Hope on the Horizon: The Sidaway Bridge
Date(s) - 06/24/2023
11:30 am - 1:00 pm
The Sculpture Center
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Inspired by artist Quinn Hunter’s current exhibition When the Block Was Long at The Sculpture Center: A panel on how finding paradise is being realized in real time with the current developments to restore CLE’s Sidaway Bridge.
Saturday, June 24, 2023
11 – 11:30 AM | Artist-Led tour of exhibition When the Block Was Long at The Sculpture Center, 1834 E. 123 St, Cleveland, OH, 44106
11:30 AM – 1 PM | Panel discussion
4PM Cleveland History Days Walking Tour of Sidaway Bridge, Meet at Anton Grdina School, 2955 East 71st Street, Cleveland, 44104
All events are free and open to the public.
Inspired by artist Quinn Hunter’s current exhibition When the Block Was Long at The Sculpture Center, Andrew Sargeant, Vice President of The Urban Studio Board, and Polly Lynam Bloom of Perspectus Architecture are coming together in an exciting panel moderated by the artist to discuss these meaningful developments and further grapple with how communities can recognize and repair the damage done by the systemic erasure of Black spaces.
The systemic destruction of Black spaces is not a phenomenon that is confined to any one region of the United States. Even the cities of the American North that promised freedom and equality to Black Southerners during the Great Migration periods experienced such erasure. Today’s Cleveland is ridden with evident legacies of red and green lining, white flight, and divestment.
The Sidaway Bridge is a living reminder of the Kinsman and Slavic Village neighborhoods before they were altered and literally divided by racial tensions that existed in the 1960s. The Bridge was built in 1909 to unite the Hungarian and Polish populations of Kinsman Road and the Jackowo neighborhoods, respectively. Shortly after Black families began moving to Kinsman in the 1960’s the Sidaway Bridge became a flash point when, in 1966, someone removed planking from the bridge and set it on fire. In 2022 the Sidaway Bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and in February 2023 Cleveland City Council bestowed it with landmark status. Hope for restoring the bridge and its intended purpose of connecting communities is on the horizon.
Quinn Hunter’s exhibition When the Block Was Long interrogates the erasure of history from physical space and how contemporary culture understands the past while occupying these locations in the current day. Through a series of weavings depicting this experience in mainly Detroit’s Black Bottom and Paradise Valley in addition to Sidaway Bridge, Hunter reveals the continual forced migration of Black communities throughout America and their resilience in creating paradise anew.
Read more about When the Block Was Long here.
Prior to the panel discussion, Quinn Hunter will lead a guided tour of her exhibition When the Block Was Long. The tour starts at 11:00 AM.
About the speakers:
Andrew Sargeant is a pioneer of design technology in the field of Landscape Architecture. He currently serves as the Vice President of The Urban Studio Board, a non-profit based in Washington D.C. He conducted research on the use of immersive technology in the field of landscape architecture through the 2019 Landscape Architecture Fellowship for Innovation and Leadership. He is the first landscape architect to be selected for the Enterprise Rose Landscape Architectural Fellowship, and began his fellowship in 2020 at Cleveland Neighborhood Progress.
Polly Lynam Bloom is the strategic planner for Perspectus Architecture’s Historic Architecture practice. She played an integral part in getting Sidaway Bridge acknowledged for the importance of its impact on Cleveland’s surrounding communities throughout the years, earning it a spot on the National Register of Historic Places in October of 2022. She holds an MBA from the University of Chicago, and recently earned her MA in Historic Preservation.
Quinn Alexandria Hunter is a sculptor, performance artist, and educator based in Detroit, MI. She is interested in the erasure of history from physical space and how the contemporary uses of these spaces impact the way we, as a culture, understand the past. Hunter’s practice contends with the false narratives of a romanticized past and interrupts these myths by placing truth next to them. Quinn completed her MFA from Ohio University. She has been awarded residencies at the Chautauqua School of Art (2020), Wayne State University (2020-21), and received the 2019 Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award from International Sculpture Center.