CAN to re-focus on art news and reviews; Will not produce CAN Triennial 2025

CAN Triennial 2022 partnered with Pecha Kucha Cleveland for the series’ post-pandemic return, with speakers on the Triennial theme, You Are Here.

Collective Arts Network Board of Directors and Staff voted January 23 that the organization would not proceed with plans for CAN Triennial in 2025, and would instead focus on its core strengths and original mission: to provide a platform for communication and public discussion about art and related issues in Northeast Ohio.

While that decision originally came with the intent to increase coverage of the FRONT Triennial in 2025, the recent announcement that FRONT would cease operations does not change the outcome: Collective Arts Network and CAN Journal will go forward as a forum for art venues to provide information about their programs, and for writers to explore artists’ creative work and related issues, including the region’s ongoing collective interest in having a prominent place in the national and international arts landscape.

It is an extremely difficult decision. CAN Triennial was made possible by relationships Collective Arts Network has developed with organizations, artists and other arts professionals. Those relationships and their ability to advance the careers of artists are a continuing source of pride, exemplified by the CAN Triennial Exhibition Prizes, which in 2022 engaged nine regional museums to send curators to the Triennial and each choose from it a Northeast Ohio artist to present in solo exhibitions.  Those exhibitions continue in 2024 and 2025, as will CAN’s commitment to cover them.

The decision was made in light of an assessment of the organization’s capacity, core strengths and mission, and in a funding environment significantly changed since the first CAN Triennial in 2018.

Collective Arts Network Board President John Farina hopes the moment will catalyze new initiatives. “Losing two major art events may seem like a painful blow to our community, but I hope artists, creatives, supporters and especially funders will use this as an opportunity to seek out new and innovative ways to promote the visual arts in Cleveland – especially the work of the dozens and dozens of incredible artists right here in northeast Ohio,” he said.

CAN encourages continued exploration of prospects for regional exhibitions that would advance the reach and profile of Northeast Ohio artists. Any such efforts will be of continuing editorial interest.

CAN looks forward to continued service and the evolution of the region’s art sector.  The Spring 2024 issue of CAN Journal will debut in a networking and launch event 6 – 8 pm Friday March 1 at Framed Gallery on Waterloo Road in Collinwood, during the monthly Walk All Over Waterloo art walk.

The opinions expressed on CAN Blog are those of the individual writers. Art is somewhat subjective. Well, somewhat. But yes, everybody's a critic.

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