ArtPlace: Please share the highlights of projects that are in progress at Northeast Shores.
Brian: These are exciting times for us! From a newly installed art inspired park, neighborhood murals, an upcoming Welcome to Cleveland artist retreat, to everything else in between, amazing projects are underway that are definitely bringing the North Collinwood area to life! Installation was just completed on a neighborhood pocket park that includes 12 mural paintings by Cleveland artists, beautiful landscaping and unique sculpture art that was designed and built by another Cleveland artist, Melissa Daubert. The park will serve as a potential space for the community to conduct meetings, workshops, training sessions, etc. while allowing people to enjoy the wonderful art that only nature can provide. We’re very proud of the accomplishments that are being made in the neighborhood and we’d like to showcase it to others. As a result, we came up with an idea to give artists who live out of state an opportunity to see in person why our city is one of the top locations in the country for creative entrepreneurs! Introducing the Welcome to Cleveland weekend! From August 1st to August 4th, artists from across the country will have the chance to come together and celebrate what Collinwood and Cleveland have to offer them … and all at a ridiculously low cost! Meanwhile, thanks to Amy Callahan of Arts Collinwood, a portion of the neighborhood has become an art gallery of sorts in and of itself. Amy has been largely responsible for new murals that have been popping up all over the Waterloo Arts District. It’s called the Zoetic Walls Project and it is showcasing the work of local, national, and international street artists. Walls are being transformed from bland and underutilized spaces into colorful works of art. The project was created as a way to help improve the aesthetic of the neighborhood but also as a means of placemaking and showcasing that Waterloo is a community where the arts are meant to thrive and be appreciated by all, a collision of fine art and urban living.
ArtPlace: What types of challenges have you faced in implementing art installations & distributing ArtPlace funds?
Brian: The ArtPlace Grant has brought about some wonderful and unexpected opportunities that are happening quickly and more abundantly than anticipated in the community. Our programs are in high demand right now and artists are taking full advantage of them. Inquiries are coming in faster than we can respond to them. At times, it can be a grueling competition against the clock. The need to be in several places at once, the meetings, returning phone calls, answering email, etc. can leave everyone in a haze. What fills our days for the most part, are meetings with partners and artists with creative ideas of how to build community and implement art within the neighborhood. We’re striving to program an expanding choice of cultural offerings to neighborhood residents that will bring about a liberating sense that each of them can fully play a number of different social roles that will open up enriching and exciting opportunities. It can definitely be challenging to juggle everyday tasks with the amount of resources available. However, it's a challenge that we are ready and willing to tackle and meet. It’s a wonderful issue to have. As long as the goal of revitalization and fostering community through art is accomplished, I say, full speed ahead!