The CAN Triennial 2022 Purchase and Exhibition Prizes

CAN Triennial 2022: You Are Here (July 9 – August 31) exhibited works of 126 artists in 16 venues, in 6 Cleveland neighborhoods to explore issues of this time and place, and to highlight the diverse excellence of art-making in Northeast Ohio.

The CAN Triennial Exhibition Prizes–created in partnership with nine regional museums–extend its impact into the coming years and advance the careers of selected artists by creating the opportunity for solo shows. They also build on CAN’s regional relationships among artists and institutions. Curators from each partner institution visited the Triennial, and each chose from it an artist to present at that museum. Their choices include familiar artists, as well as accomplished artists whose work may be new to most viewers.  In coming months and years, CAN Journal will explore them in feature stories that preview these exhibitions.

Additionally, CAN Triennial Purchase Prizes recognize artists with the support and sponsorship of regional collections. CAN is grateful to our Purchase Prize partners for their financial support, and also for their ongoing commitment to artists and regional culture.

CAN Triennial is born of the synergy of relationships between Cleveland galleries, and the Exhibition and Purchase Prizes are emblematic of that collaborative spirit. CAN Journal is honored to support the artists, and to announce those chosen for the 2022 Exhibition and Purchase Prizes.

Museums and Collections offering the prizes made their announcements during a celebration August 18 at the Beachland Ballroom.

The 2022 CAN Triennial Exhibition Prizes

Still from Aloud, a sound installation by Akron Art Museum CAN Triennial Exhibition Prize artist Zeerak Ahmed. Image courtesy of the artist.

Akron Art Museum: Zeerak Ahmed

Selected by Jeffrey Katzin, Associate Curator

Evolving from a small, eclectic collection to a nationally recognized museum focusing on exhibiting and collecting art from 1850 to the present, the Akron Art Museum preserves the past and heralds the future. They celebrate and collect emerging and established artists, and invest in art that honors diversity and creativity.

“When I visited CAN Triennial’s Scene and Seen exhibition at Waterloo Arts, Zeerak Ahmed’s work immediately stood out to me. Seeing everything in the Triennial was a pleasurably dizzying experience—I took over 400 pictures to keep everything straight. To make sure I maintained a fresh and open mind, I considered every work inwardly (Could I grasp the artist’s process and interests, and did those come together coherently?) and outwardly (Could I imagine the artist expanding their work into a solo exhibition?).

Ahmed’s sound installation, ALOUD, certainly satisfied my first criterion. When you see it, the work is clear: Ahmed recorded herself singing one gently bending tone at a time, then layered the recordings so that the images of her face and the sounds of her voice overlap and harmonize. That might sound simple, but the result generates a wonderous sonic effect that is intricate, calming, and invigorating. Thinking of my second form of evaluation, I was moved to do further research, and I discovered that Ahmed had already presented this sort of work in larger-scale installations! That sealed my choice. I am eagerly looking forward to a big, embodied experience of her work in the Akron Art Museum’s galleries.”

From Talismans for a Pandemic, by ARTneo CAN Triennial Exhibition Prize artist Eva Kwong

ARTneo: Eva Kwong

Selected by the ARTneo Board of Directors

ARTneo, the Museum of Northeast Ohio Art, focuses on both early- and mid-twentieth century artists of the Cleveland School, and presents works of contemporary artists in the context of the region’s long history of artistic creation. Their production of scholarly catalogs document and explore regional culture through visual expression.

“ARTneo is proud to award its CAN Triennial 2022 exhibition prize to Eva Kwong. Her use of various media, including PVC and watercolor, in both traditional and progressive processes, results in both 3-dimensional and 2-dimensional works evocative of nature and its unseen microscopic beauty. Kwong’s ability to harmonize between media and artistic styles display a sophistication and maturity that make her work stand out among the countless amazing works exhibited during the Triennial festivities. We at ARTneo feel honored for the opportunity to feature the work of such an accomplished and skilled artist at the ARTneo’s gallery in 78th Street Studios.”

BAYarts CAN Triennial Exhibition Prize artist Allison Bogard Hall

BAYarts: Allison Bogard Hall

Selected by Karen Petkovic, Artistic Director

BAYarts provides a welcoming lakeside environment to stimulate, encourage, and support professional and aspiring artists through collaboration, education, and exhibition. Each year, over 65,000 visitors experience BAYarts, located in the Huntington Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks.

“BAYarts has chosen Allison Bogard Hall to be the recipient of the Exhibition Prize for the 2022 CAN Triennial. Allison has been connected to BAYarts throughout her journey as an artist and we are so pleased to be able to provide her with this opportunity. 

I have always been drawn to her work. Even at a young age, she had such an ability to convey a visual narrative with her painting. If she painted a house or a landscape, there was always more below the surface. Her ability to convey this emotion has developed and deepened as she has grown into her artistic practice. Bringing her home to BAYarts could not be a better fit for us.   

The role of a community art center is to cultivate and support artists of all levels, and having one of our students succeed as Allison has confirms our commitment to this community.” 

Buday, by Butler Institute of American Art CAN Triennial Exhibition Prize artist Amy Casey

The Butler Institute of American Art: Amy Casey

Selected by Liz Hicks-Skeels, Associate Preparator

Founded in 1919, The Butler Institute was the first museum dedicated exclusively to American art. Its collection preserves over 22,000 individual works in all media created by American artists, and Butler’s annual Midyear Exhibition, now in its 86th year, is a juried show exhibiting contemporary works from adult artists throughout the United States and its territories.

“Writing on behalf of the curatorial team given this project, it must first be acknowledged what a joy it was to become acquainted with work of so many very skilled artists who reside within Northeast Ohio.

Amy Casey’s work caught our attention and held it snug in a net, just like certain houses found in her impossible landscapes. This capture is born from her dynamic interaction of home and road, building and bridge, that linger in our memories. It is the suspension, straddling, and haphazard stacking of city shapes that at times generate a dichotomous tension which defies its own revelation of tumbledown configurations. Her compositions are strong as the community they are modeled after. And for that, The Butler Institute of American Art is thrilled to host Casey’s work, as well as to have taken part in this year’s CAN Triennial.”

Where are al the young men gone, by Canton Museum of Art CAN Triennial exhibition prize artist Augusto Bordelois.

Canton Museum of Art: Augusto Bordelois

Selected by Christy Davis, Curator of Exhibitions, and Kaleigh Pisani-Paige, Curator of Collections

The Canton Museum of Art is recognized for its acclaimed collection of American works on paper, primarily watercolors, and ceramics. They present twelve to fourteen exhibits each year, which include national touring shows, original CMA-curated productions of celebrated American artists and diverse regional talents, and themed exhibitions.

“Northeast Ohio is home to an outstanding number of talented working artists. The Canton Museum of Art is pleased to be a part of the second CAN Triennial and to review the fine works that have appeared in Cleveland. We were immediately drawn to Augusto Bordelois at the Bonfoey Gallery, and his powerful artist statement of portraying ‘the promise of the American Dream, the discrepancy between the wealthy and those less fortunate, but also how we all have our own entitlements’ confirmed our selection. Bordelois’ work has a unique voice and spirited story imagined on canvas. The symbolism and imagery present is all at once thought provoking, relatable, and familiar, while causing you to look deeper and ask questions. His use of animals as stand-ins for humans focuses on issues of class and immigration across America with a painting style that reflects his Cuban heritage and training. Bordelois has long been a part of the artistic community in Northeast Ohio and has established a large body of work, with personal and societal themes that resonate across borders.”

Air, by Erie Art Museum CAN Triennial Exhibition Prize Artist, Qian Li.

Erie Art Museum (Erie, PA): Qian Li

Selected by Laura Domencic, Executive Director

The Erie Art Museum promotes and advances the visual arts through its quality art collection, encouraging art in all its forms, fostering lifelong art learning, and building community among artists, art students, and the public. Its collection’s strengths include American ceramics, Tibetan paintings, Indian bronzes, photography, and comic book art.

“Qian Li’s poetic use of materials stood out to me. Her dynamic range of work in video, painting, and interactive installation offers exciting possibilities for an exhibition. Her unique visual language, based in abstraction, explores personal and social issues. I find Li’s artistic practice compelling and relevant to understanding our complex culture. Her perspective is rooted in her experience as a female artist who immigrated from China. She extends her practice through innovative projects such as curating the exhibition Tradition Re-Interpreted: New Work by Chinese Artists. This, as well as her experience as a professor at Cleveland State University, will enrich our educational programs for visitors, artists, schools, and community partnerships.

We are excited to partner with the CAN Triennial to celebrate the creative voices in the region. Presenting Li’s work will strengthen the connection among our artists and cultural organizations.”

Him, by Mansfield Art Center Exhibition Prize artist Leigh Brooklyn

Mansfield Art Center: Leigh Brooklyn

Selected by George Whitten, Executive Director, and Tim Gorka, Exhibition Chair

Mansfield Art Center makes its home on acres of wooded meadows, in an award-winning modernist building designed by Cleveland-based architect Don Hisaka. Its exhibition schedule includes a mix of curated, juried, invitational, and traveling exhibits; its full education department recently added a glass blowing and ceramics wing.

“Upon entering a room and sharing space with Leigh Brooklyn’s art, the viewer is immediately drawn in by the materials and techniques that she employs to bring her message, as well as the scale and grace of her work. Her portraits speak to connected humanity, social justice, and empowerment, through concentrated narratives that are highly relevant in today’s world.

Observing Brooklyn’s body of work, it’s apparent that her time spent in scientific illustration provided an inevitable tool for her future paintings. She brings an understanding of not only the structure that underlies the person, but also the person that underlies the bones themselves. 

Her perception and experience, along with her hard-won skills, are used to foster empowerment through her art. Brooklyn’s insight and strength are fully evident and essential, as she links arms with other powerful women and marches into the fray. 

We all want her ‘love bombs’ to work.”

Sneakerhead, by Massillon Museum CAN Triennial Exhibition Prize artist Maxmillian Peralta

Massillon Museum: Maxmillian Peralta 

Selected by Alex Coon, Executive Director, and Emily Vigil, Studio M Coordinator

The Massillon Museum collects, preserves and exhibits art and artifacts to enrich its community through education and experience. Major collections include photography; costumes and textiles; china, glass, and pottery; domestic appliances; and circus memorabilia.

“Massillon Museum selected Maxmillian Peralta as our CAN Triennial Exhibition Prize winner. His large scale, realistic portraits capture contemporary life and fashion, making a statement about what he describes as the ‘exclusionary history of portraiture.’ Beyond straightforward portraiture, paintings like ‘Sneakerhead III’ highlight relationships between class and dress. Although his compositions sometimes reference 15th- and 16th-century court paintings, his subject matter and concepts are relevant to our times. Massillon Museum is a cultural hub where art and history come together. Peralta’s artwork fits with this mission because it makes a statement about history and culture through the language of fine art. Peralta is a 2021 graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art. We are excited for this opportunity to feature an artist at a rising point in his career trajectory, and we look forward to increased engagement with our visitors through his unique perspective.” 

Still from Concurrence: A Brief Portrait of Darius, video by Summit Artspace CAN Triennial Exhibition Prize artist Kasumi.

Summit Artspace: Kasumi

Selected by Heather Meeker, Executive Director and Natalie Grieshammer Patrick, Director of Artist Resources

Located in the Historic Arts District in downtown Akron, Summit Artspace offers studio space to artists and creative organizations and acts as a hub for artists and art supporters to connect and share ideas. Their five galleries feature quarterly exhibitions, and coordination of public programs such as ArtWalk engage the community with art and local creators.

“Summit Artspace is thrilled to work with internationally renowned Cleveland-based digital artist Kasumi. The pop culture references and gestures she examines in her artwork are simultaneously familiar and unsettling at once, challenging us to question our own sense of reality. The breadth of physical and digital outputs in Kasumi’s artwork offers multiple opportunities for viewers to experience her bold, psychedelic aesthetic.  While visiting the CAN Triennial, our curatorial team was enamored with Kasumi’s collages, lenticular prints, and video work, and we imagined the ways Kasumi could transform our Taylor Main gallery to give our visitors a unique, immersive experience unlike anything we have hosted before. We are excited to see how she envisions her work in the space.”

The 2022 CAN Triennial Purchase Prizes

I Won’t Tell You The Rules, by Cleveland Art Association CAN Triennial Purchase Prize artist Will Wilson

Cleveland Art Association (cARTa): Will Wilson, “I Won’t Tell You the Rules”

cARTa promotes and supports visual arts in greater Cleveland with its collection of over 200 works that include paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, textiles, ceramics and glass by notable Cleveland artists which it lends to its members. Proceeds from the sale of art and membership dues help fund the organization’s primary mission of providing scholarships to the Cleveland Institute of Art.  

“Wilson’s work ‘I Won’t Tell You the Rules’ was the perfect choice to be our second CAN Purchase Prize recipient. While the piece is visually stimulating, a mixed media game board of sorts, more importantly, it is thought-provoking. This work speaks to the challenges that students from economically challenged backgrounds face applying, enrolling, and graduating from college. 

As Wilson says, ‘I was considering the meaning and implication of You Are Here (CAN Triennial’s theme) in the ways in which our starting points in life impact the length and difficulty of the paths we’re on, inevitably having enormous impact on our success in life. The greatest indicator for poverty is poverty. This led me to create mazes that are easier for some to solve than others or for outcomes of seemingly random choices to be positive or negative. I invite you to play along while thinking about the things in your life that have given you advantage or opportunity that others may not have.’”

Jon Logan Collection CAN Triennial Purchase Prize artist Eric Rippert
Jon Logan Collection CAN Triennial Purchase Prize artist Rita Montlack

Collection of Jon Logan: Eric Rippert and Rita Montlack

“The CAN Triennial is an expansive event with artists producing works in a wide range of styles and formats. I decided early on I needed to get new works from artists I do not already own and in media that are under-represented in my collection. For my Purchase Prize I chose two artists,  Rita Montlack and Eric Rippert. For me, their works feel extremely different and at the same time similar. Each artist manipulates photographic images of nature with their own process to create strikingly vibrant and colorful images uniquely representative of their own techniques. I have admired each of the artists for many years and have been lucky enough to actually meet both of them. I love how each of the pieces feels to me, evocative of that artist’s individual personality and style. I can imagine Eric out capturing the serene woodland landscape, while Rita is forever one of the most wonderfully chic and uniquely stylish people I have ever met. I look forward to finding each piece new homes on the wall and enjoying them for many years. Thanks for the amazing shows.” 

John Farina and Adam Tully Collection CAN Triennial Purchase Prize: Sine Waiver, by Michael Loderstedt, Lori Kella, and Ethan Loderstedt

Collection of John Farina and Adam Tully: Michael Loderstedt, Lori Kella, and Ethan Loderstedt

Sine Waiver, a joint work by Lori Kella, and Ethan & Michael Loderstedt, was a perfect choice for our CAN Triennial purchase prize. Singularly, we’ve collected works from each artist and proudly display them in our home. It’s only natural that we acquire this wonderful and timely work that is about the neighborhood, and by artists who live in the neighborhood. This work exemplifies so many things: a harmonious coupling of artistic styles, a family working together to create something beautiful, and its integral incorporation into the larger context of An Excavation of Sorts, presented at William Busta Projects. Lori, Ethan & Michael’s works are always thought-provoking and intentional, and with ‘Waiver’ they ask us tough questions about how we see our environmental present, our future, and what has already been lost to time. We look forward to what they create in the future.