Kings & Queens of Art Is Spreading Its Wings

Social justice mural in progress on a wall located at East 59th and Outhwaite, in commemoration of my grandson and all those who have “Died While Living Black in America.”

Let me begin by giving CAN a high-five for being named the “Best Magazine in Ohio.” I am honored that I am a part of that at this point. Way to go: CAN!

In our last article here in CAN Journal I shared how fortunate I was to have met Richard Pace and his beautiful daughter Catherine Pace of Cumberland Development, LLC, who have allowed us to use their Retail Space A at Harbor Verandas, located at 1050 East 9th Street. Well, the other good news is that we have decided to remain in that space by leasing it for the next year. Kings & Queens of Art will also remain in Glenville, 11017 Ashbury; that space is being used for production space, meetings, workshops and classes.

Our tentative plans for our East 9th Street location are to work with a collaborative team of high-capacity arts organizations to build a showcase space to represent, spotlight and support work by black artists in Cleveland. This space will be the first of its kind in the area: a premier gallery in one of Cleveland’s most attractive destination locations, featuring the highest quality work by artists of color. Its presence alone will help to shape perceptions, as the significant number of visitors to the north end of East 9th Street are given the opportunity to view exceptional work by talented local black artists and learn about the strength of our black arts community.

But that will be just one of many benefits the gallery’s presence will create. We will utilize this space to provide all marginalized groups of artists a premier location to exhibit and sell their work, professionally installed and presented, and actively marketed to an audience of prospective buyers.

In addition to exhibit opportunities, we will also provide those artists with professional development resources, including a series of workshops by experts in the field on timely topics such as pricing and marketing your artwork, creating and submitting exhibit proposals, winning commissions and effective public art submissions. We will leverage the gallery to build and nurture a network of collectors interested in investing in and supporting work by black artists.

We will host many events, such as art parties and sidewalk paint parties. (Sorry, no alcoholic beverages will be served.) I am still working on my website and have uploaded the Black Local Artists of Cleveland Kuumba directory to Amazon Direct Publishing. Please stay tuned through social media for information on when both of these go live and also for future events as they happen.

My work as a mixed media artist/social practice artist carries me to many places in the community such as back inside of the carceral system. I say “back inside of the carceral system” because I made the transition myself from the carceral system back into the community twenty years ago. Upon the completion of my sentence I made a vow to my Self “that the only way I was going back into the prison was to help someone else transition across that threshold.” And so presently I serve on the steering committee for Ohio Prison Arts Connection (OPAC), and we will be having our fourth annual statewide conference this fall. For more info:

Lastly, but not least, please continue to visit our “artpartner” Larchmere Arts every second and fourth Sunday for Spoken Word and follow Vince Robinson on social media. Until…


Kings & Queens of Art

11017 Ashbury Road

Cleveland, Ohio 44106