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.

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.