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Edgy show captivates with vintage motorcycle images

On Friday, March 17, from 5 – 9 p.m., legendary local artist Shirley Aley Campbell’s rarely exhibited collection, “The Motorcyclists of the Seventies” will be on display at 78th Street Studios in the second floor corridor and Suite 215.
 
The 13 large scale oil paintings were commissioned by local businessman Joseph Erdelac in 1973 and were completed in 1981. The resulting works are utterly captivating on their own, but they take on new dimension considering the background stories of the riders, which include "The Flying Angel" Debbie Lawler, who was a noted and prolific motorcycle jumper at a time when few women could successfully compete with the likes of Evel Knievel; America's “First Lady of Motorcycling” — pink Harley-riding Dot Robinson; and John Knoble and Bob 'Laco' Lawrence of the Hell's Angels Los Angeles Motorcycle Club.
 
Gene Wirwah, legal counsel for the American Motorcycle Association, helped Campbell choose her subjects.


 
Campbell, a 1947 Cleveland Institute of Art grad and 1986 Cleveland Arts Prize recipient, has work in the collections of the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Butler Institute of American Art and Case Western Reserve University, as well as private collections throughout the United States. Her work has been exhibited at major museums throughout the country.
 
"Motorcycles" will be on view through April 8 and will return this summer. Campbell will be on hand for tomorrow's opening to meet and chat with attendees and discuss her work.
 
For more information contact 78th Street Studios director Daniel Bush at 440-503-5506 or dan@78thstreetstudios.com.
 

New "Palettes" show lingers like a lover's kiss


Billed as "Palettes for the Senses: Art + Scent Demystified," HEDGE Gallery's new show may be described any number of ways, but "demystified" probably isn't among them. Instead, the visual and olfactory show evokes things profoundly mystifying.
 
A collection of 11 local and national artists presents works in various media, each of which is paired with a scent carefully curated by Ann Bouterse of Indigo Perfumery.
 
Next to each offering, a glass cloche upon a pedestal houses a vial of perfume. Visitors are invited to lift the dome and inhale deeply of its upturned interior. The scents are immersive to the point of sensuality and beyond. They also impart an unexpected new dimension to the artworks that is surprisingly effective.
 
Try Nikki Woods' Sugar Shack paired with Sulmona by Coquillete Paris, Liz Maugens' Fractured Atlas and funky neon Facts of Life accented by Molecule 02 by Escentric Molecules or Rebecca Cross's Sheild (pink spikes) and Shield (green spikes) floating upon notes of Dupont Circle by monsillage.
 
This author will not attempt the journalistic version of a "dancing about architecture" faux pas and apply awkward descriptions to these transcendent and unique perfumes. Suffice it to say when you leave the show, the quiet and personal experience stays with you like the impression of a lover's gentle lips.
 
Readers are invited to judge for themselves at the opening reception tonight from 5 to 9 p.m. A  when Bouterse of Indigo will be present to discuss the creation of custom fragrances and the complex nature of the scents she curated for the show. This event is free and open to the public.
 
The gallery's regular hours are Tuesday through Friday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and every third Friday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Weekends and evenings by appointment. HEDGE is on the second floor of the 78th Street Studios.
 
"Palettes for the Senses: Art + Scent Demystified" will be on view through March 3.
 

Local craftsman welds discarded objects with art

Jereme Westfall, owner and artist of Work of Arc Welding, prides himself on breathing new life into discarded objects.
 
A damaged cello Westfall purchased from a music store, for example, is now a lighted sculpture complete with ribbed metal wings. The instrument can no longer play a beautiful concerto, but it's still lovely to behold, says its owner.
 
From his workshop at Steelyard Commons, Westfall also welds a unique identity onto working lamps, clocks, shelving, fountains and wall hangings. Primarily focused on metals, the arts-centric entrepreneur "upcycles" junk into works he sells at gallery shows or on his Etsy site.
 
"I take garbage and instead of recycling it to its original form, I'm turning it into something that still has a use," says Westfall, 39. "I've got a basement filled with valves, springs and other stuff that inspires me."
 
Hard work comes at cost for customers, although some pieces can be had at lower prices than others. Westfall's cello sculpture, a product of 100 man hours and $500 in materials, sells for $3,100, while his lamps run from $320-$355. More affordable offerings include business card holders built from transmission gears, which are $35 each.  
 
Westfall opened his studio a year ago after receiving certification from the Lincoln Electric Welding School. Creating functional art full time wasn't his first thought upon entering the industry, however.
 
"I worked as a welder for awhile, then decided I wanted to make my own rules," Westfall says. "I started making my own stuff, went to some art shows, and things took off from there."
 
Westfall's steampunk/industrial style lends itself to rustic spaces or the average man cave, he notes. The Medina native tries to add something quirky to each piece, like a valve that acts as a dimmer for a lamp.
 
Going into 2017, Work of Arc has several months of back orders to fill, among them a conference table repurposed for an area diamond broker. The business is also busy showing its regional pride through Cavaliers and Ohio State metal wall art pieces.

As long as folks keep buying, Westfall is happy to continue making something out of nothing.

"The biggest thing for me is to be flexible," says Westfall. "I like doing a wide range of pieces rather than just one thing over and over again. There's such a wide variety, I never get bored."
 
 

Bowie show celebrates life and career of a genre-bending persona

Thomas Mulready has spent a lifetime collecting material on David Bowie's chameleonic career, from his early musical development to the symbol-heavy albums that preceded the enigmatic rocker's death one year ago.
 
Mulready, founder of online newsletter Cool Cleveland, will share his trove of Bowie goodness during a two-part performance called An Evening With(out) David Bowie, set for January 13-14 at the Bop Stop, 2920 Detroit Ave.
 
The multi-media show includes rare video, recently unearthed music, trivia contests and archival photos, all meticulously researched and organized around Bowie's versatile creative output.
 
"This is a vein that artists are still tapped into," says Mulready. "Bowie has been such an influence on so many different people."
 
Part one of the performance, slated for 7:30 each evening, covers the English musician's early struggles up to the Ziggy Stardust persona that blasted his career into the stratosphere. Part two is a retrospective of Bowie's worldwide stardom, a journey that led him through drug addiction and recovery, as well as fascinating musical experimentations and a successful run as an actor. Bowie's final studio album, Blackstar, was released on his 69th birthday, just two days before liver cancer ended his life.
 
Via music and video, Mulready aims to capture the entirety of his favorite artist's strange and wonderful livelihood. In putting together the show, he found touchpoints celebrating Bowie's dizzying creativity, a portfolio including fashion, film, music, design, theater and politics.
 
Bowie also changed the meaning of sexuality and gender, telling the world he was gay in a 1972 issue of English pop magazine, "Melody Maker."
 
"He was ahead of his time on sexuality," says Mulready. "He told young people that no matter how weird or freaky they were, they could live their lives exactly how they wanted. Bowie never worried about what people thought, and that's very instructive."
 
As a lifelong fan of the influential Starman, Mulready combed through personally collected archives of books, DVDs, compact discs and digital files. Among the clips is footage of a concert at Cleveland's Public Auditorium in 1972, marking Bowie's U.S. debut. Mulready found so much good material, both famous and rare, he split the show into two parts.
 
"It's going to be a long evening," says Mulready, whose glam-rock band, Vanity Crash, will take the stage for a selection of Bowie tunes and original tracks.
 
Ultimately, the performance stands as a celebratory showcase of a genre-bending persona who paved the way for generations of musicians.
 
"This is my way of grieving," Mulready says. "It's something everyone can share."
 

Call for contest submissions: art on race

Fresh Water Cleveland is partnering with YWCA Greater Cleveland as they host the third annual It's Time to Talk: Forum on Race on Feb. 3. As part of this partnership, the organization is hosting an art contest.
 
Submissions depicting art about race, discrimination or race relations in our community are being accepted through Wednesday, Jan. 25 at midnight. The art might reflect the present state of racism, challenges, aspirations, symbols of hope or a problem our community has faced. Any type of visual art form is welcome, but may not exceed 48 by 96 inches. Submit digital photos or files to news@ywcaofcleveland.org with "It’s Time to Talk Art Contest" in the subject line.
 
Up to three winners will be chosen. Their art will be published in Fresh Water and displayed as part of the 2017 It’s Time to Talk: Forum on Race - Foundations for Change in order to evoke conversation. YWCA Greater Cleveland encourages high school and college students as well as community members to enter.
 
Each winner will receive a ticket to the Feb. 3 event, which will include a gallery walk of conversation-starting imagery, a discussion with Jane Campbell and Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell and a performance about Tamir Rice from Playwrights Local.

Attendees will also participate in circle conversations about race and commit to individual and community action. Tickets are $60, or $25 for students, non-profits, teachers, and seniors. The event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Cuyahoga Community College Eastern Campus in the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Humanities Center. Register online here.

Disclaimer: Winners must live and/or work in Northeast Ohio. Winners must be able to attend It’s Time to Talk on February 3, 2017 or have a friend or family member who can attend instead. The prize(s) that may be awarded to the eligible winner(s) are not redeemable for cash or exchangeable for any other prize. No art will be given preference over any other art on the basis of an applicant’s name, school, age, employment status, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, nationality, or any legally-protected status. One entry per person allowed. Winners will be chosen by YWCA Greater Cleveland and Fresh Water Cleveland (contest hosts). Contest hosts reserve the right to expand, limit, or reduce the number of winners at any time.

By participating in the contest, each participant and winner waives any and all claims of liability against the contest hosts, their employees and agents, the sponsors of It’s Time to Talk and their respective employees and agents, for any personal injury or loss which may occur from the conduct of, or participation in, the contest, or from the use of the prize. Entries cannot be acknowledged. Contest hosts gain unrestricted access to the artwork and photos of the work until March 31, 2017. Participants agree to allow contest hosts to use their names, photographs, and art for promotional and publicity purposes. Winning work cannot be published or sold without written permission from YWCA Greater Cleveland until after March 31, 2017. By entering, participants agree to be bound by these rules and the decisions of contest hosts. Contest hosts may cancel the contest without notice at any time. The contest is void where prohibited, taxed, or restricted by law.

Local entrepreneur captures family memories between the covers of a book

Sarah Kappus Peck is her family's personal historian, fulfilling a need to record her older loved one's stories before they're lost forever. She's transformed her love for protecting memories into a business, one designed to preserve the histories of families for generations to come.
 
Called Yourstory Catcher, Peck's boutique personal history publishing service captures the lifelong journeys of its clients the old fashioned way - in a book. She offers them in a variety of styles and sizes, with pages full of photographs and other significant memorabilia.
 
"I'll go through family photos, artwork and recipes, then scan those in and write a caption," says Peck, a University Heights resident and mother of three. "I tell people you can own a book like anything you'd see in a book store or library."
 
Yourstory Catcher's offerings are priced out to reflect, among other factors, time spent interviewing subjects and their family members. For example, high-end book packages cost $20,000 and include 25 hours of interviews and preparation of up to 100 photos.
 
Peck, a former social worker with experience in geriatric care management, says it usually takes a few sessions to find a storytelling rhythm with her mostly elderly "narrators."
 
"I build up a rapport and trust each time out to elicit the  memories and stories most important to them," Peck says. "As we get comfortable, the stories just sort of unfold."
 
Not every tale is pleasant, as interviewees share regrets or past decisions they wished they had handled differently. However, most stories Peck documents are uplifting. Her favorite is about man who came to America at age 14 from the former Czechoslovakia. He used a dictionary to teach himself English, put himself through pharmaceutical school, and eventually started his own business.
 
"It was the perfect American dream story," says Peck.
 
A first-time entrepreneur, Peck researches, transcribes and edits each interview. The books are created by a professional designer, or by Peck herself using an online publication platform.
 
Peck launched Yourstory Catcher in 2011, spurred by reminiscences she heard during her social work daysOver the last five years, she has printed about a dozen volumes, finishing smaller books in two or three months, and working upwards of a year on more detailed projects.
 
Though the cost may not fit everyone budget, Peck believes encapsulating a well-lived life between two covers can be a cherished keepsake for all involved.
 
"People are surprised when the journey is therapeutic," says Peck. "This (book) can be an important thing for people to do for themselves." 

Arabella Proffer's "Garden Party" evokes, beautifies inner space

Consider the quiet moment when you nestle your ear against the warm hollow of your lover's belly and listen to the universe inside of her. Mysterious gurgles, bubbles and pops erupt as all those internal systems filter, pump and process.

Behold a manifestation of the human experience that is simultaneously intimate and foreign - so much so that if the sounds were isolated and removed from the fleshy contact, one might assign the orchestration to outer space.
 
Noted and uniquely qualified, local artist Arabella Proffer has visually realized that symphony, particularly amid the works in her forthcoming show Biomorphic Garden Party, which will open next Friday, Nov. 18, at the HEDGE Gallery in the 78th Street Studios with a reception from 5 to 9 p.m. The show will run through Dec. 17.
 
"Biomorphic" is a departure for Proffer, who is well known for her devastating femme fatale portraits, but it is also profoundly personal.
 
Proffer, who has battled an aggressive form of lipo sarcoma since 2010 that required removal of part of her thigh, received an Ohio Arts Council Grant through the Artists with Disabilities Access Program. The resulting work includes efforts in “Biomorphic,” a series that combines Proffer's interests in the evolution of cells, mutation, botany and microbiology; but don't expect loose translations of medical and scientific images. Those varied inspirations have moved her to create surreal hybrids of flowers, cells, and symbols evocative of otherworldly organisms
 
"Biomorphic" is born from Proffer's body and soul - a characterization that might be trite in any other circumstance, but not with these works, which conjure her cancer. Proffer once described the disease's physical invasion as "a big nasty tumor with wandering tentacles in my thigh."
 
While the portrayal is wholly earned, her artistic interpretations of that terrible and formidable muse are beautiful and complex while managing to be abstract and highly detailed. There is also an unmistakable sexuality characterizing the series that is at once sensual and medical.

"Biomorphic" earns all the adjectives: jarring, compelling, disturbing; and for those who appreciate contrast at its most subtle and sincere, Proffer's work will not disappoint.
 
For questions, contact gallery director, Hilary Gent at hilary@hedgeartgallery.com or 216.650.4201. Viewing hours are Tuesday through Friday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., evenings and weekends by appointment.
 

Naked Trump sculpture heads to auction block next week

A six-foot-tall nude sculpture of Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has generated its share of controversy and commentary since its short-lived (ahem) erection in Cleveland Heights, along with four other replicates that popped up in American cities this summer. The statue's newest purpose is bringing more public art to Cleveland Heights, thanks to an upcoming auction at Gray's Auctioneers.

Entitled The Emperor Has No Balls, the piece by Cleveland-born artist Joshua “Ginger” Monroe will be lot No. 1 in Gray's October 26 auction. A private preview is available for bidders on October 19, 20, 21, 22 & 24, 25, with Gray's displaying a life-size photograph of the sculpture throughout the week.
 
Available for auction live and online, the salmon-colored Trump effigy is estimated to garner $10,000 to $20,000. Proceeds will benefit public art funding in the Coventry Village Special Improvement District, along with public projects developed by community arts nonprofit Heights Arts. Artist Monroe will also get a piece of the Trump pie once the sale is complete.
 
Coventry Village is where the sculpture was initially placed by activist collective INDECLINE, says Angie Hetrick, executive director of the Coventry SID. Cleveland Heights police confiscated the piece 24 minutes after it was set up near the corner of Coventry Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard.
 
Monroe liberated his work in mid-September for a $110 impound fee. Of the five statues created by the Garfield Heights native, the Cleveland piece is the only one he reclaimed. The others were destroyed (New York), still in police custody (San Francisco) or picked up by a private business (Seattle). A Los Angeles sculpture going up for auction October 22 was not claimed by either Monroe or the INDECLINE group.
 
"It's a really unique piece for an interesting political season," says Hetrick. "We're honored that our neighborhood, of all the cool neighborhoods in Cleveland, was chosen for the statute."
 
Coventry and Heights Arts leaders are excited to put the auction proceeds to good use. Hetrick points to possible new public art projects similar to the arch at Coventry P.E.A.C.E. park.
 
"This is a wonderful thing that will bring long-lasting public pieces that beautify the neighborhood," Hetrick says. "What's beautiful about is that street art becomes more street art."
 
The arts-focused effort is a perfect remedy for a contentious election cycle, adds the Coventry official.
 
"(The auction) is a chance at a piece of history," says Hetrick. "Love or hate Trump, nobody can disagree this is going to a great cause."

Starting at approximately 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 26, Fresh Water's editor, Erin O'Brien, will cover the auction live from Gray's on her twitter feed, @erin__obrien.

CAC grant panel reviews region's newest art projects

Arts experts from around the country are converging on Cleveland this week to evaluate grant submissions from 193 nonprofit groups seeking dollars for their culture-related activities.
 
Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) is hosting its annual panel review meetings at Playhouse Square's Idea Center for the second straight day following the event's September 26 kickoff. CAC's Project Support grant program promotes cultural efforts of all sizes, with applications reviewed this week set to impact the community in 2017.
 
Panelists are weighing 77 grant submissions of up to $35,000 during CAC's first round of evaluations, with the drama unfolding in front of a live audience comprised of applicants, media and interested citizens. An online panel is assessing the remaining 116 applications for entries capping out at $5,000 each.
 
CAC executive director and Karen Gahl-Mills says the transparent process allows residents to see exactly how CAC grantmaking backs projects that benefit the region.
 
"Whenever you're dealing with public dollars, it's important the public has an ownership of the investment," says Gahl-Mills. "We take that very seriously."
 
Eligibility rides in part on how much a group is already spending on arts programming, as well as the amount of the grant they can match. Fresh, interesting projects that connect with the community can run the gamut from music therapy to science experiments carrying a creative twist. For example, last weekend's Ingenuity Fest is eligible for funding due to its experimental fusion of art and science.
 
"Show us your budget and how this is a good investment," Gahl-Mills says. "Prove to us that you can carry out your plans."
 
Final grants for 2017 will be announced at a public meeting of CAC's board of trustees on November 14 at the Mandel Jewish Community Center. Since 2006, the organization has invested more than $140 million in 300-plus groups, paid for by a penny-and-a-half county cigarette tax. So far this year, CAC has bolstered 152 organizations with $1,651,624 in project support, to go along with ongoing general operating support for area cultural institutions.
 
CAC will continue to get citizens involved in its decisions, thanks to an online survey that asks respondents about their favorite area arts experiences. While the questionnaire won't impact the 2017 panel review, it will help shape how CAC uses future funding.
 
"We work hard to answer how we can support the region's cultural life," says Gahl-Mills. "The survey draws a picture of what people are doing, and that can relate to grantmaking." 

Help shape the future with CAC

This weekend, Northeast Ohioans will flock to IngenuityFest for their annual dose of funky fun. The effort is just one popular area project supported in part by Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC). In 2016 alone, the tax-payer funded organization bolstered 152 organizations with $1,651,624 in project support. That's in addition to an array of grant programs and ongoing general operating support for the area's cultural institutions and groups.

To help inform future decisions, CAC is reaching out to regular janes and joes to get their input via a brief online survey. The Help Shape Our Future survey takes just a few minutes and asks about what sorts of things you enjoy and find enriching. The move will help decide how funding will be allocated over the next ten years. The survey closes on Oct. 1.

Other efforts supported in part by CAC include the Historic Gateway Neighborhood Corporation's 2016 Take a Hike Tours, May Dugan Center's Music Therapy for Senior Citizens and the Slavic Village Development's 2016 Rooms To Let exhibition.

Take the online survey before Oct.1.


 

CPL celebrates unique kid-friendly biographies with award and events

Cleveland Public Library (CPL) bills itself as a place for Clevelanders of all ages to dream, create and grow. To that end, a unique award championing youth-friendly biographies is encouraging children to discover more about the wonderful world around them.
 
The Norman A. Sugarman Children’s Biography Award, a biennial prize created by CPL in 1998, goes to writers and/or illustrators of biographical works for kids grades K-8. It also stands as the nation's only award of its kind, selecting U.S.-published winners based on original research and documentation, says Annisha Jeffries, youth services manager at CPL.
 
A Sept. 21-22 event at the main library recognizes this year winner, Anita Silvey, for her book, Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall, a colorful exploration of the famous scientist's early years leading to her tireless work with chimpanzees.
 
On Sept. 22, Cleveland Museum of Natural History curator Yohannes Haile-Selassie leads a workshop featuring interactive primate education followed by a reading from Silvey. Meanwhile, 2016 honorees Duncan Tonatiuh (Funny Bones) and Jacqueline Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming) will be on hand for additional workshops and discussions. All three authors will relay their process in choosing to pen a biography during a Sept. 22 panel moderated by children's writer Tricia Springstubb.
 
Highlighting actual people or events through biographies allows Cleveland youth to learn subjects they may only be privy to in classrooms, Jeffries says.
 
"Normally, non-fiction books are set aside for school research," she says. "The great thing about a biography is that the person is real and someone kids can look up to. It's a chance to learn about someone on a level students may not have before."
 
The Sugarman Award was established by CPL supporter Joan Sugarman in memory of her husband, Norman, a Cleveland tax attorney. Presented in alternate years in celebration of National Library Week, the award's past winners including Buzz Aldrin and Wynton Marsalis. A nine-member, library-appointed committee led by Jeffries evaluated 50 to 80 nominees for 2016.
 
The hard work is worth it when placing biographies at the forefront of children's literature alongside well-thumbed novels about boy wizards and teenager-hating dystopias.
 
"The award supports literacy and kids in a really unique way," says Jeffries. "We're honored to do this every two years." 

A Global Kitchen opens in the Museum of Natural History

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History (CMNH) may be most popular among families and field-trippers, but foodies take note: You won’t want to miss Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture, a traveling presentation of the American Museum of Natural History, New York, on display in the venerable University Circle institution through January 8, 2017.
 
Dr. Nikki Burt, curator of human health and evolutionary medicine at CMNH promises the exhibit will change the way you relate to food – a tall order, but one visitors will eagerly affirm.
 
Tracing back the history of food to the beginning of civilization, the presentation reveals how human habits and technology have influenced the yield, shape, size, and taste of everything we eat, along with the inevitable “trade offs” that create negative impacts on crops, farm animals and fish.
 
Through interactive displays that follow the roots of cultivation, culture, science and trade, it’s apparent that our everyday culinary choices are more complex and meaningful than mere cravings. Rather, opportunities often afforded by those less fortunate and actions with far-reaching consequences, impact people continents away and for generations to come.
 
As a former expat and lightweight locavore who frequents farmer’s markets, I considered myself fairly worldly and connected to my food sources before embarking on the tour. Nearing the end, while sandwiched between two towering walls - one displaying a collection of the world’s most influential cookbooks and the other festooned with utensils used around the globe - I felt both puny and powerful, humbly educated and hungry to learn even more.
 
The grand finale of the exhibit can be found as you round the final corridor and step inside a life-like gallery of famous people’s food. The simple concept proved fascinating, allowing visitors to imagine bellying up to Michael Phelp’s breakfast table and see how Jane Austen ate on her estate while penning her bestselling books.
 
Although there’s a tiny area for toddlers at the end of the line, older kids and adults will get the most enjoyment from this exhibit, which is best savored as you would a smorgasbord – slowly and with gusto. Be prepared to be grabbed by all of your senses at every turn.
 
Speaking of eating…Our Global Kitchen will undoubtedly kindle cravings and conversation, so come prepared with a plan for your post-museum meal. Zack Bruell’s cafeteria-style eatery Exploration is located onsite but closes before 4 p.m. If that's too early, other opportunities to enjoy international fare at independent restaurants abound. France is as far-flung as EDWINS on Shaker Square, Brazil is as close as Batuqui in Larchmere, and a little taste of Italy is literally around the corner.

Want to extend the day or make a date of it? Download the Cleveland Historical and Circle Walk apps to guide you on an afternoon stroll through University Circle and the Cleveland Cultural Gardens in Rockefeller Park.

No matter how you chose to sup before your visit, Our Global Kitchen may not change the way you twirl your pasta or dress a salad, but you’ll never look at food the same way again.

The voters have spoken: in Duck they trust

In a contentious election cycle, one Northeast Ohio company is doing its best to make the vote just "ducky."
 
Duck Brand, manufacturer of the ubiquitous Duck Tape brand duct tape, spent Republican National Convention week polling voters for a special patriotic print of the versatile adhesive. In mid-August, the Avon company announced the winning design - an image of its sash-wearing mascot Trust E. Duck on the moon.
 
The moonstruck image of the flag-bearing water fowl took over 60 percent of 2,500 total votes, handily beating a stars-and-stripes-themed print. Duck Brand's REAL Vote Campaign also connected participants to a business that has been producing its popular Duck Brand Duct Tape product in the Cleveland area since 1984. Fans of the colorful sticky stuff have used it to make everything from evening gowns to science fiction sculptures.
 
"Our company has really grown up here, so we wanted to support the activity (during the RNC) along with people visiting the city for the first time," says  Melanie Canning, director of marketing for Duck Brand parent company ShurTech Brands.
 
The event initially launched in June during the company's annual Duck Tape Festival in Avon. Over RNC week, employees with iPads took votes at four locations - West 6th Street and St. Clair Avenue, Flats East Bank, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Crocker Park. Each voting area was decorated with larger-than-life symbols of Americana, including a giant bald eagle and a "Mount Duckmore" sculpture carved with Trust E. Duck's face. Ballots were also cast online.
 
"The displays helped us stand out and capture peoples' attention," Canning says. "Voters got an 'I Voted' sticker and a mini-roll of tape."
 
While Duck Brand offers 250 versions of its product, only two bear the likeness of Trust E.
 
"We noticed over the years how consumers liked to give us feedback on the newest prints, so we came up with a couple of designs we thought were fun and different," says Canning. "What better way to make the selection than to have a real voting campaign?"
 
The winning print will be available online and on-site at various company-sponsored events in 2017. For now, company officials are pleased to have brought their product, along with a few smiles, to the presidential debate.
 
"When things felt like they were getting heated elsewhere, it was nice for people to check out something with a fun spin to it," says Canning. 

BOUND zine and art fair to rock MOCA this weekend

This weekend, area zinesters, art aficionados and anyone fond of old school print is invited to browse more than 50 exhibitors from near and far at BOUND, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Cleveland's second annual art book and zine fair.
 
Free and open to the public, BOUND will take place in Gund Commons on the museum's first floor on Friday, Aug. 26, from 5 to 10 p.m. and on Saturday, Aug. 27, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Attendees will have a chance to meet and interact with booksellers, artists, photographers, poets and independent publishers from Northeast Ohio as well as from points across the country. All of them will be offering limited edition art books and zines at affordable prices. In addition, a reduced $5 admission includes access to the MOCA galleries as well as all the programming and talks associated with BOUND. There will also be live music on Friday and DJs spinning tunes on Saturday.
 
"It's going to be a very high energy event with a lot to offer people who are either artists and creators or fans of comics, zines, photography, and art books," says Deidre McPherson, MOCA's curator of public programs. "There will be publishers, comic book creators, zinesters, printers, poets, and photographers here." They'll be exhibiting work that tackles pop culture, activism, feminism, gender identity, madness and sexuality – just to tag a few topics.


 
Contemporary artist TR Ericsson, whose pieces are part of several permanent museum collections, curated the event as he did last year's inaugural effort. His work, notes McPherson, imparts "voice to the voiceless," which is also at the heart of BOUND – but don't ask either to tap picks from the upcoming line up.
 
"The most compelling aspect of the book fair is the diverse selection of artists and book makers," says Ericsson, adding that "this makes it impossible to list favorites simply because each offering is so exceptionally unique."
 
"You'll find artists who went to art school and have a very extensive background in creating work at a high level," adds McPherson, "but also self trained artists who are incredibly talented and have done some outstanding work in their careers."
 
Fair enough, but in lieu of favorites, here's a sampling of BOUND exhibitors. Locals include John G of Shiner Comics, co-creator of the local horror comic Lake Erie Monster; the venerable Mac's Backs-Books on Coventry; Caitie Moore, who will be exhibiting her indie photobooks from her Nomadic Bookshelf project; artist Jerry Birchfield and the Gordon Arts Square institution Guide to Kulchur along with proprietor RA Washington, who is a tireless advocate for marginalized voices in print medium.
 
Out-of-towners include Brooklyn artist Paul Weston of Instigator and his interactive ANY1 mural project; Philadelphia's Nathan Pierce, Claire Cushing of Same Coin Press; and from New Orleans, former Clevelander JS Makkos of NOLA Digital Newspaper Archive, who will conduct printing demos on mimeographs, the predecessors of the copy machine.
 
A host of emerging local voices such as photographer and internet sensation Alison Scarpulla and Cleveland Institute of Art grads Matthew Rowe (BL^NT), Ash Fiasco and Evan Fusco will round out the roster.
 
A soundtrack will accompany the entire event, with Friday night's live music performances staged on MOCA's loading dock and doubling as part of the museum's creative sound music series, LOADED. Bands include Form A Log, Hiram-Maxim and Fake Species. DJs from WCSB Radio will aptly score the action in Gund Commons throughout the day Saturday.
 
Saturday's programming will feature presentations, discussions and a workshop on zines and how to make them from Cleveland-based artists Jacob Koestler of My Idea of Fun and Anna Tararova, proprietor of Meowville. A panel discussion on the use of zines as a platform for emerging and marginalized narratives will include RA Washington; Akron-based writer Angel Cezanne, founder of Eleanor: A Zine, which aims to empower women and non-binary people by promoting their art; and Jimmy Lewis of Columbus, Ohio, founder of Fag Enabler, a zine for queer, feminist, and nonconformist creativity. The panel discussion will be moderated by poet, author, and change catalyst M. Carmen Lane. An after-party at the Grog Shop will cap off the two-day event.
 
McPherson hopes to build on the momentum of last year's Mimeo Revolution: Art Book + Zine Fair, which was inspired by MOCA's 2015 exhibit How To Remain Human and Ericcson, who coincidentally approached MOCA staff with the idea of modeling an event after the MoMa PS1 Art Book Fair, a popular underground fair in New York and Los Angeles. The resulting three-day event attracted some 1,000 attendees.
 
"Attendance was amazing. It was great to see," says McPherson, adding that she expects similar numbers this weekend – or even more attendees mingling with exhibitors, which numbered about 30 last year. "It was gratifying to see how many artists were given a space at MOCA to share and talk about their work."
 
Lastly, BOUND is a fitting dovetail with MOCA's current exhibit, Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia. From the 30,000 original post cards he's created over the years to the 1977 self-published 300-page My Struggle, Booji Boy, which are currently on display at the Akron Museum of Art and MOCA, respectively, Mothersbaugh's work embodies an alternative legacy of underground and DIY culture.


 
"Mark Mothersbaugh – when he was a student at Kent State University – created zines and was self publishing and using art books and zines and his own drawings as a way of expressing himself," says McPherson. "Mark was definitely inspired by the mimeo revolution that was occurring in the 1960s and continued through the 70s," she adds.
 
Furthermore, Friday night's live concert, which was curated by Dandelion Moon's Andrew Auten, Lisa Miralia of Mysterious Black Box and artist-musician David Russell Stempowski of Polar Envy, will be an energetic fusion of experimental sound, avant rock and punk.
 
"These three bands were hand picked and selected with Mark Mothersbaugh in mind," says McPherson.
 
Myopia will be in its final weekend during the fair. Hence the reduced $5 admission is an affordable last-chance to see the dazzling collection along with the extended BOUND presentations.
 
"It's a great capstone," says McPherson of the interactive farewell to Myopia.
 

CAC report tells story of how county residents connect to arts and culture

Cuyahoga County's population utilizes arts and culture in a variety of ways, from museums and theaters to smaller community festivals and neighborhood events. Recently released findings from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) show just how connected residents are to the region's arts offerings.
 
CAC's 2015 Report from the Community shares stories of county residents impacted by the 210 organizations CAC funded in 2015. Self-reported data from these groups revealed more than $383 million arts-related expenditures county-wide, including upwards of $158 million in salaries to 10,000 employees.
 
Other key statistics from the report include:
 
* 50 percent of CAC-supported programs had free admission in 2015
 
* Nearly 6.9 million people were served by arts programming last year, including 1.5 million children
 
"The report provides good evidence of the story we're telling," says Karen Gahl-Mills, CEO and executive director of CAC. "Arts and culture is having a huge impact on Cuyahoga County."
 
Nor are culture lovers only visiting conventional venues like the ballet or a gallery, notes Gahl-Mills. Nature and science organizations, community gardens and other non-traditional entities are attracting crowds through their own arts-infused efforts.
 
"It's not just big institutions; we're shining a light on smaller organizations," Gahl-Mills says. "There's extraordinary variety."
 
This year's report also relates the experiences of community members impacted by arts and culture. One featured resident is Patty Edmonson, an employee at the Cleveland History Center, who returned to the region to curate the center's 13,000 dresses and 40,000 textile objects.
 
"Residents are the ones who benefit from the dollars we invest," says Gahl-Mills. "We use tax dollars to support the arts, so we need dialogue with the public to understand what work we can do."
 
This summer, CAC has been visiting festivals and events to get further feedback from the community. The undertaking includes "street teams" going out to barbershops and farmer's markets and asking folks what inspires them about the arts. Gahl-Mills says public funding for the arts is a key facet in making Cuyahoga County a vibrant, attractive place to live.
 
"People care about the arts and we need to hear from them," she says. "The more we know, the better grantmaker we can be." 
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