95-year-old cleveland artist updates historic diversity mural for tedxcle

Mort Epstein, a distinguished 95-year-old Cleveland artist and designer who founded Epstein Design in 1962 and has a lengthy history of social activism, will present a talk entitled "A Designer and the Community" at this year's TEDxCLE event. In keeping with the event, whose theme is "The Maker Class," Epstein has updated an iconic mural he completed for Cleveland State University in the mid 1970s.

The original artwork, which featured six black and white electrical outlets beside one another, celebrated CSU's commitment to diversity. The new design by Epstein features nine red and black outlets set against a sleek, black background, as if inviting viewers to plug into the opportunities before them. The term "The Maker Class" also hails Cleveland's past and present as a hub for creativity and ingenuity.

TEDxCLE founder and organizer Hallie Bram Kogelschatz says that she commissioned the design to celebrate Cleveland's little-known history as a place of distinctive, high-quality public art, the role of artists and designers in making cities better places to live, and Cleveland as a place that sparks opportunity.

"We wanted to pay homage to Mort as a designer and take this iconic artwork and update it. The city is an outlet and you just need to plug in to make it happen."

Source: Hallie Bram Kogelschatz
Writer: Lee Chilcote