High Art Fridays: The Sustainable Art of Plastics to Be Installed at Beachwood Community Center

High Art Fridays: The Sustainable Art of Plastics, seen here in an installation at ArtHouse, will be exhibited a third time this summer, at Beachwood Community Center.

High Art Fridays: The Sustainable Art of Plastics will open on July 6 and run through August 26 at the Beachwood Community Center: 25325 Fairmount Boulevard. This exhibition is the third in-person display for this project. The show’s main feature is over fifty plastic-embellished Art Hats made by local, national, and international artists, along with an inclusion of Cleveland’s various population segments, such as a group of twenty third graders from Dennison Elementary School. In addition to the Art Hats display in the prestigious Beachwood atrium, artist Ron Shelton will showcase some of his latest plastic trash into art in one of the center’s galleries. This project debuted on July 6, 2020, through a virtual arts residency called Empty Room—an international project out of Mozambique that developed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In July 2020, RampArts Gallery was our project’s first in-person exhibition. HAF: The Sustainable Art of Plastics had a premier opening at ArtHouse, Inc., in December 2020.

“We hope that seeing the Art Hats created by found plastics and designed by a variety of artists (local and international) will heighten consumers’ awareness of plastic usage and plastic waste. The colors, differently shaped plastics, and the artists’ talent certainly shine a light on Ron’s mission. This exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to enrich lives through knowledge and art. In addition to the exhibit, we are offering the opportunity for the community to create a hat and learn more about plastic usage and plastic waste via a presentation regarding sustainability,” said Susan Merdler, Beachwood Community Center.

The Cleveland Foundation and The Ohio Arts Council funded this project. We collaborated with Cathi Lehn, of Sustainable Cleveland and Upcycle Parts Shop, with a series of virtual workshops and a safe “stand apart” parade down St. Clair Avenue last October. This environmental message continues to enlighten and educate our community as our planet is overwrought by this ubiquitous material. Senator Jeff Merkley (OR) and Representative Alan Lowenthal (CA) reintroduced the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act to Congress on March 18, 2021. High Art Fridays has joined a population of concerned citizens to support this critical bill. There has not been a better time to inform and educate our communities about this dire environmental epidemic.

Join us at The Beachwood Community Center on Tuesday, July 6.