Open Season for the Artist

Please note I said open season FOR the artist.  The first round of Fellowship grants to 20 local visual artists was delivered recently by the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture.  The second round, for performing and literary artists, is now in the application stage and will be delivered this fall.  Cleveland is becoming a terrific place for artists to be both recognized and rewarded – and for artists across the country to see Cleveland as a welcome and supportive home. 

The Creative Workforce Fellowships of $20,000 puts Cleveland in the top ranks of cities who acknowledge the value of creativity and the contributions of local artists.  You can hear a little bit about it on my recent podcast.

But I’m also high on artists today because of the great response to the foundation’s own small but exciting rotating art exhibit that takes place in our offices.  (I’m thinking this program needs a snappier name!)  A reception was held here recently for the current exhibit which features the work of seven Cleveland Institute of Art students or recent graduates. The current exhibit “This is Not a Photograph” closes October 9 and can be viewed by anyone during the foundation’s regular business hours.

The exhibit program (called “Showcasing Emerging Artists”) is a foundation collaboration with the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) and Case Western Reserve University’s Department of Art History.  The foundation supports an internship for an Art History graduate student to develop a concept and curate an exhibition for the foundation’s public lobby area, from work by CIA students.  We provide a small stipend to the students who loan their work to the exhibit for a three-to-four month period.  There are three exhibitions per year, each with a different student curator.

Students at both schools get a professional exhibition experience while still in school, the foundation staff and our visitors get an ever changing visual art experience – and sometimes the artists even sell their work.  The latest exhibit saw four pieces sold – two before the show opened, and two the night of the reception.  Pretty cool.