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Barry happy to be meet you   09.25.09

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, Jií Survka. 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 Jií, 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! Dont let that fancy title confuse you; my job can basically be summed up in two words: Jiís assistant. Thats right, I had the awesome job of hanging out with the visiting artist and taking him shopping.

On a typical day, Jií and I could be found tooling around town in my Toyota Camry, shopping for the best deals on photo frames, 2x4s, 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 Jií, 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 Jií, 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 Jií forced me to see America with fresh eyes. After all, routine events seem new and exotic when youre with someone who has never seen them before.

Its 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. Ill keep you posted!. If you missed the opening, dont forget to stop in and see Jiís work on display at SPACES until October 23rd.

Author: Christopher Lynn, Executive Director
Category: General

DOUBLE #DailyArtDose Round-Up   09.25.09

Donner gives a lecture on Pregnancy Test (installation detail), at SPACES, 2008, latex, paint, ink, and paper, 96" x 120"; Photo courtesy of Jerry Mann Photography

Week of September 14
David Maisel: davidmaisel.com
Case Simmons & Andrew Burke: simmonsandburke.com
DJ Sniff: djsniff.com
Bigert and Bergström: bigertbergstrom.com
Michael Iskowitz: dollhousesociety.com

Week of September 21
Lucas Murgida: cjamesgallery.com
Fionna Banner: fionabanner.com
Former SWAP artist, Christa Donner: christadonner.com
WochenKlausur: wochenklausur.at
Randall Szott: three-walls.org

For your heart-healthy #DailyArtDose, follow us on Twitter and become our fan on Facebook.

Author: Christopher Lynn, Executive Director
Category: #DailyArtDose

Underground Activity   09.23.09

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



Author: Christopher Lynn, Executive Director
Category: General

#DailyArtDose Round-Up (yee-haw)   09.11.09

School is back in session ...

Week of September 8, 2009

Monday, September 7: Labor Day=#DailyArtDose rest-time
Kim Beck: idealcities.com
Film: Film Makes Us Happy: wholphindvd.com
Pattie Chalmers: pattiechalmers.com
Anton Vidokle on Night School featured on ARTINFO: artinfo.com

Author: Christopher Lynn, Executive Director
Category: General

As the World inTerns: Episode II   09.10.09

In this episode, Nick will attempt to discuss 9/11, the Plum Academy, and the spirit of volunteerism without too many English Major meanderings.

As the resident English Major intern, I was asked to blog about Friday, September 11, 2009: the opening celebration of SPACES Plum Academy. Recently, it has also been declared the first National Day of Service and Remembrance. Despite its new designation, 9/11 is a difficult day to host an opening. Lets face it, theres no room in perceptions of 9/11, for a non-profit art gallery. For the novice blogger, it is similarly daunting to fuse these absurdly unrelated phenomena. But what after all, creates the feeling of unease here?

In linguistics, they talk about what differentiates human language, from say, chimpanzees grunting. Steven Pinker refers to human language as a system of symbols. Words are arbitrary symbols like musical notations, an alphabet, or numbers. They, unlike a screaming monkey, dont seem to be rooted in the concrete. (Bear with me!)

After all, can you, in real life, point out to me the letter A, or a B flat minor chord, or 9/11 walking down the street? Maybe on Sesame Street, but even in that case, Id like to see how they might approach the latter...

Im straying. But my point is that perhaps 9/11, an arbitrary combination of numbers and punctuation, does not have to represent ground zero, Muslim fanaticism, or the terrifying idea of human life as not only an expendable means of proving a point.

For me, that last idea is the most difficult to get past. It is hard to see past the tragedy of it when the New York skyline is permanently changed. Thankfully, there are people who push me to do so. In April, President Obama signed legislation making September 11, 2009 the first National Day of Service and Remembrance.

Maybe the symbol 9/11 can mean something else: Instead of focusing on the fear and anger of 9/11, perhaps the best way of remembering the lives lost that day is by recreating the spirit of empathy, volunteerism and service that emerged out of ground zero. It is a call to action: do a good deed for someone else in remembrance and reverence.  

As a non-profit gallery, SPACES is dependent in many ways on volunteerism and service. And so, on September 11, 2009, the first National Day of Service and Remembrance, SPACES will not only hold an exhibition opening for the Plum Academy. We will also be working alongside our volunteers, because they are an integral part of how art happens at 2220 Superior Viaduct and beyond our walls, too. The SPACES staff"interns included" will be honoring the spirit of volunteerism that drives so many individuals who help us every day. And that is undeniably good.

Until next time,

Nick, the English Guy

Author: Christopher Lynn, Executive Director
Category: General

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