From Canvas to Composition: Art and Poetry Converge at Valley Art Center

Current Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate Siaara Freeman addressing the crowd at last year’s Ekphrastacy event in The Bowen Gallery at Valley Art Center.

Valley Art Center (VAC) is thrilled to announce the 52nd Annual Juried Art Exhibition, where visual art and poetry converge, running through December 13. Artists hailing from a 250-mile radius submitted their works to be juried by an esteemed panel: McKenzie Beynon from Kink Contemporary, Anastasia Pantsios of, and Gina Washington of The Visit Arts Collective.

Returning this year is the partnership with Heights Arts, culminating in the Ekphrastacy – Artists Talk + Poets Respond event scheduled for 6 pm on Friday, December 1. Current Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate Siaara Freeman and a cadre of accomplished poets are guiding this creative exchange of visual and spoken word artistry. Together, they will craft and recite poems directly inspired by the captivating artworks on display at the 52nd Annual Juried Art Exhibition, weaving a harmonious tapestry of artistic expression. “Ekphrastacy at its core is an interactive art process,” says Freeman. “It is a chance for artists to become familiar with one another’s work alongside the opportunity to explore new mediums and methods of creation.”

Artist Tracy Ameen and CFPCC student artist. Photo by Brandon Stubbs.

In the midst of this vibrant celebration, Valley Art Center has invigorated the creative partnership and expanded our outreach with the Chagrin Falls Park Community Center (CFPCC). Located just four minutes from downtown Chagrin Falls, the center serves the needs of underserved families and children in the community through afterschool programming, summer camps, a food pantry, and other services. Valley Art Center has long been a presence within the CFPCC After School Program, fostering creativity among students. With the support of the Cleveland Foundation and contributions from individual donors, Valley Art Center continues to provide essential art therapy and clay experiences to the children and teenagers of CFPCC.

Under the expert guidance of nationally-renowned potter Tracy Ameen and the dedicated mentorship of VAC art instructor Jessica Goggins, young artists have uncovered the world of ceramics and the sheer joy of artistic creation with underpinnings of art therapy. CFPCC Program Director Andrea Pollock says, “The long-standing partnership between Chagrin Falls Park Community Center and Valley Art Center has proven to be crucial to the creative well-being of our Young Scholars who look forward to expressing themselves through all types of art.” With the backing of the Cleveland Foundation and donors, VAC eagerly anticipates nurturing Chagrin Falls youths’ artistic talents and confidence, illuminating a path toward an even brighter artistic horizon for all.

155 Bell Street

Chagrin Falls, Ohio 44022



52nd Annual Juried Art Exhibition, through December 13

Ekphrastacy – Artists Talk + Poets Respond, 6 pm Friday, December 1

3rd Annual Emerging Young Artist Exhibition Call For Artists begins January 29, 2024

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