Creative Fusion: Luis Ituarte & Leila Khoury, Ingenuity Festival

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When considering one’s personal evolution over time, it is easy to conceive of the journey in terms of a straight line. A line would make sense; it has beginning and end points that appear simple, direct, and finite. It may go up or down, as the trajectory of one’s life is wont to do. But when Luis Ituarte reflects upon his more than 40-year passage as a professional artist and human being, it is not a straight line that comes into his mind. It is, instead, a curve. The curve, for Ituarte, allows an individual to more deeply consider the nuance, freedom and openness most reflective of the human experience and the bits of meaning found within and without.

Fresh off of a rewarding artist residency at St. Martin de Porres High School where he helped nearly a dozen students create a mural for Ingenuity Cleveland, Ituarte most recently turned his attention to a showcase of his own work at his local collaborator, Leila Khoury’s Zaina Gallery at 78th Street Studios. The title of this most recent showing of works old and new is “Polimetria Curva,” loosely translated as “different measurements of the curve.”

Here, Ituarte displays what he calls his “obsession” with the curved line, which was born of his fascination with curved ornamental iron. For Ituarte, wrought iron–often cut in the form of straight bars to protect the windows and doors of houses–reminded him of “the brutality of straight bars that will not allow you in without permission.”

In contrast to this sense of closed restriction, explains Ituarte,  “without permission, I decided to liberate the curved line to teach people that the straight line is the one which encages us, and the curved line liberates by directing us to creativity, generosity, beauty and unity with nature.”

In many respects, Ituarte’s gallery showing does not just depict his own personal evolution, but the curve likewise captures Cleveland’s transformation through beautification.


“This is a town that people left and then whoever stayed has worked very hard to get people back to a city that has so many possibilities,” he says. “The surprise is that they are using the arts as a main element for the change. It’s a phenomenon I’ve seen in different places to gentrify the city. But what is happening here is citywide, so it’s a total city effort that’s pretty impressive.”



Ingenuity Festival: September 23, 34, 35

Ingenuity / Cleveland Public Library Mini Maker Fair: November 5

Polimetria Curva: Works of Luis Ituarte: October 21 – November 18 at Zaina Gallery