Beyond Good and Evil

Ishtar’s Belt © 2017 (Mixed Media – 18” x 24” Canvas) By Will “Topiltzin” Sanchez.

To make use of what is available, in the area, the fruit at hand. Instead of looking elsewhere for sustenance, to grow and feed off our own talent. In 2002 the first Latino-owned and managed art gallery in the greater Cleveland metropolitan area was born: La Cosecha Galeria (The Harvest Gallery). But it stood for much more; it was an understanding, a union, an opportunity to display an identity. The ability to open the doors to other artists as an outlet to what is possible. Well received by the community, who until then were starved for a place to showcase their culture and artistic abilities, it always held a warm place in their heart and a revered memory for those that worked with them.

Reopening a brick-and-mortar location last year, La Cosecha Galeria was rechristened within blocks of where she was conceived. This place had special meaning to me personally, so I thought of it as providence when it happened.

Six months later, the next generation has begun to take its place: Anjalise Galindez, family to co-founder Palin Perez-Jackson, who tragically passed in 2009. A millennial child, offspring of the creative vibe that was and is La Cosecha Galeria, and current resident artist who produced her first successful show in January, she reminds me of us in our start, so it does my soul well to see that this fire has not dwindled. Because of the continued need of a non-institutional or funding controlled creative outlets.

These days, “Creative Placemaking” is the terminology used to explain or describe the evolving field that intentionally leverages the power of the arts, culture and creativity to serve a community’s interest while driving a broader agenda for change, growth and transformation in a way that also builds character and quality of place.

What we hope to do is to further a concept many years in the making. In 2019, our next phase is to begin the art supply retail store while continuing to welcome resident artists to develop—not only as studio artists, but as Civic Artists that collaborate and co-design with community partners and residents around a community-defined aspiration.

With a population of 23,468, it is estimated that 10,003 People in Ward 14 lived in poverty. With over twenty empty or underused storefronts along Storer Avenue in the heart of the west side of Cleveland. I believe I can entice those in the Creative Industry to utilize these locations and bring economic development into the area. Activating a space with a new business is also a great opportunity for the community and businesses in the neighborhood to form an identity.

Artists or the arts culture have been the catalyst of the gentrification process since the beginning of civilization. Today we base redevelopment plans upon it; just look at many of the Cleveland neighborhoods’ economic strategies implemented to help their communities. All dependent upon the arts or enticement of the artists to come live or work there. The next level is a for-profit business to build on this idea, create an actual process, document it and analyze the data as any other business producing products would do. As an artist, I feel it my intrinsic responsibility to open a gallery here, where we were priced out after we gentrified it. A return to where our local arts forefathers had to leave, and hopefully put an end to this cycle of migration by ensconcing ourselves within the very economy of it.

Our vision is to harness this activity as businessmen and creatively improve upon it. As an artist, it’s what we do.



Time TBA


La Cosecha Galeria
5404 Storer Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44102