Is 2012 the year of the collective? Based on the DIY art spaces that are springing up across the city, it would certainly seem like a trend-in-the-making.
, a new collaborative art space that is located in a former auction house, is the latest creative hotspot to join the list. Founders Joe Lanzilotta and Derek Maxfield are recent college graduates who started the gallery and co-op style workspace after obtaining fine arts and graphic design degrees from Ohio University and being faced with a tight job market.
Yet the founders' desire to start their own creative space went beyond their dim job prospects, Lanzilotta says. They began hunting for cool, affordable space because they wanted to do their own thing and shape their own destiny.
"We wanted a spot we could build our own reputation from," says Lanzilotta, who seized the 5,700-square-foot space at 3910 Lorain Avenue after the sympathetic landlord enticed them with a couple months free rent and an affordable lease rate. "After I completed an internship in Chicago, I had the feeling that I really wanted to come back to Cleveland and create something on my own."
BuckBuck recently hosted its first art show in the newly-created gallery -- its founders literally erected walls and hung artwork with only a few weeks notice -- during this year's Palookafest event. The annual chili cook-off and competition was created by Ian P.E., the owner of Palookaville Chili
, which opened in an adjacent storefront in early 2011.
Thanks to a proliferation of cheap, available storefronts on Lorain, Lanzilotta says that a small creative community is springing up. Recently, a furniture maker moved in next door, and there is also a new tattoo shop across the street.
Source: Joe Lanzilotta
Writer: Lee Chilcote