They hail from Taiwan, South Africa, Pakistan and Albania. Their crafts range from interactive installations and paintings to sculpture and martial arts-inspired dance. On March 1, the Cleveland Foundation’s newest cohort of Creative Fusion artists arrived in Cleveland for their spring residencies.
So far this month, the artists, pictured above, have attended gallery openings and receptions and started putting down roots at their host sites across Greater Cleveland.
The Cleveland Foundation has partnered with CAN Journal, a print and online voice for the arts community in Northeast Ohio, to highlight these Creative Fusion artists, their host organizations and the work they will do in our community.
What is Creative Fusion?
It’s the Cleveland Foundation’s international artist residency program, which has brought more than 70 artists from underrepresented cultures to Cleveland since 2008. Each artist is hosted by a local cultural organization during their three-month stay. We welcome Creative Fusion cohorts twice a year, in spring and fall.
Creative Fusion is unique in that the artist takes on innovative work in their disciplines, but also engages deeply with local organizations, artists and students within the Greater Cleveland community.
Meet our Spring 2016 Creative Fusion Artists:
Jia-Hua “DuDu” Zhan, Center for Arts-Inspired Learning
Taiwanese installation artist and digital engineer Jia-Hua “DuDu” Zhan’s portfolio includes free-thinking constructions, 3-D interactive inventions, participatory collage, and virtual body movement installations. Her residency with the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning, which promotes creative learning for children through the arts, marks her first trip to the United States. During her residency, Zhan plans to bring interactive projects and digital design to area schools.
Blessing Ngobeni, Cleveland Print Room
South African visual artist Blessing Ngobeni begins his Creative Fusion residency with the Cleveland Print Room, a community darkroom and gallery located in the St. Clair/Superior neighborhood. He will be working with painting and drawing students from Cleveland Institute of Art and Cleveland State University, as well as with children at Lake Erie Ink. Ngobeni’s art includes painting, collage and work with found objects.
Hui Lin Chang, Inlet Dance Theatre
Taiwanese artist Hui Lin Chuang crafts intricate and delicate sculpture using new and recycled artificial materials. Her residency with Inlet Dance Theatre, a contemporary dance company, is a collision of stage design, installation and movement. Chuang studied plastic arts at Da Yeh University and the Taipai National University of the Arts in Taiwan, from which she received her MFA in 2009.
Abdullah Qamer, The Sculpture Center
Pakistani sculptor Abdullah Qamer begins his residency with The Sculpture Center, an arts installation and sculpture gallery. Qamer uses reclaimed materials and metals with a focus on instilling movement and life in inanimate objects. The Sculpture Center, located along the RTA’s HealthLine, aims for Qamer to kick off a partnership with the nearby Free Clinic, by offering art classes to Free Clinic patients, in addition to working with the sculpture department of Cleveland State University.
Lee-Ming Cheng, Verb Ballets
Taiwanese dancer and choreographer Lee Ming-Cheng will join Verb Ballets for his Creative Fusion residency, bringing a hybrid of classical western dance and eastern movements inspired by Tai Chi. Cheng will work with dancers at Verb Ballets, a contemporary dance company, on dance choreography.
Anila Rubiku, Zygote Press
Albanian artist and social activist Anila Rubiku joins Zygote Press, an artist workshop promoting fine-art printing, for her residency. Rubiku, whose work ranges from art publications to watercolor, each bringing attention to social issues. She will be exploring the local Cleveland community, connecting with local artists, and may lead community workshops during her stay in Cleveland.
Stay tuned to follow our Creative Fusion artists over the next three months as they begin their Cleveland adventure!
Photo: Spring 2016 Creative Fusion artists arrive in Cleveland.