As a child, Loren Naji (b. January 8, 1957, Brooklyn, NY) loved building things and drawing scenes of adventure and fantasy. Later he studied Graphic Design at Kent State University from 1975-1981. During this time he worked at Geauga Lake Amusement Park drawing portraits.
From 1981-1993 he studied figure/portrait drawing and painting at The Art Students League and The New York Studio School, both in New York City. During this time he worked as a graphic designer, sign painter and display design/fabrication.
From 1993-1998 he attended The Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) with a scholarship, earning a B.F.A. in Painting. His "painting" at CIA was considered sculpture by many, but Naji felt it was painting on a three-dimensional surface. With this he challenged the departmental divisions in art school. The idea of blending the art disciplines is now in vogue in our post modern society.
During summers of art school Naji remodeled a condemned building in Cleveland Hts. This became his studio/gallery where he exhibited many shows for ten years. He travelled extensively to Indonesia, Morocco, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Irian Jaya, Borneo and Turkey procuring primitive artifacts to sell in conjunction with American modern art.
In 2002 he remodeled another building which is currently his studio/gallery in the Ohio City community of Cleveland. He produces what he calls conceptual sculptures which are cult-like objects with formal elements enhanced through non-visual entities such as hidden maps that lead to buried treasure or obsessively counted large numbers. Soon he will open a part of this large building as a public gallery. He also paints large multi- media abstract paintings on canvas and spheres!
Naji has displayed his work in The Cleveland Museum of Art, The NEO Show, Asterisk Gallery, Spaces, Pentagon Gallery, The Butler Art Museum, The Maryland Federation of Art, Phoenix Gallery in New York and many juried shows, with awards.
He has installed a large permanent public sculpture, "They Have Landed" a 3000 pound, 8 foot diameter plywood sphere. It is located in Downtown Cleveland at The RTA Station across from the famous West Side Market at The Lorain Carnegie Bridge.