Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pittsburgh Artists Ben Kinsley and Jessica Langley Strive Toward an Elusive CATopia

Press Release PDF:
Press Packet (PDF + images):

Exhibition: November 18, 2012 – January 20, 2012
Opening Reception: Friday, November 18, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Cleveland, OH, October 18, 2011—Pittsburgh-based artists Ben Kinsley and Jessica Langley team up at SPACES for Make CATopia Real , a campaign to mine the hidden depths of the cat population's innermost utopian desires.

As the SPACES World Artist Program (SWAP)'s 35th artists in residence, Kinsley and Langley will ask Cleveland-area cats (and their owners) to weigh in on the mythic question: what attributes make up an ideal cat world? They will conduct a series of video interviews with local cats, which will be collected on an online portal at Data gathered through the site will inform the eventual design of a physical CATopia, a place where cat dreams can become reality.

With Cleveland as the epicenter of this cutting-edge field research, cats from around the world can also participate in the development of CATopia, through interaction with the website, which goes live on Thursday, November 3. Additional data will be collected during events and activities held at SPACES throughout the residency period.

Through what is, on the surface, an absurd endeavor, the artists will draw out the deep, meaningful and lasting relationships animal lovers maintain with their pets.

All hopeless cat lovers are invited to contribute to Make CATopia Real. Stay tuned to SPACES' event schedule at to get involved.

While too many before have said CATopia is just a dream, Kinsley and Langley will show that together, we can make it real.

The SPACES World Artists Program (SWAP) is a residency initiative begun in 2002 that invites national and international artists to Cleveland for residencies that support the creation, presentation and discussion of new artwork, while facilitating new connections between Cleveland residents and artists from around the world.


Native Ohioans Ben Kinsley and Jessica Langley are an artist couple currently based in Pittsburgh, PA.

Kinsley's staged events and performances are ongoing investigations into community interaction and creative play, often requiring a suspended disbelief on the part of participants and viewers. His work has been exhibited internationally in museums, galleries, and film festivals and is included in the permanent collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art. Kinsley received his BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art and his MFA from Carnegie Mellon University. He has been an artist-in-residence at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, and was named a 2010 'Hot Pick' by Smack Mellon's Artist Studio Program in Brooklyn, NY.

Langley's work draws from idealized nature photography, Romantic landscape painting, mythology, and new age spiritualism. It explores the in-between, liminal place between what is perceived as real and what is imagined. Langley earned her MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2008, and was featured in Issue 75 of New American Paintings. In 2008-2009, she lived in Iceland carrying out the Leifur Eiriksson Foundation Scholarship and a J. William Fulbright fellowship.

Together, Kinsley and Langley have exhibited collaborative projects in Reykjavik, Cleveland, and New York, and completed several artist residency programs in Iceland. They were featured this fall in the inaugural issue of Outpost Journal.

More information is available at: and

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