CAN Journal Announces Archiving Partnerships

Now in its second decade, Collective Arts Network is proud to announce archiving partnerships with five of Northeast Ohio’s most respected libraries and collecting institutions: The Cleveland Museum of Art Ingalls Library, Case Western Reserve University Kelvin Smith Library, Cleveland Public Library, Cleveland Institute of Art’s Jessica R. Gund Memorial Library, and Artists Archives of the Western Reserve.

The project began with the realization that regional art publications have not been thoroughly collected, and that without a plan, preservation is not guaranteed. A search of Cleveland Public Library and other records in 2021 showed several publications that were primary sources of information about art in Northeast Ohio in the 21st century were collected scarcely, or not at all. To ensure that CAN would be accessible into the future, the organization began reaching out to potential partners.

Each of these institutions will keep in their collections archivally boxed, complete sets of CAN Journal, and work with the organization on a digital archiving strategy, as well. For example, Cleveland Museum of Art is scanning each page of the magazine and making the images available online through the Ingalls Library.

The record of CAN Journal’s first decade includes the major issues of the era:  ongoing reportage on public funding for the arts, the opening of the Cleveland Museum of Art’s west side branch, Transformer Station; the launch of the FRONT International Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, and ongoing coverage; The Great May Show Debate, several cohorts of the Cleveland Foundation’s Creative Fusion program, including bilingual coverage of an entire cohort of artist from Cuba, artists’ and galleries’ response to the COVID pandemic; increasing racial diversity in galleries and throughout the art sector;  and the enormous breadth of activity by artists, galleries and studios throughout Cleveland’s neighborhoods. In 2019, at its annual, state-wide, peer-reviewed Excellence in Journalism Awards, the Press Club of Cleveland named CAN Journal the Best Magazine in Ohio.

Several representatives from archiving partners offered their thoughts or wrote letters of support:

“The Ingalls Library is thrilled to partner with CAN Journal to ensure the preservation and dissemination of information about Northeast Ohio’s art community for years to come.”

 –Leslie Cade, Director of Ingalls Library and Museum Archives at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Cleveland Museum of Art director and president William Griswold poses with the Summer 2016 CAN Journal, with his colleague Michael Ferry.

“CAN’s quarterly publication, CAN Journal, is an excellent and invaluable source of information on the diverse, equitable, and inclusive arts scene in Greater Cleveland. With its excellent interviews, reviews, commentary, and arts calendar, this periodical provides valuable enrichment to the community’s appreciation of and access to regional arts and culture.”

–Felton Thomas, Executive Director and CEO, Cleveland Public Library

The Cleveland Public Library’s arts programming is extensive, including the See Also installation series, facilitated by LAND Studio, which was featured on the cover of the very first quarterly CAN Journal. CAN also reported on the potential for growth when CPL hired former LAND staffer Tiffany Graham Charkosky as its first-ever Director of Art and Culture.

“We believe that the printed CAN Journal is not only a fantastic snapshot of everything art­ related that is happening now, but also a valuable resource for the future study of our Western Reserve culture and should be collected and preserved. CAN, and the printed CAN Journal will provide valuable information for future generations who are interested in the past history of our visual arts and culture.”  

– Mindy Tousley, Executive Director, Artists Archives of the Western Reserve

The Winter 2017-2018 issue of CAN featured cover art by Mindy Tousley, director of our archiving partner, Artists Archives of the Western Reserve.

CAN Journal “has become the most important record of art activity in the region.  … The magazine records things that otherwise would disappear without a tangible trace. For example, it provides extensive coverage of emerging artists, who often initially receive only modest attention, but later prove to be very important. Its value will only become more apparent over time.

–Henry Adams, Ruth Coulter Professor of Art History, Case Western Reserve University

The Spring 2014 issue of CAN featured cover art by Julian Stanczak, along with the publication of an open letter from CWRU professor Henry Adams, urging the university to grant the artist an honorary doctorate.

“CAN Journal stands as a vibrant tapestry, weaving together the intricate threads of Northeast Ohio’s contemporary visual arts and culture scene. More than just a magazine, it is a living chronicle of everything art-related that is happening in our region, illuminating a diverse and dynamic landscape that includes many Cleveland Institute of Art graduates. The archive project ensures that CAN Journal is not confined to the present; it is a bridge to the future and a window to the past. Each issue is a chapter in our history—an invaluable record that will guide future researchers, artists and anyone passionate about the history of visual arts in our region. For those reasons and more, the Jessica R. Gund Memorial Library is proud to partner on this project.”

–Laura M. Ponikvar, MA, MLS, Director, Jessica R. Gund Memorial Library

Installation photo of sculpture by Cleveland Institute of Art graduate Lauren Yeager, who was among five artists selected by SPACES director Tizziana Baldenebro and co-curator Lauren Yeager for Everlasting Plastics, the installation at the US Pavilion at the 2023 Venice Biennale. Graduates and faculty of CIA are regularly featured on the pages and covers CAN Journal–including the Fall 2023 cover, which features painting by recent graduate Crystal Miller.

Archival boxes have been created by HF Group, and lined with paper handmade or marbled by Cleveland artists. Artists include Tom Balbo, James Gruzosky, Nicole Malcolm, Andrew Mancuso, Michaelle Marschall, Jen Omaitz, Stephen Pittelkow, Gina Washington with students of the Rainey Institute, and Tony Williams.

The archives will be celebrated at the CAN Journal Archive Benefit Party, 6:30 – 9:30 pm Saturday, October 21 in Brett Hall, Cleveland Public Library Main Branch, 325 Superior Avenue, Cleveland. Brett Hall is the site of British artist Rebecca Louise Law’s installation, facilitated by LAND Studio, serendipitously titled The Archive, which is made from an estimated half a million dried flowers, strung on copper wire by volunteers.

Collective Arts Network receives major support from Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, the Ohio Arts Council, the Cleveland Foundation, and the George Gund Foundation.

The CAN Journal Archive Project has received major support from Wally Lanci,

and from William Busta and Joan Tomkins.

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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