CIA’s Black Scholars and Artists student club.

Two exhibitions will take center stage this winter at the Cleveland Institute of Art. One is an ambitious, immersive multimedia installation inspired by the wonders of the natural world. The second features artwork from CIA’s Black Scholars and Artists (BSA) club that explores the experiences of contemporary Black artists.

What do they have in common? Both are student-driven exhibitions.

Forest of Memories represents a collaborative effort between Reinberger Gallery and students from the Sculpture + Expanded Media department.

Led by professor Jimmy Kuehnle, students were charged with creating a compelling installation that incorporates light and sound as both a principal material and a structural element. Throughout the fall semester, students consulted with visiting artist experts—software developer Hepp Maccoy of AudioPixel and multimedia sound artists Raúl Romero and Bob Drake—to develop the exhibition’s concept and production strategy.

The result? Using handmade sculptural elements, more than 35,000 LED lights, projection mapping, and interactive sound, Forest of Memories imagines a world being reclaimed by nature and transformed into an extraordinary liminal space of maximalist possibility.

Forest of Memories is on view now through January 12 in Reinberger Gallery.

Is It Because I’m Me BLACK!!? will be the second annual Black History Month exhibition organized by BSA students. The exhibition will examine themes related to Black identity, voice and presence.

“Black art is an expression and extension of ourselves. Words we may not be able to articulate, we transform into beautiful, yet sometimes disturbing, compositions depicting the complexities and hardships of being Black,” BSA students say.

Is It Because I’m Me BLACK!!? will be on view February 2 through February 29 in the Ann + Norman Roulet Student + Alumni Gallery and the Mary Ann and Jack Katzenmeyer Student Lounge. A reception is scheduled from 5 to 7 pm on Friday, February 2.

“I think it’s important for a college art gallery to nurture and support student voices in whatever ways we can,” says Nikki Woods, Reinberger Gallery director. “Both of these projects represent ways students are taking creative risks and expanding their practice through exhibition-making.”

Visiting artist Hepp Maccoy collaborates with CIA students in preparation for Forest of Memories.

11610 Euclid AvenueCleveland, Ohio 44106cia.edu800.223.4700


Forest of Memories, through January 12

Is It Because I’m Me BLACK!!?, February 2–29. Opening reception 5-7pm Friday, February 2

Leave a Reply