Creative Fusion Update: Behrang Samadzadegan

For three months, beginning in September, six international artists created, collaborated and engaged with the Greater Cleveland community through our Creative Fusion international-artist-in-residence program. Hailing from Chile, Iran, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, the artists in the Creative Fusion 2015 fall class were in residency at local arts organizations including Cleveland Print Room, The Sculpture Center, Negative Space Gallery, Zygote Press, Rainey Institute and Waterloo Arts. We blogged about each artist in October, and now that the fall 2015 residency has ended, we’re giving a brief update about each artists’ work and experience during their time in our city. This is the fourth of six updates on the fall 2015 Creative Fusion artists.

The impact of Behrang Samadzadegan’s residency reached far beyond the walls of his host organization, Zygote Press, as he traveled around Cleveland to work with an array of local students. At the Boys & Girls Club at St. Luke’s Manor, Behrang taught students how to apply color in surprising and interesting ways in their art. He particularly enjoyed the delight and wonder the kids expressed when they experienced the process of mixing colors for the first time.

At St. Martin de Porres High School, Behrang spoke with Sarah Marcus’ 11th grade creative writing class about his art and life in Iran. The class was preparing to read Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, an autobiographical graphic novel about Satrapi’s experience growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. Behrang’s visit was particularly timely, as much of his solo exhibition at Zygote Press, Heading Utopia, responded to his similar experience.

Behrang also worked with college students studying fine art. Throughout his residency, he visited advanced painting classes taught by Tony Ingrisano, Corrie Slawson and Lane Cooper at the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA). In these class sessions, Behrang shared his insights and critical dialogue about the students’ work. He was also a guest artist in criticism and theory classes at CIA and he delivered a lecture at the University of Akron.