What's Up Cleveland?: Lauren Herzak-Bauman   12.01.15

For this edition of What Up Cleveland? we interviewed Lauren Herzak-Bauman, a functional and sculptural ceramic artist, at her studio in the Screw Factory on Cleveland's Westside. She discusses loss and decay as a source of inspiration for her work. Pulling from personal experiences, she focuses on the moment between life and death using light as an integral part in her installations as it simultaneously "has a presence and an absence."

Lauren's versatility in ceramics has allowed her to be a designer, potter, and installation artist using each medium to create a unique experience for the viewer.

You can find out more about Lauren Herzak-Bauman and her work at

Lauren's functional-wares are available on her online shop at

Author: Michelle Epps, Community Engagement Manager
Category: What's Up Cleveland?

What's Up Cleveland?: Josh Usmani   05.13.15

It's time for another edition of What's Up Cleveland? For our second episode we interviewed artist Josh Usmani at his Cleveland studio. Josh is an artist, writer and instructor, who, in 2009, began an unusual collaboration by re-facing paper currency. What started off as Joker faces drawn on one dollar bills eventually evolved into "Funny Money" in which Usmani re-faced 100 paper currency bills from the US, India, United Kingdom, and Fiji. Usmani notes that he will probably never meet his "collaborators"--the artists behind the original designs on the bills, but acknowledges the beauty of their work and how it informs his choices when re-facing the bills.

Since money can instill a wide range of emotions in people based on their own personal experiences with it's scarcity or abundance, Usmani enjoys watching people's reaction to his drawings. He points out that this body of work stemmed from his own frustrations with money and the economic hardships which resulted from the recession and began re-facing bills as a way to vent his anger about the situation. Since his "Funny Money" show in 2012 at Naji, Naji and Tekler inside the 78th Street Studios, his re-faced bills have gained a lot of interest, and he has put together "Funny Money II," which will be shown at Tregoning & Company, from May 15 - July 9th, 2015, with the opening reception on May 15th, 5 - 9pm.

For more information on Josh Usmani visit his website at

Author: Michelle Epps, Community Engagement Manager
Category: What's Up Cleveland?

What's Up Cleveland?: Julie Friedman   05.06.15

There is a LOT going on in Cleveland right now, especially in our ever-expanding art scene. At the forefront of this cultural revitalization are Cleveland's artists. SPACES supports the creation of new work by Cleveland artists by helping them realize projects that may not otherwise have a venue in this city or elsewhere. Even with 13 major projects and 30 events each year, we can't work with every Cleveland-based artist who piques our interest--that's why we're introducing the new video series, What's Up Cleveland?

What's Up Cleveland? takes viewers into the core of the creative process by filming conversations with Cleveland-area artists as they make their work. These videos provide viewers the opportunity to learn more about artists they may already love, or find out about an artist's work that they haven't seen yet.

Our first filmed studio visit was with Julie Friedman, who opened up her Medina studio to the SPACES crew. Julie spent the afternoon talking to us about her techniques for turning tyvek into complex landscapes.

Author: Christina Vassallo, Executive Director
Category: What's Up Cleveland?

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