Marc Lefkowitz | 11/14/07 @ 5:02pm
It was a raucous, energizing evening Thursday, September 7 as 450 Clevelanders packed into Spaces Gallery for the opening of "Street Repairs," an exhibit with 14 local artists responding to the urban street as a place of interaction, isolation, and inspiration. Live performances by hometown rockers Cobra Verde (inside newsense enterprises' makeshift club space), and breakdancers from 216 Beatriders spinning on a "stage" emblazoned by aerosol artist Poke brought the energy of the street inside.
"This is a way of looking at the street from the ground up," commented exhibit curator, local artist and teacher Don Harvey.
Harvey's penchant for exploring small, unintended collisions of natural and urban ecosystems can be felt in the show. But mostly the artists respond in ways that run from illuminating to making light of experiences in the city, with its creatures and its built environment. Here's a rundown of the artists and their work:
- Amber Anderson's photographs of roadside shrines are powerful and eerily intimate.
- Corrie Slawson's print installations are sharp comments on the street at lunchtime with 500 pigeons cut from supermarket fliers and graph-like stacks of silkscreen take-out containers.
- Mark Reigelman II's "Home Sweet Home" is a clever rethinking of an RTA shelter as a living room.
- Jake Beckman's "Urban Core Samples" are meaty slabs of the skin and bones of the urban street.
- Video artists Jo Q. Nelson, Frank Ferraro and Eric Rippert anticipated video was experiencing technical difficulties, but should be fixed soon, says Spaces Sara Wiidman.
- Kevin Lubrano's video tour of the Flats and bridges in "Centaur Care" contrasts with Alex Henry's more impressionistic look at late night Flats action in "Striptease."
- Karen St. John-Vincent's off-kilter vignettes come from photographing arranged meetings and reworking them with paints and wordplay such as in "Ballet in the Alley"
- Stephen Manka painted giant finger prints and arcane symbols on the street at various locations and Jamie Janos photographed them for the meta-materials in the gallery
- Bruce Edwards' mixed-use storefront installations will swap various tenants to comment on the transience of the street. And Ohio City Bike Coop re-created a storefront and filled it with funky gearhead art and objects.
- Michael Kowen's video of Ohio City Bike CoOp's rolling printing process (photo top)
The energy of the opening matched the vibrancy of the work from these young, talented artists-many of whom are exhibiting in a major gallery for the first time. Plenty of live music, poetry and panel discussions are planned in connection with the show, which runs until October 21 - check out Spaces' site for more information.