The Cleveland Arts Prize 2007

I am a complete slacker! I forgot to post that you should all go nominate your favorite Cleveland artists for the Cleveland Arts Prize (which is a pretty major award) Unfortunately the deadline is February 28th, 2007! Yes, that is tomorrow (or today by the time most of you are reading this) .

My profuse apologies for not getting this posted in a timely manner.

For you organized people, if you can do it in time go to Nominations for the Cleveland Arts Prize to nominate the visual arts, music and dance, literature or design artist you believe is deserving of this prize.
Awards will be given to an emerging artist who has created a significant work or project, mid-career artists who have already garnered a positive national recognition, and there are other special citations as well.

I personally would like to encourage you to think of artists who are visionary, creative, and also attempt to build our city of Cleveland up with their arts. Think of someone who you believe has made a significant impact on our culture.

If you would just like to visit the Cleveland Arts Prize web-site (there’s lots more including award winners, links to events, etc..)
visitThe Cleveland Arts Prize


Hooray for Alternative Energy

Yes, I realize this is a blog about the arts but I am also a huge alternative energy fan, I’m a strong believer that Cleveland’s investment into the manufacturing of fuel cells will be a huge boost to our economy and attract more jobs. That’s part of the reason why the I’m thrilled about the opening of the Pacific Fuel Cell Willoughby production plant that just opened. If you wonder why I think this is big for the economy just read more about the Third Frontier Project:

I’m also posting the link to the article on Pacific Fuel Cells from Crain’s Cleveland Business:
Crain’s Article on Pacific Fuel Cells

Now I will return you to your regularly scheduled art coverage. ;P

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New blog link added: Your Daily Art

Normally, I just link to new blogs when I find them interesting, but since this one was so relevant I figured I’d bring a little more attention to it and write a little blurb. Your Daily Art is by Clevelander, Martha who describes her blog by her intro: “Welcome to my art history blog. The format is simple and the purpose is to show you a piece of art, give you a little background, and leave the rest up to you.”

Basically that is it in a nutshell. Every few days or so she posts an art image with a short description. What’s great about the site is that she doesn’t limit her selection or keep it too narrowly focused. This past week alone she featured Mary Cassatt, The Lincoln Memorial, The Peacock Room, and a Renoir. It is heavy on the paintings and drawings, but she does occasionally seem to feature sculpture or architecture pieces.

It really is a great way to get exposed to many different artists, and would be an excellent springboard for discovering artists you would like to explore further.

Think of it as one of those little daily calendars where you rip off a page, but this time instead of a daily joke or bible verse, your growing in your knowledge of the art world.Your Daily Art

Cleveland Design Competion: Fight Urban Decay

Ever looked at a decaying, abandoned, poorly planned landscape and thought “Well that could be better if it just…” Do you have a knack for recognizing the potential beauty in what may seem like an ugly place? Do you have the skills and knowledge to back up your views? Then the Cleveland Design Competition might be for you. This years competition calls on entrants to “present nationally prominent, architecturally significant design solutions” for the area known as “Irishtown Bend”, the rather unstable and barely accessible hillside on the Cuyahoga River’s West Bank.

Find out how to enter at

Get going though, deadlines for portions of entry are soon!

Cleveland Local Artist Web-site feature: Katie Balas

Last year at some point I came across the work of Katie Balas at an outdoor art show. I actually cannot even remember what show, but I found her work so striking I had to grab one of her cards (I’d have grabbed a painting too, but at the time with an upcoming wedding it just wasn’t in the budget!) What struck me at once was the incredible texture in her paintings. She layers the paints and makes them so incredibly dimensional. I found many of her paintings to be earthy and reminiscent of nature even though some are rather contemporary and geometric in nature. Check out here gallery of commissions and you will see how beautiful and striking they look in many home and business settings.

You can view much of her work and upcoming events

Why (a blog on ) The Arts in Cleveland?

I guess I’m finally getting to the point where I’ve grown into this blog enough to clarify why I’ve started it in the first place. There’s a reason why I’m highly interested in Ingenuity, and looking for more more information on the District of Design, and even posting links to various events.

While we have some thriving arts organizations (e.g The Cleveland Orchestra, The Art Museum, etc…) and even a decent amount of galleries, there seem to be varying degrees, levels and layers of art missing that would give us more of an entire art culture in this city. Where are the links between our major arts organizations and indie artists? Where are the opportunities for the general or mainstream population to actually be more participatory in our arts community instead of just casual observers or consumers? I know there’s some there, but they are often hard to find, under-recognized or under marketed, or even possibly intimidating to a casual observer.

Other cities are almost synonomous with the idea of creation, of style, of art. For too long Cleveland has been thought of as an ugly, industrial city, and I’d like to see that change.

I think a lot of the arts are intimidating for your average person (imagine the hoity-toity art gallery scenario here). It would be nice to see an even larger arts culture develop in Cleveland, a collaboration between organizations that is easier to see and understandable, outlets for expression and exploration and observation that are easy to find (and maybe even centrally located)

A lot of this stems from my own interest in enriching my life. Since I’m spending time trying to research how I can take a more active role in our arts community, to see more, to do more, to experience more, to connect more with what is being done, why not share it. I do make no excuses for not specifically limiting this to just Cleveland. It is my blog after all, arts in other areas are interesting as well. ;P

I should clarify what I mean by art I suppose as well, since people do have different connotations when it comes to art. I love what is considered “fine art” and have great respect for masters of various media. However, when I talk of art, I mean anything that is done with a passion. This can be home decor, crafts, music, dance, heck even landscaping and construction. Anything that a person puts their creativity into with enthusiasm and then looks back at their “creation” with satisfaction is art to me. In this blog when I make posts, add links, or discuss things I have that version of art in mind. Art that i think can be accessible to all and art that should be important to all. It’s art that can revitalize where we live, how we think and feel, and who we are. It’s art that can connect us and enrich us.

While some of my posts may seem silly and some more serious, the point is that to me the Cleveland arts should be accessible and relevant to all.

Furthermore, I’m not writing this as any sort of an expert, not even as a superb artist, not as a critic, not quite an observer, not quite a participant, but as your average ordinary person who just wants to see the bigger picture and learn from it. I’m just trying to see how the arts as I envision them may be unfolding around me, and find all the others who have the same visions of what are arts can and will be for all

Resource Revival

So it occured to me I haven’t posted any “shopping” blogs with pretty bright photos lately. đŸ™‚ So may I take this opportunity to direct you to a shopping site is “slightly” on the more serious side.
Resource Revival features what they call “unique recycled gifts and home furnishings”. Lately, I have been so into the idea of recycled art. Express yourself, and help the environment! It takes something special to find the beauty in what otherwise might become waste. Really check out this coffee table made out of recycled old bicycle parts!

There you go, not a bright photo, but a pretty photo.

Cleveland: The District of Design

I’ve been hearing a lot about Cleveland’s “District of Design” and I’m not quite sure what to think of it yet so I’m posting a link to the project web-site

Considering I’m highly interested in design and the impact it has on our lives, I’d like to do a lot more research into what the plans for this District of Design are and how those plans are to be implemented. The buzzwords are that the project when completed will make Cleveland a “Milan of the Midwest”. I have some concerns, apparently the project is relying on regional expertise, and while I believe this is essential, I’m not so sure that our regional brands are exactly the forefront of cutting edge design. While Hoover, Little Tikes and Rubbermaid do make some great products when I think of those names I certainly don’t think..”Oooh…stylish. So Milan” The web-site also says that “The climate for design has never been better, consumers are paying for better design and companies have begun to respond. ….. while retailers like Target and Lowes have integrated design into their business strategy ” I’d love to see what figures they have to back that up for Cleveland. While I agree, there is a growing national consumer trend, I’m not so sure how willing your average Clevelander is really willing to pay for it. (I mean imagine if Target didn’t have those great prices!)

I like the concept of “The Marketplace” which will open up some of this design district to consumers. I’m not so sure about the “periodic” way in which these showrooms will be open, nor their central focus on consumer products versus design and architecture. I’d rather see the district do more to fuse what I consider the more artistic aspects of design with consumerism.

Note: Looking back over what I wrote yesterday (See what happens when you post in the middle of the night), I feel that I may have put more of a negative tone than I wanted to on this. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of a District of Design, and really just wanted to play a little Devil’s Advocate I guess. I think above all I’m curious to see how this will work out, and interested in finding out more.

The Influence of Moby on Today’s Commercial World.

So my husband and I were getting into a disagreement today over the extent to which Moby had an influence on techno (and I use that term loosely, perhaps electronic music is an even better term) in today’s commercial world. I think he was actually more arguing dates and semantics, but my position is that I would largely credit Moby with much of the “electronic” sound we hear in today’s commercials, sitcom themes, sporting events, and movie themes. Of course without countless hours of time to go back through twenty years worth of music and look at the trends it’s impossible to prove. Moby was not the only person to be putting out such sounds in the early to mid-90’s, but he was I believe, a major proponent of the licensing of such music, and the force that drove such music into the market full-force.

Many other sources discuss the commercial success of Play as being what really showed that electronic music could be commercially viable, when it was not previously thought to be so. I tend to think that the cogs of the wheel of commercial success were set in motion even a few years before that.

Just consider that his commercial media credits trace all the way back to a movie (Cool World) in 1992, and well over twenty movies since then(Heat, The Bourne Identity, Black Hawk Down, Any Given Sunday and more), at least eight commercials, and then documentaries, tv promos and shows (e.g The Sopranos), trailers, etc… Moby’s success with “Play” did indeed  somewhat prove that electronic music, though it may rise and fall in the club scene, was definitely here to stay in our media world.

I’ve tried searching and have yet to find an electronic producer who has such a prolific resume of media. I also have yet also to discover evidence of a large body of electronic music coming from one source before Moby.

Heck, I don’t suppose it matters. I have respect for the guy, respect for his music, respect for his ideas. He’s a modern day composer who has caused music to evolve, helped people to evolve in the music they listen to, and evolved musically himself.

Gallery Spotlight: Artefino Cafe

In the interests of exposing whoever reads this blog to various art venues in Cleveland (and myself as well) I am going to attempt to at least monthly do a spotlight write-up on a local gallery. This month’s gallery is the Artefino Cafe and Gallery in the historic Towerpress building. At Artefino you can find art by Hector Vega; you know those cool, brightly colored and highly detailed paintings of various Cleveland locations and landmarks as well as other local artists. What’s more is that Artefino is also a cafe serving healthy sounding food such as smoothies, soups, salads and sandwiches
(with cute names like the Jackson Pollack and the Andy Warhol). So you can come to munch and relax and then take you time perusing the artwork which includes sculpture, prints, jewelry and paintings.

Don’t get confused as to the location….it’s directly in the front of the building across the hall from where Something Dada is also weekly performing their Improv acts. (Just check the buzzer menu and get buzzed in!) There’s free parking right behind the building, though street parking is often available right up front.

Check out their web-site at