Cleveland native comes back home to build large-scale textile printing studio

Dan Bortz textiles

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Dan Bortz, artist)

The Time Change Generator in Cleveland is a fine-art-focused, oversized textile screen printing studio being built by me and my partner. I’m originally from Cleveland, but I left home in 2008 to attend California College of the Arts in Oakland, Calif., where I met my long-term partner, Lynnea Holland-Weiss. In spring 2018, we relocated our practice to Cleveland to build our dream studio. My vision is to create small- to large-scale screen prints on fabric, repeat-pattern yardage and garment printing of my and other resident artists’ original artwork. The largest scale printing that we will be doing is 5′ by 6′. It not only would serve as a personal studio, but would bring artists from far and wide to design and print textiles. From extensive travel, I have connected with many artists who I respect and admire. My overall goal is to create a space to experiment with exciting mediums for myself and others. I’d like the ability to share the abundance of space and simultaneously bring national and international talent to Cleveland.

HGR has been a total treasure chest of studio equipment, let alone the inspiration of just walking around and looking at weird old machines. Without a full comprehension of what I’m even looking at, all I see is material and shape, thinking about how I could repurpose something into a piece of art. Or use it in my studio. We’ve found really great metal push cars for the studio, a nice light table, furniture. There also are many other things that we have our eye on for potential use. Here is an old drawing of mine to show you how a place like HGR can influence my drawings:

Dan Bortz machine drawing

 

You can follow Dan’s work on Instagram at @JBECAUZE @TIMECHANGEGENERATOR or @LYNNEAHW.

Q&A with Waterloo Arts Fest Artist-in-Residence Angela Oster

Artist Angela Oster

When did you know you were an artist?

I’ve always loved to draw and make things, but it took a while to consider myself an artist. I think it was after I developed the habit of drawing every day that I had the confidence to call myself an artist.

How did you get your training?

I have a BFA from The Cleveland Institute of Art and took vocational commercial art in high school. I also did a mentorship with Dan Krall, an illustrator and animator. I also practice a lot on my own.

What types of work do you create?

I mostly draw cartoons. My goal is to make them funny, weird, cute and kind. I also make small sculptures based on my drawings. I like to call them delicate monsters and wide eyed weirdies. In art school, I studied installation and performance art; so, I also am interested in interactive, public art. But the running theme is to invoke delight, whether it’s a cute drawing or a playful sculpture.

Angela Oster vampire cartoon

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by everything! Sometimes it’s a vintage greeting card or an old video clip of an animation or an antique broach. I’m a fan of so many artists and so many kinds of art, and it gets all mashed up into my drawings and sculpts. There is an impulse that happens.

What do you do when you are not creating art?

When I’m not creating art, I like to look at art in museums and galleries. I teach at BayArts and work part time at Ohio Citizen Action. I love to spend time with my family and friends, watch movies, swim, and go to flea markets and libraries.

Have you shopped at HGR for your work?

Yes! HGR is like a candy store for artists. There is so much raw material; it’s boundless and inspiring, and it’s affordable!

If so, what have you found and how have you used it?

I found some orange “High Voltage” tape to use in a public sculpture for Waterloo Arts. The tape was a turning point in the evolution of my idea for the sculpture, and that would not have happened without HGR.

How did you get involved as an artist-in-residence with Waterloo Arts Fest?

I have participated as a vendor for many years at the fest. I think it is so unique in that it’s a real neighborhood event. There are a lot of hands-on activities for visitors of all ages. This year, I was invited to do a residency, so I jumped at the chance.

Tell us about the project.

I built an “Orange Removal Machine” — a community sculpture that served as a voter registration booth and also helped gather objects for “A Color Removed” at SPACES Gallery. I built a giant, open structure out of hula hoops and covered it with orange tape. I asked people to bring me any orange objects: clothing, toys, sports equipment, household items, etc. The objects have been cataloged and displayed as part of Michael Rakowitz’s installation at SPACES, during FRONT International.

Angela Oster Orange Removal Machine concept drawingAngela Oster Orange Removal MachineAngela Oster Orange Removal MachineAngela Oster objects for A Color Removed

What’s next?

I’m organizing a pop-up group show at the Osterwitz Gallery located at 15615 Waterloo Road in Cleveland on Sept. 7. I gave 30 artists a “Ting-a-ling Tina” Doll, a tiny doll inside a tiny phone. Each artist can customize the doll, or make a new piece inspired by the doll. It should be a fun show!

Q&A with Waterloo Arts Fest Artist-in-Residence Susie Underwood

fan ax set design by Susie Underwood for Near West Theater's production of Aida
fan ax set design Near West Theater’s 2018 production of Aida

When did you know you were an artist?

I have always loved making things and coming up with creative narratives. When I was a kid, I’d read fantasy or science fiction novels, and then I would create costumes or props inspired by the stories. That being said, I don’t think I was comfortable calling myself an artist until I had completed some installations with my former art collective, Art Club, around my mid-20s. I felt that I was actually doing something unique and from my own perspective for the first time, and that helped me to feel comfortable calling myself an artist.

How did you get your training?

I went to Ohio State University for art and journalism, got my master’s in art museum education from Antioch University Midwest, and gained a lot of my experience from working with studio and family programs at the Columbus Museum of Art. Much of my knowledge is self-taught. School can only get you so far.

What types of work do you create?

Susie Underwood in costume I like to “try on” many different types of art making, and I’m usually most successful when I combine installation with performance and audience participation. So, instead of having an art show, I might set it up like a garage sale. Or I might perform lounge songs while dressed as an alien, while cracking nerdy jokes and harassing the audience with props. For the Waterloo Arts Fest, I created a “living room” under a tent and painting everything white, so that visitors could decorate my little “home.” I prefer to change the atmosphere and environment from the usual visual art experience, which I find to be pretty boring.

What inspires you?

I love finding new artists on Instagram; there are some amazing artists in Los Angeles, New Orleans and Melbourne right now. Drag queens have really elevated their practice into some of the best contemporary art out there, and they have become a big influence on my performance approach. I am also inspired by the City of Cleveland, the weird history, and the kitsch and beauty that is taken for granted. I love music and science fiction; so, that comes out sometimes.

What are your thoughts on with art therapy?

I am interested in the growing field of art therapy but I’m not actively involved in it. I curated an exhibition at the Columbus Museum of Art which highlighted the different ways that art can be used therapeutically. I was showcasing the field to the general public, who may not be aware of all that happens or the potential of art therapy.

How did you get involved as an artist-in-residence with Waterloo Arts Fest?

I was recommended as a potential artist-in-residence because I am good at creating interactive, participatory experiences and working with the public. My years as a museum educator made me that way.

Tell us about the project.

I set up a 10’ x 10’ tent with living room furniture inside. Everything was be white, even my clothes, so that visitors could paint and decorate my little home. I also had a chandelier they could help create by adding junk from their purses, and a rag rug that they could help weave. It was inspired by my love for rehabbing and decorating my home. I want people to understand that creativity doesn’t just have to take place in an art studio; it should be infused into every aspect of life. Creativity is vital to our survival, and we need it now more than ever. We need leaders who can create new ideas, not just destroy things they don’t like.

What’s next?

I have a potential mural on the horizon, if I can ever finish the design!

Susie Underwood mural for Porco Lounge, Cleveland
mural for Porco Lounge, Cleveland
Susie Underwood's WEB for the Columbus Museum of Art's Wonder Room
WEB for the Columbus Museum of Art’s Wonder Room
Susie Underwood's banners for Near West Theater's 2018 production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame
banners for Near West Theater’s 2018 production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Susie Underwood

Summer art-camp students design and build wind chimes using reclaimed materials

Larry Fielder of Rust Dust & Other 4 Letter Words
Larry advising and ensuring safety

Waterloo Arts offered its annual Round Robin summer arts camp to children aged 6-13. The first session was held July 9-20 and the second session is July 23-Aug. 3. HGR Industrial Surplus was a sponsor because we are invested in S.T.E.A.M. education.

more raw materials Waterloo Arts Round Robin at Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter WordsWaterloo Arts Round Robin at Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter Words raw materials

On July 17, the students used repurposed, reclaimed and salvaged materials at Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter Words to make wind chimes. Larry Fielder, owner, found 90% of the materials at Goodwill and The Salvation Army. Students used wire, drills and other hand tools to put together their metal and wood creations. It was amazing to watch the teamwork as they engineered and problem solved together to create functional and decorative objects.

Waterloo Arts Round Robin at Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter WordsWaterloo Arts Round Robin at Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter WordsWaterloo Arts Round Robin at Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter WordsWaterloo Arts Round Robin at Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter WordsWaterloo Arts Round Robin at Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter Words

The 16th-annual Waterloo Arts Fest is this weekend

Waterloo Arts Fest logo

(provided courtesy of Waterloo Arts)

The 16th-Annual Waterloo Arts Fest is Saturday, June 30, 2018, from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.  in the Waterloo Arts & Entertainment District, Cleveland, on Waterloo Rd. between E. 161 St. and Calcutta Ave. and features more than 40 local bands playing a great mix of music, local handmade art vendors, CLE’s best food trucks, and an exciting mix of innovative and interactive art experiences for all ages. At the Waterloo Arts Fest, you can roll up your sleeves, get your hands dirty and give art a try.

This community event is produced by Waterloo Arts, a nonprofit art center whose mission is to enrich the neighborhood culturally and economically by creating a stimulating arts environment through exhibits, performances, special events, and educational programming for people of all ages. In addition to orchestrating this festival, Waterloo Arts manages an art gallery, public art projects, a community arts center and artist studios.

What’s new this year? 
This year we are excited to introduce an artist residency program to the event. For four to six weeks leading up to the festival, selected artists will create a temporary art installation that will be presented at the festival, and fans can follow along as the artists post progress shots of their work leading up to the big reveal. This year’s artists are Angela Oster and Susie Underwood. Each year, we would like to add residencies until we have as many as 20 artists creating large-scale installations for the event.

For more info and an event program, visit waterlooarts.org/fest.

Waterloo Arts Juried Exhibition opening reception June 1

Waterloo Arts juried exhibition Damp by Katy Richards
“Damp” by Katy Richards

The annual Waterloo Arts Juried Exhibition is presented in partnership with Praxis Fiber Workshop and Brick Ceramic + Studio Design with artwork selected by 2018 Guest Juror Ray Juaire, senior exhibitions manager at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland. The work of 87 artists from the U.S. and Canada will be on display at Waterloo Arts, Praxis Fiber Workshop and Brick Ceramic + Design Studio. Awards are sponsored by Brick Ceramic + Design Studio, CAN Journal, Praxis Fiber Workshop, The Sculpture Garden, Waterloo Arts, and Zygote Press, Inc. Meet the 2018 juror and participating artists on June 1 from 6-9 p.m. during the districtwide opening reception at 15605 Waterloo Rd., Cleveland, featuring live music and light refreshments.

The show will run from June 1 to July 21, 2018.

Registration is open for youth summer arts camp on Waterloo Road

Waterloo Arts Round Robin summer arts camp

This summer, local nonprofit Waterloo Arts will be bringing back last year’s Round Robin summer arts camp. Waterloo Arts’ Board President Danielle Uva enrolled her two boys, 10 and 7, at the time in the camp last summer. Her children went to several camps that summer, but Round Robin she says, “was by far their favorite camp.” They found the time spent with professional artists in their own spaces and the galleries and studios around Waterloo where the camp is held to be intimate and, therefore, more engaging. The setup of the camp is such that students learn from professional artists about a new medium each day, such as ceramics or printing, and make a small project in the day’s medium.

Waterloo Arts itself is a community space, and the organization encourages a culture where the students to feel ownership over the space and freedom to experiment. The instruction and setting made the students feel like they were part of something bigger than themselves, and a year later, Uva’s children still talk about what they did at Waterloo. For instance, the students screen printed T-shirts last year, and the boys take great pride in wearing something that they conceived and made. Not only do they still wear the shirts though, they even reflect on what they would change about their design. They felt empowered to make something completely their own, and they self-reflect on the process.

There was one day of the camp last year when the students focused on fiber art and were taught at Praxis how to dye fabric and how to felt. Praxis is a nonprofit organization that functions as a cooperative textile studio, offering classes, studio space, and communal space for all fiber arts processes such as weaving, fabric design, and spinning yarn. Jessica Pinsky, executive director, expects students this year to focus on felting. Pinsky’s goal for the students is to get them thinking about where the fabric comes from and how it is made—how their blanket started out as fiber which was turned into cloth and then eventually a blanket their parents bought at a store. Pinsky hopes that students feel empowered by being able to create something. The process of having an idea and following it through the process of execution to create a tangible item gives people of any age the feeling of ownership.

This year, the two-week long camp will run twice, July 9-20 and July 23-August 3, on weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon and is only $200 for two weeks. It is open to children ages 6-13. This year’s iteration of the camp will be similar to last year’s: students will be taught daily by professional, local artists who specialize in fiber arts, ceramics, printing, street art, graphic design, woodworking, yoga, stained glass, and more. Each day of the camp focuses on one of these specialties, and the students get to know and use the different maker-spaces and galleries on Waterloo. They will visit and/or work with Praxis Fiber Workshop; Brick Ceramic + Design Studio; Agnes Studio; Rust, Dust & Other Four-Letter Words; Tattoo and Graffiti Artist Chris Poke; Azure Stained Glass; Pop Life Yoga Studio; and others.

HGR Industrial Surplus is invested in S.T.E.[A.]M. (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) education and engaging young people in activities that encourage them to choose career fields in these areas. To that end, we’ve made a donation earmarked for the art camp to Waterloo Arts. If you don’t have kids in this age bracket to send, you might consider another method of support as an investment in our community and our children.

For more information, to donate or to register for the camp, visit waterlooarts.org.

New mural by world-renowned designer graces Waterloo Road building

Camille Walala mural Collinwood Ohio

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Amy Callahan, executive director, Waterloo Arts)

Perhaps you have lately noticed a fresh spot of color acting like a beacon to Waterloo Road. The new mural, designed by French-born and British-educated designer and artist Camille Walala was commissioned by Jack Mueller, a real estate investor who owns the former bank building on Waterloo Road. The building, upon completion of its interior, will be home to Poplife, a pop-up gallery, health food space, and donation-only yoga studio.

Walala’s work is inspired by the Italian-led Memphis Movement from the 1980s but is updated with influences from the Ndebele tribe and optical art. She has large-scale works in some of the most important cities in the world: New York, Paris, London, Sydney, and now Cleveland. Mueller says he stumbled across Walala’s work online and was excited about its Memphis influences. From there, the artist and the investor developed a friendship through Instagram, both sharing a love of graphic shapes and bold colors. When Mueller saw an opportunity to commission a mural from his favorite artist, he reached out to bring Camille and her partner, Julie Jomaa, across the Atlantic for the project.

Mueller says it is important to him that the building’s exterior reflect its interior by revealing his business’ dedication to the sublimity of bold shapes and bright colors. He puts it simply, “I want to make the world a more colorful place.” Walala’s aesthetic, bursting with sunny colors, such as cherry red, millennial pink, canary yellow, and nifty turquoise, adds a splash of color, hopefully a smile, and a little bit of wonderment to the days of many Clevelanders.

Waterloo is lucky to have an investor like Jack, who believes in public art and in making art as accessible as possible. Public art is important because if you live in a neighborhood where there’s poverty, that doesn’t mean people shouldn’t be able to see art on their walls just for art’s sake. Every neighborhood deserves something beautiful, something that provides a unique point of pride and helps carve an identity out for residents. In particular, street art is like having a conversation outside, and murals act as canvases that humanize our urban landscape. Walala’s piece starts a conversation about the creativity and energy of humanity and about the egalitarianism of street art to passersby.