Marilyn Ladd-Simmons Memorial Celebration, at SPACES

Marilyn Ladd-Simmons. Photo by Jerry Mann, courtesy of SPACES.

Friends and colleagues are invited to celebrate the life of Marilyn Ladd Simmons in a memorial gathering at SPACES from 2 to 5 pm Sunday, May 22.

“Ladd-Simmons worked for SPACES and in the thick of the Cleveland arts scene for over 30 years,” SPACES said in a press release. “She transitioned from art studies at Baldwin-Wallace College to full-time gallery manager at SPACES and quickly became the go-to for artists in Cleveland, throughout the country, and across the globe. A friend, a colleague, an artist, and an arts advocate like no other, Marilyn connected people wherever she went and facilitated countless projects throughout the city.”

For example, she represented SPACES in the grass roots SALT Talks, organized by Zygote Press, which led to the creation of CAN Journal.

As Art Therapy Studio executive director Michelle Epps said, “Marilyn was the most influential, un-sung arts hero in the city. She mentored and helped so many Cleveland artists during her time at SPACES that her name became synonymous” with the organization. “A constant advocate for artists, her voice, talent and kindness are greatly missed.”

The celebration takes place a year after her passing. The public is invited to pay their respects and share memories. There are a few invited eulogists, and then the floor will be open to attendees to recount a brief 2-5 minute memory of Marilyn to share with the other guests and her husband Mark and daughter Maya, who will be in attendance. Her friend and former colleague Bruce Edwards gathered photos and created a slide show of memories.

“Marilyn’s impact on SPACES and the Cleveland art communities continues to resonate,” said SPACES executive director Tizziana Baldenebro. “She had a tremendous and defining influence on the organization, and we are honored to celebrate her legacy through the newly appointed Oracle Gallery.”

Donations for the family will be accepted at the memorial. All visitors are required to wear masks and social distance from staff and other guests.

For more information on the event, please contact SPACES and watch the event website at:

SPACES is at 2900 Detroit Ave, Cleveland, OH 44113.

The opinions expressed on CAN Blog are those of the individual writers. Art is somewhat subjective. Well, somewhat. But yes, everybody's a critic.

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