A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Grad Examined in Reinberger Gallery’s T ITL E TB D

History has failed us…but no matter by Natalia Nakazawa. Jacquard woven textiles, laser-cut Arches watercolor paper, leather, jewels, concentrated watercolor, photo transfers and acrylic on wood panels. Triptych, 40″ × 30″ each panel; 40″ × 90″ together.

Ask someone to describe the life of an artist and you’re likely to get one of two accounts: a starving artist who ekes out a living by sacrificing everything, or a cosmopolitan artist living and working amid an embarrassment of big-city riches. Both extremes are rooted more in fantasy than fact.

The reality is that there’s a vast middle ground. Balance is key, yet challenging; artists creatively navigate complex terrain to grow and thrive. The path isn’t always straight or the same for everyone; thus, an understanding of that journey is often muddled by romanticized myths, even—or especially—by young artists.

T   ITL E   TB  D, on view March 26 through June 12 in Reinberger Gallery, seeks to dispel those myths by providing greater context to the conversation surrounding an artist’s career. It will examine what an artist’s life looks like in 2020, touching on topics such as creative alternatives for maintaining a practice and building community among artists. An opening reception will take place from 6 to 8pm on March 26.

Curated by Meghana Karnik, and coordinated and produced by Reinberger Gallery Director Nikki Woods and Project + Visiting Artist Coordinator Kayli Salzano, the exhibition is unusual in its intention to focus on questions faced by CIA’s most important constituency: student artists.

“I feel like the question of this show is for artists: How are we doing? I’m interested in reflecting on the anxiety of time, relationships and money,” Karnik says. “I think the show’s urgency comes from emergent conditions that make things more challenging for those who graduated in the last fifteen years: rising student loan debt, academic inflation and cost-of-living questions.”

Karnik, associate curator for FRONT International’s 2021 triennial, earned degrees in political science and art history from Case Western Reserve University and studied drawing at CIA before embarking on a curatorial and administrative career in the arts in New York City. She says each artist in T   ITL E   TB  D has reflected deeply on the issues addressed by the show, and their practices offer frameworks to consider the exhibition’s headier topics.

The exhibition consists of several New York City-based artists and entities: ADMIN, a collective of artists and administrators; GenderFail, a queer-focused programing, publications and events initiative; Natalia Nakazawa, a painter and textile artist; and painter Emily Mae Smith. Rounding out the show are printmaker, painter and sculptor Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo, of Oakland, California; Jeff Kasper, who works in text, video and participatory experiences from Amherst, Massachusetts; and Belgium-based filmmaker Ariane Loze.

Woods says the artists all work with and within communities that amplify and support their work, making them well-suited to address issues facing early-career artists, students and those in their support networks.

“Going to art school is about learning different ways of seeing. It’s about learning how to think and how to think for yourself,” she says. “It’s one of the best educations you can get, and here are people in the show who’ve used that education to navigate a world of their own making—which is fascinating to me.”

T   ITL E   TB  D programming includes an ADMIN-conducted workshop pertaining to the post-graduate experience that’s open to any artists looking to broaden their network or create a more inclusive artistic community. The workshop will begin at 12:15pm on March 27 during Lunch on Fridays in the Reinberger Gallery.



T   ITL E   TB  D | MARCH 26-JUNE 12
WORKSHOP 12:15PM FRIDAY, MARCH 27 Reinberger Gallery

Cleveland Institute of Art
11610 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44106