Summer of Art in Cleveland

Artist Trust

Come hang out  for the rehang of the Artist Trust which has now ben called the Cleveland Artist Registry. It will rehangs during FRONT in Gordon Square’s Micro Artspace. Join us in July at the Gordon Square Art Space the celebrate another exhibition of the 400+ artist self-portraits originally collected by Liz Maugans for the 2017 “Constant in the Sun” exhibit at MOCA. The show will highlight local artists while visitors are in town for the FRONT and CAN Triennials. Bring your portrait to the Gordon Square Art Space at 1386 W. 65th onSaturdays between 12-8pm or by appointment at the Gordon Square office at 78th Street Studios. Mail submissions to: Gordon Square Arts District 1305 W. 80th St., Suite 114. Cleveland, OH 44102. OR you’re welcome to stop by on Saturday, July 7 to create your portrait at the micro-gallery during our open gallery hours from 12:00-8:00 pm.Some supplies will be available, or bring your own!35369029_10156224528445856_8682227125589114880_o

Lakewood Light-in-Sight


Me and Dana Depew my collaborating artists for the Community city Engaged arts project for the New Lakewood Family Health Center


Lakewood Light In-Sight is a community collaborative project with a 70’ mixed media installation inspired by residents of Lakewood.  The Solstice Steps plays a significant role in conceptualizing the project. Lakewood residents will be asked to respond to the statement, “Lakewood is…” Written, texted, and email responses will be collected. Several times each week, their responses will be displayed within the mixed media installation. Lakewood Light In-Sight will also include a range of community engaged activities. We hope to capture the diversity of the community and how Lakewood responds to public spaces. We’re seeking commentary on day-to-day life in Lakewood, and the special events like The Taste of Lakewood, Lakewood Arts-fest, 4th of July day parade, Light up Lakewood. We intend to respond to the community with quirky, sculptural renditions of people enjoying the Solstice Steps, for example, and celebrate their wellness and quality of life. Liz Maugans and Dana Depew are the principal artists involved with the orchestration and production of art and materials to complete Lakewood Light In-Sight. Other artists may be invited to participate as the project develops and expands into the Lakewood community. Residents of Lakewood are the primary source for the narrative component of the project.

CAN TriennialFullSizeRender-1

I am thrilled to be included in the CAN Triennial that opens on July 6th with a benefit VIP benefit at 78th Street Studios. I will be included in a group exhibition at HEDGE Gallery with all the other artists that Hilary Gent represents. The CAN Triennial runs the first month of the FRONT Triennial and Cleveland and greater NEOhio expects over 300,000 people to attend these events throughout the region showcasing work of International, national and area artists. Here is a little CAN teaser of what is to come.


New Studio at 78th Street Studios

I am pleased to be sharing a studio with my friend Amy Morgenstern who creates jewelry and all kinds of great things. Since January of 2018, we are happy to be apart of this great community. We hope to continue with projects and enjoy all the synergies happening at this great Cleveland arts landmark. I can be found there on Tuesdays and Thursdays.


Looking back on 2012, I gotta say, “WOW, man”!

Here is what I managed to accomplish…and it is because of the wonderful support of the Creative Workforce Fellowship.



Jan. 4 Opening at Arts Collinwood HALF EMPTY

January 30 Opening at Gallery West “SALVAGE” Cuyahoga Community College


15th Opening Reception at 1point618 Gallery


Website development Bernie Sokolowski

Purchased New IMAC


New camera

Research trip-lunch for participants Columbus

Trip to Columbus-with Rooms to Let crew


Curated Obsessive Intricacies show at Zygote Press

Christi Birchfield contract printing she-printed old plates  8 editions of 4 completed

Show at Hillary Aurand’s gallery with Rape Crisis Center/


Monster Drawing-creation of three drawings benefitting SPACES Gallery May 4th

Juuried Lakeland Community College May Show with Matt Dibble

Rooms to Let May 18th event

Idea Culture at Forum Art Space

Donation to APL benefit

Commissioned contracted work of prints by Christi Birchfield


Coordinated (and donated art) to CAN art auction at Convivium

CAN art donation

-CAN article about project $500

RTL meeting and planning session Slavic Village CDC/Vogley-Woods


InDesign coaching with (Bernie)

Dress show Bay Arts

Toledo trip-art commission to see Art-o-matic 419/Mark Folk

Preparation for show at MOCA

Create work for Exeter Academy Exhibition in August


Shipping for What is important is…., San Antonio show U of TX.

Shipping for On and Off the Page Exeter show New Hampshire

Guest Curated Everything All AT Once at MOCA, moderated opening panel discussion

Trades Show (Labor) at Zygote Press-4-5 month collaboration with Tom Sodders teamster

Fix neon broke in shipping King of Neon


Work with Bernie to develop digital prints

Visiting artist at UTSA-San Antonio Exhibition

Visiting artist at Phillips Exeter Academy Exhibition

Travel, lecture, working with student classes

Benefits framing for Bay Arts

Art Means Business Panelist, Warren Ohio through YSU

Lectured to CWRU class MOCA Cleveland show



Morgan benefit work

MOCA benefit work

Photoshop design work-Bernie Sokowlowski Quiet Protest

Commissioned Book Cover for Terry Allen Out of Breath novel


Spaces Benefit

Alaska Anchorage trip-scope out galleries/residency opportunities

Consultancy for Slavic Village Rooms to Let (Spring 2014)

Images of studio used for ARTFULL session at MOCA ‘Mom’s with Home Studios’ Grabner show


Zygote Holiday Off-the-wall show

ANNEX: a major big deal!

Late Summer Updates/

I have been super lousy keeping up with this blog and updating the many things I have done this summer (many thanks to the support of CPAC’s Creative Workforce Fellowship). I suppose I can start with the fact that a wonderful opportunity landed in my lap out of no where. I was asked to guest curate a show for August at MOCA CLeveland called, Everything All at Once. This crew who is exhibiting  is a DREAM TEAM-Jeff Chiplis, Dana Depew, Elizabeth Emery and Jen Omaitz. Show opens 24th-more details later.


I am also creating work for two shows at University of Texas at San Antonio and Phillip Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. Both exhibitions slated for August. Former Kent Art Historian and Curator, Scott Sherer, is curating show in Texas called What is important is…., and On and Off the Page in New Hampshire show. I am thrilled to be participating in these shows and shipping 21 large-scale relief prints, etchings, and neon works.


Giving Vacancy Another Look by Marc Lefkowitz

In 2007, the sub-prime lending fiasco lit a match to a powder keg. Urban centers like Cleveland

have been emptying out from sprawl and job loss for decades. But, the foreclosure meltdown

threatened to blow the lid off. Cleveland led the nation that year with more than 10,000

homeowners walking away from toxic loans. Down I-71 in Columbus, foreclosures hit but not as

hard as the damage done decades earlier by that very highway slicing through city


Highways like I-71, or I-90 in Cleveland, cut a wide swath through the heart of many American

cities in the 1960s. Built by the federal government, who took property with eminent domain,

highways helped speed the emptying out of cities and created a host of fiscal, environmental,

transportation, and social problems.

Compounding it all, Ohio is still trying to make sense of the tsunami of foreclosures that swept

over it. For most suburban dwellers, foreclosures and the crater left from neglect and

abandonment hasn’t cracked their consciousness. The cancer of vacancy seems to be fairly well

contained in the city, but in the last two years, it has even spread to the suburbs.

What to do? How do we begin to come to grips with what this means for our cities and by

extension our little piece of the American pie?

Artists have long weighed in on the social ills of their day, and foreclosure is one of the biggest

to come down the pike in a long, long time. A home is rife with meaning and purpose and when

it loses both, and on such a broad scale, the loss is collective. What role can art play in piecing it

all back together?

These questions are certainly at play in Curb Appeal, a project led by a group of artists from

Cleveland (disclosure: the author is one of seven) who will address vacancy through on-site

installations at an abandoned house in Columbus. It is part of a larger effort, Rooms to Let, led

by Melissa Vogley Woods and Jaclyn Little. Columbus natives, Little co-founded City Center

Gallery at the OSU Urban Arts Space in 2010, and served as director until 2011. Woods is an

exhibiting artist whose work on vacancy was recognized by Ohio Arts Council Individual

Excellence Award in 3D (2013).

“When the function of a house is disrupted, it feels dead, like a ghost,” Vogley Woods says. “We

connect to the house like we connect to the function of the body. Particularly, the American idea

of home and how this ideal is manifested and ordered by our culture.”

This is the third round of Rooms to Let, their temporary exhibitions with abandoned buildings.

This project centers on homes in the once-stable and bustling African-American neighborhood

just east of downtown Columbus known as King-Lincoln. It kicks off with a Neighborhood

Crawl on May 18 from 2 to 10 p.m.

In the late 19th century, as King-Lincoln’s population exploded, blacks migrating from the south

found poor living conditions. The neighborhood struggled to find adequate health care, but it also

became home to Columbus’ first black physician and the first hospital for African-Americans.

Housing conditions improved as African-American businesses and night clubs featuring the jazz

stars of the age were established in the 1930s-40s. “At the time, segregation actually fueled the

commercial and cultural development of the area, as African-American consumers could only

patronize the African-American businesses in the neighborhood. As a result, a thriving, selfsufficient

community developed,” writes Homeport, a non-profit developer working in the area.

In the 60s, after the highway sliced through the neighborhood, residents gained a new sense of

mobility and the tight-knit, walkable neighborhood slowly started losing residents and local

business. Known for its mom-and-pop shops and solid middle class housing, both started a

decades-long decline mirroring the rise of the suburbs.

In recent times, Homeport has taken on infill development projects including 60 new green-built

homes. According to WOSU’s Columbus Neighborhoods Project, King-Lincoln is “poised for

rebirth. The restoration of the King Lincoln Theatre was one of the most anticipated projects in

the city. Now completed, it joins the King Arts Complex in shaping and developing this historic


Curb Appeal refers to a term used by the real estate profession to describe the extrinsic value of a

property. It is emblematic of the starry-eyed transactions that inflated the housing bubble of the

early Oughts.

Homeport’s Nicole Papa Odegaard sees a connection between art and vacancy. “Art builds

community. Artists spark conversation and bring people together. All kinds of people with

different backgrounds and interests who may otherwise never have the opportunity or reason to

interact. With the Rooms to Let project, abandoned houses will become gathering places, places

of contemplation and even joy.”

Foreclosures are like the Wizard of Oz coming out from behind the curtain, says Liz Maugins,

one of the artists. Maugins will let loose some salesmanship of her own.

“My mother is a realtor, and one of their strategies for getting people to

come to an open house is using brightly colored balloons by the door,” she describes part of her

piece called, THIS HOUSE IS UP IN THE AIR. “A message and address of the house is attached

to each balloon. I ask people to text or email me when they find the deflated balloon with ideas

for its future.”

Painter and printmaker Corrie Slawson will explore the friction of a home’s transitory state of

occupancy and the ideal of its value both at a personal but also at the community level. In her

piece, Gilt House I, she plans to “gild” areas of and around the home in gold metallic paint. She

will also collaborate on written word wall paper with her husband, writer Marc Lefkowitz

combining text, gold wallpaper and Day-Glo words over the boarded up windows.

Photographer and sculptor, Michael Loderstedt, will do a site-specific installation of paper-andink

magpies. A common bird throughout Europe, magpies are attracted to shiny objects and will

often add coins to their nests, he explains. “This behavior of ‘stealing’ is, of course, without real

moral significance to them. They become allegorical figures who build, plan, scheme and act in a

more human-like manner. Used as a playful yet dramatic foil, the birds are intended to be a

metaphor for our current economic condition.”

Cleveland-based illuminated artists Jeffrey Chiplis and Dana L. Depew will collaborate and

connect the vacant house with work that deals with resurrecting reclaimed signage, neon and

incandescent lighting. Mely Barragan, Mexican native and Cleveland Foundation Creative

Fusion artist-in-residence at Zygote Press, will contribute a piece title, HeMan / Chain-Link

Fence. Wallpaper with graphic images of the cartoon character, HeMan, form a chain link fence

that challenge the boundaries between public and private, but also the symbols of poverty.

Curb Appeal and Rooms to Let are a pathway for artists living amongst the angst of a mounting

social problem in their hometown. Cleveland artists will travel to Columbus, bringing with them

an inside-outside viewpoint on vacancy. The challenge will be in taking a concept wrapped in a

thorny and evolving problem to a real house in a neighborhood imbued with a rich past but an

uncertain future.

“We think the neighborhood has a very certain future,” says Papa Odegaard. “The residents have

created a strong fabric of community and look out for each other. They want to know each other

and they come together to care for, and advance, their neighborhood. This project gives people

who may not be familiar with the transformation happening in the King Lincoln District a reason

to come and spend a few hours there. This project will create excitement and have people

looking at what is happening next in NoBo.”ImageJeff Chiplis assists Dana Depew in putting a new house on an older house-for future inhabitants in King Lincoln


CURB APPEAL project, is, in part, funded through the Creative Workforce Fellowship received in 2013 by Liz Maugans.


Visit to Columbus King Lincoln Neighborhood and more

Headed down to Columbus with the crew of Dana Depew, Jeff Chiplis, Corrie Slawson and Mely Barragan, visiting artist from Tijuana. We had a whirlwind trip and were able to document and get some quick photos of our project house. As I was letting go of a few of the  Up in the Air balloons with the house address on with a message about finding out about the house, one of the neighbors came over and was disgruntled a bit because one of them had popped in his yard and he had to pick it up. Of course, he also wanted to know what we were doing snooping around the vacant lot next to his. Several of us were measuring and documenting. I explained our project and he seemed to open up a bit following that point. He told us that he had wanted to purchase this huge house and that it was still in the plans. He took care of the vacant lot, mowing it and keeping trash off it. He told us about a murder just across the street and a fire of a burnt out garage, still visible in the back. I told him, that even though we are from Cleveland and we are a visitor in his neighborhood, we had similar issues in regards to vacancy and foreclosure (and all the systemic problems that surround the housing crisis). The conversation was exactly what we had spoken about going down to Columbus.ImageImageImageImage

Latest Lizzy Updates

Had a wonderful night with the opening of the show I curated called Obsessive Intracasies at Zygote. I am lucky to have such A-One talent under our own(Zygote) roof and from out own region. Curating an  exhibition is more then connecting works together in a logical way, but trying to show the intersections and differences that can take you, and hopefully those that visit the space, on  tangential journeys, provoking a rounded experience for those that engage with the work. I see organizing exhibitions as a crucial part of  my own art practice. Nicole Schneider once again is a master partner in the labor intensive exercise of installing, prepping and administrating exhibitions at Zygote.

Two very important benefits that I commit to each year are coming up-ArtCARES (AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland) and Art Scores (After school writing and poetry programs for CMSD). Carrying Twins (pictured above) and BLACK OUT (a neon work) will be presented to make some $ for these two worthy organizations.

On another front, part of my CWF fellowship proposal, aims to look at ways in which I can intervene and create work about vacancy will be taking place with the research trip down to Columbus for CURB APPEAL with Jeffry Chiplis, Mely Barragan (Creative Fusion artist), Corrie Slawson and Marck Lefkowitz. Marc is going to eloquently frame the project in the summer issue of CAN journal. We were appointed a new house where, additionally, Dana Depew and Michael Loderstedt will also be participating in this intervention of vacancy and rehabbing space for the neighborhood event that takes place on May 18th in Columbus.

Have a few other shows on the horizon, three text-based works at Hillary Gent’s space for Third Fridays at 78th Street Studios on the 19th of April about Relationship Abuse and featuring some sketchbooks at another 78th Street gallery, Forum Art Space in same complex. I am also in the Dress Show curated by Denise Stewart at Bay Arts coming up in May. Working on that project archiving the significance of dresses in women’s memory of past events.

Computers, Balloons and Conferences

Today was one of those planning and implementing days for ordering useful tools (that I could never have afforded before) from the financial support from this fantastic CPAC Creative Workforce Fellowship, that will aid me in many upcoming installations, projects, marketing efforts and efficient documentation. With the help of my webmaster, Bernie Sokowlowski, he has been at my side now for five years or so,  recommending equipment and assisting  me through the confusion of the many tech navigation decisions I need to make. I have been without a desktop now for two months, so today I purchased my first  iMAC and also bought a refurbished iPAD . I also got  the tech support  classes to help me understand the flow between the apple products and to flirt with the guys at the Genius bar. Being able to be more independent around the computer is going to be so beneficial for my work-manipulating text and image…etc. I ordered 99 red balloons for a project (everyone wants to sing that song-I know it!). Solidifying plans for the Southern Graphics Conference in Milwaukee (heading there with Corrie) and awaiting a review from Scene’s art editor, Joseph Clark from 1.618 gallery that comes out on Wednesday.

Talked to Tom Sodders, a retired Teamster today, and we are going to begin our collaborative printmaking project where various union members are working with Zygote artists. This exhibition will be in July. The exhibition is still up at the library so please go and see this great New Deal Exhibition at Cleveland Public Library. city limits

A proposal I made to Rooms to Let, (a Melissa Vogley-Woods project) down in Columbus was accepted. ROOMS TO LET makes houses available to artists that are in various stages of redevelopment and disrepair for  interventions that reflect, posture and prompt  the community .   The proposal is called CURB APPEAL.

CURB APPEAL: Advertising Space addresses a direct response to vacancy through advertisement, graphics, signage and promotional constructs, through imagined and well intentioned, mediations, narratives and interventions.

Curb appeal”  is the attractiveness of the exterior of a residential or commercial property. The term was used during the housing boom in the United States and continues to be an indicator of the initial appeal of a property to prospective buyers.

The proposition for CURB APPEAL is intended between a buyer and seller paradigm and suggests an optimism and resourcefulness for re-inhabiting the property. Some wonderful artists are working with me, Corrie Slawson $ Marc Leftkowitz, Elizabeth Emery, Dana Depew, Michael Loderstedt and myself. Really looking forward to this opportunity of Cleveanders in Columbus.

Creative Workforce Fellowship 2013 Updates

Creative Workforce Fellowship 2013 Updates

The photograph is from work I created for a solo show called Desperate Signs Exhibition at 1point618 Gallery. I am exhibiting upstairs with the talented Kristin Rogers downstair in the project space. The show is up until April 12th. Please go and see this exhibition. Please contact me if you are interested in arranging a visit-hours vary regarding opening of Kristin and I are arranging another event-so more details to follow.

I have been very busy, almost too busy for posting which
I know is not very productive as this wonderful Fellowship is upon me in 2013. It is March after all, so I thought some updates were in order for may behind the scenes activity.
I started out in January with an exhibition called HALF EMPTY with Dale Goode at Arts Collinwood, and a community sign project called Half Full. This is for the amazing activities going on for Collinwood Rising-about artists (and creativity) trying to solve some of the challenges regarding vacancy in that neighborhood.

I made a proposal CURB APPEAL to Rooms to Let, a project space that connects with Neighborhood Development community to re-inhabit spaces (houses) in various stages of vacancy-demolition-renovation-rehab down in Columbus, run by Melissa Vogley Woods. The project will include interventions by Cleveland artists Dana Depew, Elizabeth Emery, Michael Loderstedt, Corrie Slawson and myself where we will head down (sometime in May) and intervene with projects to show the potential of a homes reparation and rehab from the exterior.

I am also one of the participating artists with Art Scores, a project with Cleveland Public School students where the poetry they write inspired artists work. All proceeds support this amazing program. I am looking forward to Drawn and Quartered participation and Monster Drawing coming up in the next few weeks.