The Cleveland Foundation Presents: Creative Fusion FRONT International: Local Artists in Residence
FRONT International is a program of exhibitions, interactions, performances, lectures, and encounters with contemporary art designed to mine the topic of Cleveland as an American city. With dozens of artists working in and around the city periodically on projects for next summer, FRONT offers the region’s creative class as well as the visiting artists numerous opportunities for experimentation and discovery. The residency program based at the PNC Arts Campus in Glenville is central to this mission.
FRONT’s Artistic Directors, Michelle Grabner and Jens Hoffmann have designed a research-based, highly flexible residency program operating from now until May to encourage cross-pollination and expansive thinking among all participants. With crucial support from the Creative Fusion program of the Cleveland Foundation, they were able to expand upon the international cohort by adding funds to support a group of local artists to work in Glenville. In this program, six local artists will be in residence in Glenville, working side by side with artists invited from around the world. Peer to peer relationship building, placing Cleveland based artists together with their international counterparts, creates unique situations for partnerships that will cement personal relationships and yield professional opportunities in the future. The Madison residence and the adjacent Front Porch program space will create a small international agora, an incubator for all the artists to exchange ideas and possibly collaborate on projects.
The six artists of the local cohort are Johnny Coleman, Dale Goode, Elizabeth Emery, Michael Oatman, Julie Patton and Lauren Yeager. This selection is broad and deep, spanning several generations and media, from painting and sculpture to performance, theater, and spoken word. In the spirit of collaboration and of the experimental nature of the Front residencies, the artists were partially chosen for their ability to think and work across boundaries–geographical, metaphorical, physical. All the artists make work that responds to some aspect of the city. Goode, Emery and Yeager each work with found materials, though their subject, working methods and outcomes reflect their individual voices. Oatman, Patton and Coleman are performance based artists. Oatman is a playwright and theater director, Patton a published poet, and Coleman, an Oberlin professor working in both studio art and African studies and jazz.
The local cohort will be supported during the research phase with access to apartments at the Madison, use of the Front Porch to organize meetings, screenings or classes. That support continues into the exhibition period, when they will produce work that will be presented or installed in the Glenville neighborhood during the run of FRONT. They will also commit to organizing public programs over the course of the residency. With time and extended opportunities at Glenville, the hope is to foster something new and unexpected. What emerges from these meetings and collaborations may in turn affect our thinking about cultural partnerships throughout Cleveland and in future editions of FRONT.