PHOTOS: Rooms to Let 2016

Rooms To Let - Bubble PalaceBob PerkoskiRooms To Let - Bubble Palace

Last weekend, Rooms to Let (RTL) on East 54th Street in Slavic Village transformed four houses, two of which are slated to be demolished, into three-dimensional artists' canvases. The efforts ranged from a garage turned into a surreal study in pink and baby blue, The Reverse Birth of an Avuncular Cuncutator by Charles Kiss, to Liz Maugans' glittering homage to Prince in a tiny attic space.

RTL also exposed the soul of this tough, quintessential Cleveland neighborhood. Visitors were treated to an intimate tour of a collection of homes that are historic in their own right, full up with charm, kitsch and impossibly narrow staircases. The artistic creations proved that the spaces still have potential while the ghosts of former residents were palpable in kitchens where their pork and sauerkraut dinners once simmered, in bedrooms where couples fought and made up and in bathtubs where toddlers played with rubber ducks.

The RTL experience was at once funky, heartbreaking, revelatory and moving. While it may be gone for good, Fresh Water managing photographer Bob Perkoski has curated it with his discerning eye in this photo essay.

Bubble Palace, 3603 East 54th Street, future not yet determined

IBABCI Maker House, 3620 East 54th Street, slated for renovation by Slavic Village Recovery and sold to new homeowner

Little Warszawa, 3705 East 54th Street, slated for demolition

Healing House, 3725 East 54th Street, slated for demolition

Event curators: Dana DePew, Sai Sinbondit, Amy Krusinski Sinbondit, Scott Pickering, Chris Webb

Contributing artists: Jeffrey Chiplis, Ron Copeland, Falcon Eddie Cummins, Dana Depew, Rick Ferris, Eli Gfell, Keith Graham, Jake Hochendoner, Kara Isabella, Jonah Jacobs, Charles Kiss, Robin Latkovich, Christine Mauersberger, Liz Maugans, Ella Medicus, Loren Naji, Rian Brown-Orso, Kristina Paabus, Cindy Penter, Scott Pickering, Nancy Prudic, Edward Raffel, Rebecca Rinaldi, Tina Christine Ripley, Marc Spangenberg, Grace Summanen, Paul Sydorenko, Anna Tararova, Annette Yoho Feltes, Hector Castellanos-Lara, Roni Callahan, April Bleakney, Danielle Moorer, Latecia Wilson, Sampson Smiley, Latoya Webb, Stephanie Kluk, Melinda Placko, Rebekah Wilhelm, Jeannie Oakar, Michael Gill,  teens from joint Broadway School of Music & the Arts/University Settlement after-school arts class at Washington Park Horticulture Center

Maker artists:  Catherine Butler, Kate Snow, Martha Lattie, Helen and Dot Von Schneider, Valerie Grossman, Peter Debelak, Anastasial Sobvola, Makenzie Tigert, Jeremy Smith, We Can Code It, Jason Radcliffe, Laura Cooperman, thinkBox, Amy and Sai Sinbondit

Text by Erin O'Brien

Bob Perkoski
Bob Perkoski

About the Author: Bob Perkoski

Bob is managing photographer with FreshWater as well as a Cleveland freelance photographer. His photographic approach is rooted in the art of storytelling. Whether freezing the energy of an event, encapsulating the magic of a performance, or astutely anticipating the decisive moments, his work displays an innate ability to distill the essence of any scene or subject into a single frame or series of work. In addition, Bob is the official photographer for LAND studio and Holden Forest and Gardens and has worked with various Cleveland organizations. In 2019 he published a book of his photos Rust Belt Burlesque. He's had work published in other books like LGBTQ Cleveland by Ken Schneck, Rust Belt Chic: The Cleveland Anthology, Rust Belt Chic: The Pittsburgh Anthology and Moon Cleveland by Douglas Trattner. Previously he was co-founder/art director for Balanced Living Magazine. You can view his versatile portfolio of work, which includes news coverage, portraiture, architectural and fine art at Perkoski Photography. Originally from Conneaut, Ohio, Perkoski now lives close to the city in Parma. He has been Fresh Water's managing photographer since the publication's September 2010 inception.