Emerging Artists Take Control at CIA

Real world experience doesn’t get more real than this. The Student Independent Exhibition at the Cleveland Institute of  Art launches students into professional roles of exhibiting artists, curators, and promoters of a show that ranks as one of  the most popular annual exhibitions at the college.

Students do it all. They solicit student artwork, convene a jury, curate the show, and conduct panel discussions, and  gallery tours. Artwork that makes it into the show is juried by a panel of nationally-known artists who are dedicated to  keeping standards high. This independent voice ensures the exhibition offers an eclectic mix of media, strong student  work, and moments of dramatic contrast.

The Student Independent Exhibition (SIE) opens the door to emerging artists on a scale that is not replicated anywhere  else in Cleveland. For more than 67 years the exhibition has introduced artists and designers to Northeast Ohio art  lovers. Many of those artists remain in Cleveland after graduation to build their business; others find professional
success in larger markets. Recent CIA alumni Dana Schutz and Ben Grasso are prime examples. Both are internationally recognized painters whose work is now selling for more than ten times that of their student work.

All the SIE artwork is for sale, with nearly 60 percent of last year’s show selling before its close. “We sell not only to  buyers, but to collectors as well,” explains Bruce Checefsky, director of CIA’s Reinberger Galleries. Interested collectors  provide an important perspective to buying student artwork, explains Checefsky. “Collectors will stay with an artist and  focus on collecting someone’s vision. Many collectors come to the show looking for the next great artist or designer.”

The 2013 Student Independent Exhibition opens on February 16 and will run through March 16. Students began  preparing for the exhibition in early October 2012 and have lined up events surrounding the run of the show. A buzz of  excitement accompanies opening night, when students are presented with awards donated by local supporters and chosen by the jurors and members of CIA’s board of directors. For more information on CIA’s Student Independent  Exhibition, go to cia.edu.