Monster Drawing Rally is my favorite event of the year in Cleveland.
I was first invited to participate in 2012 by Dante Rodriguez. I'd never been to the MDR before, and had no idea what to expect, but I knew it would be special as soon as I heard the concept: 100+ artists drawing live in a gallery for one-night-only to benefit SPACES.
This will be my third year participating. I look forward to it more and more every year. This year, I had the honor of designing the official promotional image for the event. Also, I'm honored to be one of this year's guest curators – charged with selecting some of the participants.
Typically, artists do their craft in the solitude of their studios. The work appears completed in galleries like magic. Some artists (like performance artists) create their work in front of their audience, but most visual artists never "perform" in front of their audience unless they're sketching at a coffee shop or something.
The energy in the room is palpable. It's not often that 100+ artists gather in one place to create. This collective creativity creates an atmosphere that radiates with positive energy. You're sure to feel it the second you walk through the door.
All the work is sold for $65. With all the work priced equally, the artists are competing, not just for your attention, but your patronage. However, sales are not guaranteed, so artists are forced into competition to stand out amongst such a diverse, talented field. In this way, SPACES simultaneously creates an event that is both cooperative and competitive. Similarly, patrons must compete with each other to purchase their favorite works. If more than one person wishes to purchase a work, they must draw cards. If you aren't paying attention, your favorite piece may be gone before you notice. It's this healthy competition that keeps raising the bar at each annual event.
For one-night-only, SPACES allows these talented artists the opportunity to perform like "rock stars" in front of thousands of viewers. It also gives the audience a rare glimpse into more than a hundred creative processes. In one night, viewers can see dozens of techniques and styles.
The best part for the audience is the ability to purchase work that was created in front of their eyes. Any work bought at the MDR is a guaranteed conversation starter. Not only do you get a new, one-of-a-kind work of art; you get a story to go along with it.
SPACES' Monster Drawing Rally is a mutually beneficial experience for the artists, the audience and SPACES. Don't miss this special evening at SPACES Saturday, April 12th 6-10pm.
Ever wonder what Robin Wright (The Princess Bride, Forest Gump) has been up to the past couple years? Well, you're about to find out. Set in an alternate reality that could only come from the mind of Ari Folman, Robin Wright is about to sell her body to the Hollywood mega-studio "Miramount." (Sound familiar?) Miramount is going to scan every inch of her body and digitally control her image. They can cast her in any role they'd like: Oscar®-bait, sci-fi movies, even pornography. While the digitized Robin is out earning the studio massive profits, a new technology emerges: the ability to become other people through an advanced chemical form of virtual reality. Suddenly, Robin finds herself in a surreal animated world full of magical wonder and not-so-earthly delights. But as Robin falls further down the virtual rabbit hole, she also fades from the ones who love her most. Part live action and part spectacular animation, THE CONGRESS is an ambitious sci-fi allegory that reinvents itself at every turn. -C.P.
Friday, March 21, 4:45 PM
Saturday, March 22, 9:20 PM
Director: Ari Folman
Country: ISRAEL, GERMANY, POLAND, LUXEMBOURG, FRANCE, BELGIUM
Run Time: 122 minutes
Email SPACES at contact@SPACESgallery.org for a special $2 off ticket discount code for the movie.
Last Thursday the SPACES team plus our new artists Lauren Herzak-Bauman (Cleveland) and Migiwa Orimo (Yellow Springs, OH) went on an outing to the Akron Art Museum. We got a tour of the new shows from Arnie Tunstall, collections manager, and Liz Carney, curatorial assistant. We spent an especially long time with the new piece by Diana Al-Hadid, Nolli's Orders, a stunning sculpture that takes up the entire space of the front gallery room. Made out of steel, polymer gypsum, fiberglass, wood, foam and paint, the piece looked so delicate it felt like a piece could fall off any second if someone breathed too hard--but it was remarkable in its stability. Each drip from the figures and the pedestals stayed perfectly in place, and the combination of materials created a beautiful textural effect that was equally hard to take your eyes off of. There were also a few really nice drawings of Al-Hadid's on the walls, as well as a panel that fooled some of us--it looked like a 2D piece from afar but on closer look we realized it was actually 3D, with spaces in the piece where the white wall showed through.. very cool effect.
We also got a tour of the show Multiplicity, which came from the Smithsonian, featuring prints from a diverse range of artists such as Chuck Close, Jim Dine, Helen Frankenthaler, John Cage, and Kiki Smith. An interesting aspect of this show is that all of these artists worked with professional printers in some respect. One of my favorite pieces was Kiki Smith's Banshee Pearls, twelve chaotic black and white prints arranged in a grid.
We warmed up with some lunch afterwards and then hauled on back to Cleveland. It was a wonderful chance to hang out with Lauren and Migiwa, and see what our friends in Akron are up to. Some photos from Thursday are below.
In other exciting news, last Saturday the whole team was busy-- we packed up the old shows, and Lauren started installing her piece Field, with the help of her friend Mallorie and SPACES interns. Three of us spent many hours cutting pieces of fishing line and tying loops on each end. Lauren's piece is looking beautiful, porcelain chains hung from the ceiling in rows creating intricate patterns from different viewpoints. It was really fun being part of the process and getting a view into the immense amount of time and effort it takes to put an installation like this together--it's really interesting how art-making can involve a lot of mechanical tasks like this.
Take a look at the photos from install day!
It's going to be exciting when we can share these new exhibitions with the public on our opening on January 31st! Hope to see you all there.
[Information on Al-Hadid's work and the Multiplicity exhibition from akronartmuseum.org]
When I responded to the SPACES invitation to collaborate with visiting Berlin artists Yuka Oyama and Axel Ruoff on their installations, all I knew was that I definitely fulfilled the requirement of having a "special relationship with a particular object." Moon shelves (crescent-shaped knickknack shelves) are not known in Berlin, but many Clevelanders remember them from childhood. First I just loved them as handmade variations of a favorite image, the moon; and then, discovering they were called "Stairway to Heaven," they acquired spiritual meaning. Axel and Yuka were intrigued with these moon shelves, and went on to discover other collections as well that inspired them. Their idea, they told me, was that they would share their ideas and imagination with the community and "then see what will happen"...
After interviewing me at length about my relationship to the moon shelves, Yuka created a mirrored moon mask in which I was photographed by Becky Yee in my home surrounded by my collection. Yuka's installation includes photos by Yee of several collectors in masks, as well as information from Yuka's interviews and a display of the quite large original masks.
Axel made paintings and videos, inspired by discussions he and I had about the symbolism of the stairs and moon, and also inspired by the story of a man disfigured in a historic Cleveland fire, who became for Axel a mythic "man without a face" or without a "self". His video, "How do I get to Moonshelf City?," appears at first to be a real interview, but instead reveals itself to be a fantasy. The faceless man, offscreen, consults me on how to use a moonshelf--a magic object--to find a face.
Mystery, fantasy, psychological study, even humor (are those really football players running up the moonshelf stairs?)--I was so glad I said "yes" to this imaginative adventure. The exhibit closes this Friday, January 17.
C. Moonshelf Collector, Yuka Oyama, Photo: Becky Yee
The next Season Pass members-only event is a sneak peek of our upcoming projects, on 1/23, where you can speak with Mahwish Chishty (Kent, OH) and Julia Christensen (Oberlin, OH) as their work unfolds. Then,... More...
SPACES opens 2018 with newly commissioned projects by Julia Christensen (Oberlin, OH) and Mahwish Chishty (Kent, OH)-two regional artists who have shown their work extensively, around the world.
Waiting for a Break, by Julia Christensen, draws... More...