New art. Not old, used art.


Save? Who, me?

Oink oink.

It’s me again, SPACES’ money-grubbing development manager. It seems like  everyone I talk to these days has cash on the brain. Some are resolving to save more in 2010, and others are stressed about paying off holiday credit card bills. I flip on the radio after a long day of begging for funds, and all of the stories obsess over the economy in general.

The same holds true here in the gallery. We’re topical. Get a load of this:

One of our current exhibitions, Art Work: A National Conversation About Art, Labor, and Economics, reflects on artists who work amidst depressed economies and how that impacts artistic process, compensation and artistic property. Fortunately for SPACES, Art Work was funded by Lauren Rich Fine & Gary Giller and the John P. Murphy Foundation.

Our next exhibition, ” … in a most dangerous manner”, takes its title from a passage in Karl Marx’s Das Kapital:

Talk about centralisation! The credit system, which has its focus in the so-called national banks and the big money-lenders and usurers surrounding them, constitutes enormous centralisation, and gives to this class of parasites the fabulous power, not only to periodically despoil industrial capitalists, but also to interfere in actual production in a most dangerous manner — and this gang knows nothing about production and has nothing to do with it. [emphasis mine]

Need I mention that this exhibition includes work that —  in one way or another — touches on capitalism and/or economic collapse?

SPACES brings Northeast Ohio artists a chance to build on their creative capital through SPACELab, a forum for experimentation that comes with a small $tipend (emphasis on small). We’re accepting applications now through March 31!

And while all of the lovely programming folks at SPACES make their hard-earned dollars organizing art, I get mine filling out hundreds and hundreds of questions for the Ohio Cultural Data Project. It’s due January 15, and funders claim that it will streamline the funding process for participants, as well as provide valuable data for demonstrating the economic impact of the arts in Ohio.

And finalllly … I can’t forget to mention the talented artists in Cuyahoga County who are receiving Creative Workforce Fellowships. These awards were announced last month by the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture here in Cleveland. Talk about a cash infusion! Congratulations!

Wishing all of you a prosperous 2010!

~ posted by Sarah McGreer Hoyt, Development Manager


Filed under: call to artists, Cleveland, Guest Bloggers, SPACES Funders & Donors, , , , , , , , , , ,

Remember Issue 18? It’s got a new leader …

Well, we’ve made it past Issues 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc. for 2009!

Maybe you’re happy with the outcome of the vote on these issues, or maybe you’ve already forgotten what they were. In any case, all of those issues on the ballot got me to thinking about good ol’ Issue 18.  Remember that one? A little refresher: Cigarettes sold in Cuyahoga County + a 1.5-cent-per-cigarette tax applied through 2017 = $$$ for the arts.

As we know, Issue 18 passed in 2006. And according to the 2008 Annual Report issued by Cuyahoga Arts and Culture (CAC), in just three years, the tax has generated nearly 50 million dollars and enabled $33,560,000 in art-supporting grants.

SPACES benefits from one of those grants. It’s a huge source of income for us, and we’re grateful to the citizens of Cuyahoga County for their support through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture.

On a related note, CAC appointed Karen Gahl-Mills as their new executive director last week. Gahl-Mills has served as the president and executive director of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra since 2006. Read the press release here.

I’m sure Meg, Achala, Donnie, and all of our friends at CAC are very excited to welcome Karen in 2010. Until then, they’re keeping busy with a whole slew of workshops to inform organizations about how to apply for CAC funds. Check out the calendar of events on their homepage.

And next time you’re out and about at your favorite Cuyahoga County arts organization — favorite besides SPACES, that is — look around for the Cuyahoga Arts and Culture name on the wall or in the program. Chances are, they’re a beneficiary of Issue 18, too.

— posted by Sarah McGreer Hoyt, Development Manager

Filed under: Arts Advocacy, Cleveland, SPACES Funders & Donors, , ,

Benefit Volunteers: We love you

Party-goers rock the bidding at SPACES’ benefit this year. Image courtesy of Metromix Cleveland; Photographer Brandon Davis, More images of the benefit from Metromix here.

More images of the benefit can be viewed at

Annually, SPACES hosts a benefit and art auction. It’s a killer party … in so many ways: We have a wicked good time, but it is also a ton of work.

This year, to cap off our experimental school-as-exhibition, The Plum Academy: An Institute for Situated Practices, we celebrated our benefit with Erie Prom: Enchantment Under the Lake. Last Saturday, guests made their way into the gallery-transformed-high-school-gymnasium/aquarium for a raucous, colorful good time in support of SPACES. Nearly 500 party-goers came donned in everything from original prom dresses to punny get-ups inspired by famous Cleveland monikers such as “Miss Steak on the Lake”. Regional and national artists generously donated paintings, sculpture, jewelery, drawings, you name it … all in support of SPACES. The proceeds raised from the benefit go to much needed general operating costs. We are so grateful our guests came, had a good time, and bought art. We are support junkies and would be nowhere without the generous giving circle formed by our donating artists and buying art patrons during our fundraiser.

But one of the key elements of that giving circle are the volunteers who often get very little credit. Behind the scenes, before the guests arrive and during the fast-paced event, there are heroes who also made our largest fundraiser a success. This enormous undertaking requires hours, days, months of preparation and planning (we begin in June, six months before the event) and along the way we had some of the most amazing people at our side pleading for art, gift certificates, and food for the buffet, painting mermaids and seaweed in unexpected places, arranging centerpieces, taking photos for hours on end, and brainstorming, among so many other volunteer duties that require blood, sweat, tears, and loyalty.

Special thanks to Jessica Adler, Judi Balcerzak (volunteer round-up extraordinaire), Ivi Barceloni, Laura Barry, Blaise Carrier-Chouinard, Cynthia Daniels Chiplis, Jeff Chiplis (who always pulls through for us), CSU paper crew, Jacqueline DelBrocco & Josh, Joan Deveney and her daughter Jessica, Maureen (Moe) Dixon (Moe’s here, never fear), Michael Dockrill, Deborah Durbin, Bryan Edwards, Risë Edwards, Bonnie Manning, Cherie Price (Bryan, Risë, Bonnie, Cherie, my personal heroes), Bruce Edwards, Heather Funk, David Gobeille, Melody Grable, Michele Gregg, Kelly Hathaway, Henry Hwang, Lori Kella, Skye Kellerman, Patti Knon, Nicholas P. Kouris (late-night die-hard and hero), Laura Kushnick (best at making waves), Leslie Lahr, John Larger, Kelly Marie Lawrence, Vanessa LaValle, Qian Li, Stephen Litchfield (who can build anything flawlessly), Steve Louzos, Jerry Mann (always getting the candid shots), Anneliesa Melari, Frank Miller III (Fabulous Dodd Photo Corner photographer), Alex Nichols & friends, Emily Ouzts, Ryan Pearl (wine connoisseur and funny man), Nick Meloro (a shining face always), Angelica Pozo, Amelia & Eliza Richardson, Jill Richardson (keeper of sanity), Scott Richardson (the pres), Liza Rifkin, Liz Sabo, Maria Samuelson, Zoey Sebastian, Alyssa Schneider, Tim Skehan, Mia Sobotka, Hallie Spooner, Matt Stevens, Sean Szczepinski, Adam Tully (always cheerful and enthusiastic), Casey Vogt, Joy Whitman, Maggie Wojton, Laila Voss, Bob Zombar (your laugh, Bob, looking forward to it next year!), and soooo many others who helped us pull off a fantastic evening.

Thank you to our rock star co-chairs John Farina and Genna Petrolla and our wonderful board!

TO ALL OF YOU HELPED THROUGHOUT THIS PROCESS: Your time, devotion, positive energy, and creative force is what kept us going and made this fundraiser a success! THANK YOU!

Posted by Nicole Edwards, Communications Manager on behalf of SPACES staff

Filed under: Cleveland, Miscellaneous Debris, , , , , ,

Barry happy to be meet you

Photo by Laura Barry

Laura Barry on working with the artist-in-residence, Jiri Suruvka.

The 12th of August was an exciting day at SPACES. On that Wednesday afternoon we welcomed our 27th artist-in-residence, Jiří Surůvka. Suruvka, performance artist extraordinaire, hails from the Czech Republic where he teaches new media at Ostrava University. But to me this day was more than just the welcoming of Jiří, it also marked the turning point in my “career” at the gallery—graduating from gallery volunteer to assistant to the manager of the SPACES World Artist Program! Don’t let that fancy title confuse you; my job can basically be summed up in two words: Jiří’s assistant. That’s right, I had the awesome job of hanging out with the visiting artist and taking him shopping.

On a typical day, Jiří and I could be found tooling around town in my Toyota Camry, shopping for the best deals on photo frames, 2×4’s, heat guns and the like (or unlike, as the case may be). Along the way, I also got the chance to learn all about the Czech Republic and see Cleveland, for the first time, though the eyes of a tourist.

During one of the first days I spent with Jiří, we stopped at a grocery store so he could buy cigarettes. Anyone in America can tell you that we keep cigarettes under pretty heavy security in this country. It was no surprise to me when the cashier had to go to the back room to get the master key for the heavy-duty lock and chains on the doors of the cigarette case. To Jiří, this set of actions was absurd! “They barricade cigarettes like they are guns,” he remarked and started laughing. This was just one of the many times Jiří forced me to see America with fresh eyes. After all, routine events seem new and exotic when you’re with someone who has never seen them before.

It’s been an eye-opening four weeks traveling around and getting to know our current SWAP artist and I look forward to meeting the next one. I’ll keep you posted!. If you missed the opening, don’t forget to stop in and see Jiří’s work on display at SPACES until October 23rd.

Filed under: Artists, Cleveland, Guest Bloggers, SPACES, SWAP Stories, , , , , , , ,

Underground Activity


For those of us who seek something different, a little adventurous, something vintage, yet urban and gritty, and most importantly something FREE, the Viaduct will be hopping this weekend. Artists, city-dwellers, and suburbanites are invited to mix and mingle beneath one of Cleveland’s most amazing hidden treasures. The Bridge Project opens up the historic subway and streetcar level of the Detroit Superior Bridge (Veteran’s Memorial Bridge, right across from SPACES’ headquarters) on Friday, September 25 (4pm to midnight) and (Saturday from noon – midnight). SPACES’ fan-favorite, PechaKucha takes place at 8:20pm during The Bridge Project (same location). Aside from having access to one of Cleveland’s most mysterious, nostalgic, and architecturally interesting landmarks, you will experience some spectacular views of the city and get to see some of the area’s most talented cultural players. And, well, if you are going to be on the Viaduct, you might as well stop on by and check out our current exhibitions taking place in the gallery. We’re open until 7pm on Friday and from 11am to 5:30pm on Saturday, so … Need I say more?

Full schedule of events

Update 09.24.09: Check out the video below that gives you directions on how to get to the Bridge Project, and provides a sneak peek at the glory of the lower level of the bridge.

Posted by Nicole Edwards

Filed under: Artists, Cleveland, Links, Miscellaneous Debris, , , , , ,



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