A Lasting Connection   01.13.14

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.

Connie Laessig

C. Moonshelf Collector, Yuka Oyama, Photo: Becky Yee
C. Moonshelf Collector, Yuka Oyama, Photo: Becky Yee

Keywords: art, axel ruoff, collecting, connie laessig, participation, spaces, wearable, yuka oyama
Author: Bruce Edwards, swap coordiantor
Category: Exhibitions

Dexter Davis   12.12.13

Quarter Art Artist December 2013, Dexter Davis

The image in this blog is NOT the piece Davis created for the December Quarter Art. This work is courtesy of the William Busta Gallery.

Davis created a amazing exclusive piece for Quarter Art, it is a wood block print with collage. Each work will be slightly different. But that's all we can say, ssssshhhhhh. We will keep rest under wraps till Thursday (December 19) at 6-8pm for his Harvest Day. On this day patrons who have subscribed to the Quarter Art program will get to pick up their subscription.

See the work in progress.

Want to know more?

SPACES' Quarter Art Program is a art subscription service. Think of it as a quarterly magazine subscription, but in the form of four curated, limited-edition art objects each year. Subscriptions are available at any time for the next slate of artists. An annual subscription is $500. A half-year subscription is $300.

Subscribers support both local artists and SPACES while receiving great contemporary art in return. Art objects may be two-dimensional, three-dimensional or digital. Subscribers will only receive the participating artists' names in advance, but not an image of the specific object being made. The surprise is part of the fun (one quarter of the fun to be exact).

Miss the deadline to get Davis' work? Don't fret, you can pick one of his works or any of the previous Quarter Art artists on Thursday, December 19th for $250.

Check out past Quarter Art artists and their work on

Special thanks to William Busta, Corrie Slawson, Sarah Beiderman and Dexter Davis

Bush Baby, 2013 Dexter Davis, woodcut and collage
Bush Baby, 2013 Dexter Davis, woodcut and collage

Keywords: bill busta, collage, dexter davis, prints, quarter art, spaces, woodcut
Author: Marilyn Ladd-Simmons, Gallery Manager
Category: Artists

Call For Entries: SPACES R&D and SWAP   11.27.13

DEADLINE: Monday December 23, 2013 5:00pm
(not a post mark deadline)


Spread the work folks. We are looking for new and exciting projects.

SPACES is a presenting contemporary art venue dedicated to artists who explore and experiment. Located on the west side of downtown Cleveland, SPACES currently operates three programs to feature the excellent works of our curated artists: R&D (Research & Development), SWAP (SPACES World Artists Program), and The Vault.

R&D - The R&D program invites artists, curators and other cultural producers to articulate their research and development of ideas and objects through a supported exhibition or project. These exhibitions and projects may be group, solo, or collaborative endeavors.
This call-for-entries is open to all established or emerging artists,
curators and cultural producers who are 21 years old or older. As the name of the program suggests, we're looking for artists who are
delving into or willing to delve into research and then developing that research into projects. Applications must show promise and strong conceptual grounding.

SWAP - The SPACES World Artists Program (SWAP) is a residency program for international, U.S. and local artists, founded in 2002 to foster cultural exchange between audiences in Northeast Ohio and artists from around the world. SWAP residencies are intensive opportunities for experimental artists to produce and present new work. This call-for-entries is for Northeast Ohio submissions only and is open to all established or emerging artists, curators and cultural producers who are 21 years old or older. Applications must show promise and strong conceptual grounding. Please note, Northeast Ohio artists cannot be enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs at the time of a SWAP residency

$10 application fee for processing submissions
Please visit before calling or emailing with questions. There you will find an extensive FAQ, application procedures and guidelines.

Guide to Kulcher, Underwood 333, 2013
Guide to Kulcher, Underwood 333, 2013

Keywords: application, r&d, spaces, swap
Author: Marilyn Ladd-Simmons, Gallery Manager
Category: Artists

Guide to Kulchur at SPACES   11.09.13

Spearheaded by Lyz Bly, Ph.D. and RA Washington, Guide to Kulchur is a book, magazine, and periodicals shop that doubles as a co-op workshop for fanzines (zines), hand-made books, small publications, chap books, and other printed ephemera. In addition to the physical space and in collaboration with venues across the city, we host writers, artists, public and academic intellectuals to discuss zines, cooperative creative processes and spaces, art books, and the theories/new innovations emerging around the evolution and revolution of the printed word.

Guide to Kulchur offers multilingual editions of selected publications and a wide array of periodicals and zines on topics ranging from art and literature to identity politics and social justice. We stock an extensive used book section, and look for definitive editions, and iconic covers. We consider readers to be taste-makers, and we understand that if not for the love of book as object our store, and independents like it would not exist in the age of the Nook, and other E-Readers. Our new books/publications center on texts from small presses who are publishing the newest voices in literature, history, critical theory, philosophy, and identity politics. Key objectives of our mission are to give special consideration to new and young writers, publishers, and publications that are centered on alternative perspectives and intellectual pursuits and to connect our patrons with authors and thinkers that they would not find on the shelves of corporate booksellers like Barnes and Noble. Shelves are not simply stocked, they are curated and organized around art and literary movements, philosophical and theoretical concepts, and the stories and histories of groups and individuals who counter dominant ideas, trends, and political agendas.

For Reading CLE, we have selected some of the finest small presses to be displayed. Everything from handmade art books, to poetry/identity zines. Over 20 small presses are represented for this SPACES exhibit.


Presses represented

IZEN Press (Athens, OH)

Green Panda Press (Cleveland Heights)

Crisis Chronicles Press (Cleveland)

HydeOut Press (Cleveland)

Bottle Of Smoke Fine Letterpress (Dover, DE)

NIght Ballet Press (Elyria)

Lead Graffiti (Newark, DE)

HamburgerEYES Photography Collective (Los Angeles, CA)

Language Foundry (New Orleans, LA)

Poets Haven (Canton, OH)

Shiner Comics (Cleveland, Ohio)

Burning River Press (Cleveland, Ohio)

SparkleStreet Press (New York, NY)

DORIS Press (Athens, OH)

Sweet Candy Distro (Olympia, WA)

Psychiana Magazine (New York, NY)

Protext Press (Cleveland, OH)

Earthman's Press (Cleveland, OH)

Plus selections from The Guide To Kulchur Zine Archive, including Jim Lang's Bag-O-Zines from 1970 on, and CLeveland's infamous Artcrimes, curated and edited by Steven B. Smith

On view at SPACES Nov 15, 2013- Jan 17, 2014

Karen Lillis Interview
Here's a conversation with Karen Lillis about the Guide To Kulchur missio :

by RA Washington

Keywords: guide to kulchur, lyz bly, ra washington, small press bookstores, small press bookstores. guide to kulchur, spaces
Author: Marilyn Ladd-Simmons, Gallery Manager
Category: Exhibitions

No Exit FREE Concert Nov 15 8:30pm   11.09.13

Greetings Friends,

If you're a fan of jazz, classical, the experimental or the downright avant-garde, then please join us for our November series of concerts - a tribute to the music (and musings) of the Raymond Scott Quintette.

We're only doing two shows in the Cleveland area: Friday, November 15 at SPACES and Monday, November 18 at Cleveland State University. Both concerts are free and open to the public! No Exit will also be making it's PAUSA art house debut on Saturday, November 16. This will truly going to be an amazing (and unusual) evening of music...... not to be missed!

The work of the extraordinary, brilliant, at times outlandish and always entertaining Raymond Scott has seen quite the revival. No Exit, along with some very special guest, are so very pleased to be presenting a program of brand new arrangements of Scott's music - by pianist Geoffrey Burleson, Russ Gershon, Greg DʼAlessio, Chris Auerbach-Brown and Eric Gonzalez - and a couple of original pieces inspired by the man himself - courtesy of No Exitʼs own James Praznik and Timothy Beyer. This will be the Ensemble's first program comprised entirely of world premiere pieces!

Joining members of the standing ensemble will be saxophonist Russ Gershon (of Either/Orchestra fame), percussionist Dinesh Joseph (of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra), drummer Ed Davis and trumpeter Scott McKee - who played with us on our 'Eric Dolphy' program back in 2011.

For more info on Raymond Scott, you can go to [] and/or find a veritable plethora of musical treats on YouTube.

Word of mouth is always the best form of publicity, so please...... share it with your friends, bring a date, run through the streets screaming it at the top of your lungs, etc..

Thank you for your support!

Best Wishes,


2220 Superior Viaduct Cleveland, OH 44113 216.621.2314
Friday, November 15 at 8:30 p.m.

PAUSA art house
19 Wadsworth Street, Buffalo, NY 14201 716.697.9069
Saturday, November 16 at 8:00 p.m.
$5 admission

Cleveland State University
Drinko Auditorium 2001 Euclid Ave. Cleveland, OH 44115 216.802.3053
Monday, November 18 at 8:00 p.m.

Keywords: experimental music, no exit, raymond scoot, spaces
Author: Marilyn Ladd-Simmons, Gallery Manager
Category: Events

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