Art Historical Selfies at CMA with Douglas Paulson   10.22.14

The SPACES annual benefit + art auction + costume party, Optical Delusions: Last Days on the Viaduct, is just 10 days way! Here is an excerpt from a conversation with NYC-based artist Douglas Paulson, who is a frequent Cleveland visitor and contributor to this year's benefit.

Bruce Edwards (SPACES Residency Coordinator): Hello Doug, I was told that you were doing an experiential piece for the Benefit here at SPACES. I want to know more about it. Can you give me some details?

Douglas Paulson (Cultural Instigator): WELL, I'm trying to figure out an appropriate image to send you all re: Art Historical Selfies. I'm imagining spending the day at the museum with whoever buys the experience, and developing 12 images together that deal with the works of the museum and the architecture by conflating the high art tradition of portraiture and the low culture phenomenon of selfies. I think selfies naturally lend themselves to institutional critique, which I'd like to exploit.

Bruce: What will the person who wins the bid take home, after your selfie experience? 

Doug: 12 selfies!  - which could be posted to social media or printed.

Bruce: Of course! Duh. 

Doug: Bruce -- I'm not sure how you all are planning on presenting the idea. Would it be helpful for me to design something to represent it?

Bruce: Yes. I think if you give us something that we can place on the wall, and on the mobile bidding website, that should work great.

Doug: I'm on the case!

Author: Bruce Edwards, swap coordiantor
Category: General

Kid Art Review-2   10.16.14

For this edition of "Kid Art Reviews" our guest reviewer is 8 year-old Jaden, who really likes to draw. We asked her what she thought of the exhibit and this is what she said.

Questions about a Specific Piece in the Exhibition
(SPACES) What is your favorite piece in the show and why is it your favorite?

(Jaden) The Salt Stairs in TAG Round 2 because it's really different and I haven't seen anything like it before.

(SP) If you could eat this piece what would it taste like? Would it be spicy, tart, sweet, salty, bland, etc.?

(JA) SALTY! Because I tried it!

(SP) If this piece was a person you didn't know would you want to say "hi" to them or get to know them? Would they be friendly or shy?

(JA) I think they would be both because sometimes I can be a little of both.

(SP) Does this piece remind you of anything you have seen before?

(JA) No, it's not like anything I've seen before because, like I said before, it's really different. I haven't seen anything else quite like it because it is one of a kind. Even if someone tried to remake it, it wouldn't be just like it.

Questions about the Exhibition in General
(SP) If you could sum the show up in one word what would that word be?

(JA) Very, very good! I think being able to go around the pieces is way better than just sitting there.

(SP) Does this show make you want to do anything? Go ride a bike, take a nap, throw rocks, have a sandwich, draw, watch tv, play, etc.

(JA) Watch TV, because I play a lot and read a lot in my spare time and I'm not really allowed to watch TV unless it's Friday, Saturday or Sunday. So I take the week to think about what I have and not what I'm waiting for. I used to watch Power Rangers but then I got cut off because I wasn't supposed to watch it but then I sneaked it and got in trouble, very deep trouble.

(SP) So what do you watch now if you can't watch Power Rangers?

(JA) I don't know, I have the whole week to figure it out.

(SP) If there was one question you could ask the artist what would that be?

(JA) Why did you do it this way? Because I want to know what the inspiration was that made them make it or if they just grew up like that saying "I like salt so I'm going make something out of it."

(SP) Out of 5 Truman's how many Truman's would you give this show?

(JA) Five, if there was a hundred I would circle them all! I think that I liked it because it feels and looks really special to me. So I think that artists, and I love doing art myself, have to be inspired by something because I know that when I see my drawings it makes me want to do more of it.

Created with
flickr slideshow.

Author: Michelle Epps, Community Engagement Manager
Category: Kid Art Review

SPACE benefit art auction - Hello Kristen Cliffel   10.11.14

Once a week, the SPACES blog will feature an artist who will be donating work to our benefit this year.

Kristen Cliffel, an internationally renowned artist, lives and works in Cleveland. Cliffel will be donating a small cupcake sculpture, featuring the winning bidder's choice of frosting message, to Optical Delusions: Last Days on the Viaduct.

Cliffel has said, "Creating artwork is the way I express my questions, concerns and hopes for the future. Being a wife and mother, I find myself wedged into roles that both trouble and delight me. The emotional concept of 'Home,' belonging to someone and someplace, seem integral to human fulfillment. The perilous and circuitous routes to these goals are what I investigate in my sculpture. Connection, safety, security, hope and fear are some of the emotional triggers that crystalize ideas for me."

Guests can preview Kristen's and other artists' work via our benefit website. Mobile bidding will begin on 10/27/14.

Author: Marilyn Ladd-Simmons, Gallery Manager
Category: Events

Meet our 2014-15 Graphic Design Fellow   09.01.14

SPACES is pleased to re-introduce you to our 2014-15 Graphic Design Fellow, Laura Barry.

Laura and SPACES go way back - all the way back to 2009. After earning her BFA from Miami University, Laura snagged an internship with the SPACES World Artist Program (SWAP). She was responsible for assisting artists-in-residence, Blaise Carrier-Chouinard (Quebec City, Canada) and Jiri Suruvka (Ostrava, Czech Republic) with their exhibitions.

Laura now lives in Asheville, North Carolina where she works as a professional designer and amateur banana bread baker. After 5 years away, we are happy to welcome her back to the SPACES fold. Her work can be viewed at, or you can take a look at her first SPACES project as our Graphic Design Fellow, the August - October Field Guide.

Blaise Carrier-Chouinard and Laura Barry at the SPACES Erie Prom.
Blaise Carrier-Chouinard and Laura Barry at the SPACES Erie Prom.

Author: Christina Vassallo, Executive Director

St. Malachi Center Summer Program at SPACES   08.11.14

My name is Michelle Epps and many of you know me as the Office Administrator here at SPACES, but recently I've been feeling more like a camp counselor. If you've been following us on Facebook you may have noticed we have had a lot of kid visitors this summer. In honor of our most recent project, TAG with Jason Eppink and Thu Tran, we've been doing crafts, having snacks, and discussing collaboration! Each week in the month of July the kids of St. Malachi Center would join us here at SPACES for a fun afternoon with a different craft and snack each week. The kids ranged in age from 7-11 and are a part of St. Malachi Center's 6-week summer camp which focuses on literacy and swimming skills. St. Malachi Center serves the most vulnerable residents of Cleveland's near West Side - the homeless, low-income families and their children, with a variety of programs.

In the tradition of teaching kids how to share, we wanted to stress the importance of collaboration and how it can be used in the creative process. On a personal level, one of the greatest joys of doing this program was sharing in the experiences of the kids and seeing the wonder and excitement in their eyes as we did each day's activities. One week I told the kids we were going to be feeding them dirt pudding and I was met with a mixture of skepticism and disgust with exclamations of "you can't make me eat that!" and "I just WON'T eat it!" And, even after most of the kids had gotten over their fears and started snacking, a few were still not sure and watched in anticipation as the rest of the kids had their first bites. Then, during the last week of our program I observed one of the kids admiring Michael Loderstedt Quarter Art piece, Aviary Station, which if you haven't seen it is a beautiful display of paper engineering. When I asked him what he thought of it he inquired as to who the artist was and when I told him he said, with a big smile on his face, "I want to be just like him when I get older!"

Like all good things though, this program came to an end, but not after a lot of good memories for myself and hopefully the kids to keep with them forever. As Pablo Picasso has been attributed with once saying, "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up."

To see the kids creations during their time with us check out the slide show. For context, see below for our lesson plan from each week. For the safety of the children participating in this program we will not be publicizing pictures of the actual children.

July 2: Introduction to TAG- Talk about the meaning of the word "Collaboration" (this will be the basis of the four week program). Watch Thu and Jason's video and discuss what they saw in the video. Play a game of "Art Tag" (played like tag, but once you get tagged you add to a drawing) followed by snack time with "Campfire Free" S'mores (made with graham crackers, Marshmallow Fluff, and Nutella).

July 9: Finding a SPACE(S)- Create bugs/pendants out of wooden pieces. The kids will then search for a blank spot on the wall big enough for them to put their bug. The bugs will then be adhered to the wall. Snack time: "Collaborate" to make dirt pudding with gummy worms (made with oreo cookies, chocolate pudding, and cool whip).

July 16: Leave Behind- The kids will create pinwheels out of marbled paper to mount onto the wall. Each group will create a batch of marbled paper which they will leave to dry for the next group to turn into pinwheels (the first group will use pre-made marbled paper for their pinwheels). Snack time: "Collaborate" to make fruit salad on a stick (made with watermelon, grapes, strawberries, blueberries).

July 23: Fuzzball Aliens- Kids will create mini-aliens to take home to award them for how well they collaborated with each other. Snack time: After all that sharing and collaborating it's time to end the program with a purely selfish recipe; make your own taco salad...but you'll still have to share the Tortilla Chips!

FuzzBall June 23, 2014
FuzzBall June 23, 2014

Keywords: art, camp, collaboration, fun, kids, lesson, spaces, tag
Author: Michelle Epps, Community Engagement Manager
Category: General

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