Creative Fusion Update: Nico Grum

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 second of six updates on the fall 2015 Creative Fusion artists.

Over the course of their residency, Nico Grum and his wife Isabel Torres connected with students of all ages through long-term collaborative art projects. Nico worked on a five-week project with sculpture students in Irina Koukhanova’s introduction to sculpture class at Cleveland State University (CSU). In a series of workshop sessions, Nico and the CSU students explored the relationship between sculpture and the social and political environment. Through the course of the workshops, the students worked in groups to create four public outdoor sculptures.

Nico and Isabel also worked with 7th graders at Scranton, a CMSD elementary school in Tremont, to develop a student art collection. After much artistic exploration, the Scranton students chose to express their memories and sentiments about their school and neighborhood in the form of a large ceramic work, which was fired in the kiln at CSU’s sculpture studio.

Although he dedicated many hours to community outreach, Nico still found time to work on his own art. The body of work he created in Cleveland consists mostly of miniature sculptures and models that explore metaphors of societal power structures. This work is on display at his solo exhibition, The History of Power, in the Sculpture Center’s Main Gallery, until December 19th.