Urban Bright 2018

The Urban Bright Exhibition Special Opening was a great success. Art House was happy to see familiar faces as well as some new faces. Staff and volunteers worked long hours to put this year’s show together for Friday, May 11th. The Board was generous as always in helping with food and drinks for the evening and Art House’s artists Melinda Placko and Mark Yasenchack spoke about their residencies and what they love about working with the Cleveland students. Between all of us Staff, Board, Volunteers and Artists, the event was amazing. Art House’s community grows every year with more and more who are seeing what we are doing and supporting us in any way they can. Having this evening event was Art House’s way to thank our supporters and bringing more people to Art House.

This was the 16th year of the Urban Bright Exhibition and our 3rd time working it with our new staff. We stuck to a firm plan to stay on schedule so the show would be done before Friday. Art House could not have done this without our volunteers: Laura García Chávez, Jan McAndrews and Bernadette Glorioso (Board) who helped tremendously in cutting, wrapping tables and hanging. This year was special not only because we had this opening on Friday but because we got showcase our new partnership with the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

Laila Voss our E.D. had this idea as soon as she was hired as the E.D. of Art House. Art House is located only a short distance from the Zoo and it seemed to be an untapped resource. The Zoo has an active education department and Laila began the communications. Bearing fruit for this past Fall 2017! We had 3 schools who visited the zoo which influenced their residencies with the Art House Artists. Denison Elementary our longest partner was an obvious choice as one of the schools to give this opportunity to. They are located across the street from Art House and walked to the zoo to start their program. Zoo staff talked about conservation and stewardship while visiting the animal exhibits. The other two schools Old Brooklyn Community which Art House has been following the same group of students since kindergarten and John Marshall High School which was our first high school to join our Urban Bright program. These 3 schools created some amazing work with 2 clay mosaics focused on conservation to be hung in the schools and 8 biomimicry paintings that will be displayed in John Marshall’s science room.

There were other showstoppers in the exhibition such as: the Ohio tree prints also from Denison and the Ohio papier mache birds that bobble when touched from Wilbur Wright. But no matter where you looked you could see not only some amazing talent and creativity coming out of our Cleveland students but also what they learned from the program. Everyone who I spoke to at the Friday opening and those who have wandered in to see the exhibition are in awe of the amazing work that these children can make.

Now I can’t wait for next year and the amazing work that will come out of our Cleveland students with the theme of Cultural Explorations.

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Our mission is to inspire exploration and expression through the visual arts. By fulfilling this mission, Art House stabilizes our neighborhood and creates opportunities for artists to thrive. By extension, the organization contributes significantly in the creation of Cleveland as a culturally rich and economically viable destination to live, work and raise a family. 

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