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Made in Cleveland

September 12, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - October 17, 2019 @ 3:30 pm

  • Tom Balbo, Life Cycle Circle, Pigmented cotton, 54” x 70” x 3”

Location of Exhibition: Tri-C’s Gallery East, Cuyahoga Community College, Eastern Campus, Education Center (EEC) 135, 4250 Richmond Road, Highland Hills, Ohio 44122
Dates: September 12 – October 17, 2019
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 12th, 6:00-8:30pm
Gallery East Hours: Monday–Thursday, 10:30am -3:30pm


In the mid-90’s, the art world was changing. Colleges and universities, long the stewards of visual culture, began downsizing their art departments, replacing many traditional practices with more cost-effective digital production. As the programs shrank, Cleveland artists took action- founding organizations to keep their art forms alive, maintain their communities, and build the future of their media.


This September, Made in Cleveland, a satellite exhibition at Tri-C Gallery East, celebrates Cleveland’s unique non-profits and the artists that founded them. Cleveland Print Room, Praxis Fiber Workshop, The Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory, and Zygote Press proudly serve area artists, providing studio space, access to equipment, educational opportunities and galleries. The Artists Archives preserves and displays the rich cultural heritage created by these institutions and other Ohio artists. Made in Cleveland will feature work by Tom Balbo, Bellamy Printz, David E. Davis, Liz Maugans, Kelly Novak, Jessica Pinsky, Joe Sroka and Shari Wilkins.


Founded by Liz Maugans, Joe Sroka, Bellamy Printz, and Kelly Novak in 1996, Zygote Press spear-headed the movement of artist-led nonprofits in Cleveland. As college print departments and commercial printing shops began closing their doors, or transitioning to computer aided processes, the Zygote founders “worked to inherit and purchase discarded presses and other pieces of printing equipment, and so populated the shop with the tools necessary for a functioning studio.” The only open access studio in Northeast Ohio, Zygote has since expanded to include a residency and incubation space (ZPASS), a mobile art printing program (MAP) that takes fine art printing to schools, prisons, festivals and rehabilitation centers, as well as established Ink House, a Collinwood satellite location dedicated solely to edition printing. Made in Cleveland will include dynamic intaglio, relief, and mixed media prints from all four of Zygote’s founders.


Cleveland Print Room was initially formed in 2012 when Cleveland photographer Shari Wilkins agreed to rehouse Zygote’s dark room equipment, but its origins begin almost a decade before when “many high schools, arts centers and universities/colleges were actively decommissioning their darkroom facilities. It was during this time period that Polaroid ceased making their groundbreaking film and…Kodachrome film was discontinued. When local arts centers began selling off their photography equipment and darkroom supplies, we began buying this equipment up and placing it in storage.” The Cleveland Print Room has since blossomed into a vibrant non-profit which serves community youth and actively promotes the perseveration of traditional photographic processes. Made in Cleveland will celebrate Wilkins by featuring photographs from her Promised Land series, which portrays the dilapidated houses of Cairo, Illinois, her father’s ancestral home.


The Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory is one of the country’s most fervent guardians of traditional paper making. Since opening its doors in 2008, the Morgan has become the largest arts center in the United States dedicated to “every facet of paper making.” In addition to preserving these ancient techniques, the Morgan provides working studio space, a dynamic gallery, a community gathering spot, as well as a full roster of year -round educational programming. The Morgan is also home to the largest Kozo (paper mulberry tree) grove in the US and a newly expanded “dye garden” with plants to be used in the paper making process. Founder Tom Balbo will have several of his paper castings, “pulp paintings,” as well as a series of earthenware ceramics displayed in Made in Cleveland.


Praxis Fiber Workshop, though founded only 4 years ago, is perhaps the most dramatic example of the art world’s pivot from academia to non-profit. In 2015, the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) announced the closing of its fiber department and a new home was needed for 17 large looms and assortment of dying supplies. Not content to see the equipment put in storage or “given away bit by bit”, Jessica Pinsky, an adjunct professor at CIA, proposed to create a non-profit to rehouse the equipment. Pinsky, now the organization’s ED explains, “Without the studio space Praxis provides, this type of art making is less accessible to a community that has always supported fiber art and to the generation of emerging artists who show a resurgence of passion for this field.” Pinsky will show some of her most recent large scale, experimental textiles in the exhibition.


Though not a maker’s space, the Artists Archives of the Western Reserve (AAWR) was created to support artists in an equally valuable way. Founded in 1998 by monumental sculptor David E. Davis, the AAWR is the nation’s only free-standing archives, untethered to an academic or commercial institution, where artists themselves could craft how their visual culture was represented to future generations. Starting with just 9 artists, the archives have expanded to include representative bodies of work by 82 Ohio creators, and in home to an estimated 10,000 original pieces. The Artists Archives now host 6 home exhibitions, and up to 6 satellite shows a year, including Made in Cleveland. The exhibition will feature rare maquettes by Davis as well as larger, full scale abstract sculpture.


Made in Cleveland will be celebrated with an opening reception on Thursday, September 12th and the show will run until October 17. It’s location in Tri-C east will inspire the blossoming artists that see it.

Exhibition is FREE and open to the public. Use the Harvard Road Entrance to the campus. Free parking in lots B and H. The gallery is directly through the lobby of the Education Center (EEC) 135 building (through the large glass doors).


September 12, 2019 @ 6:00 pm
October 17, 2019 @ 3:30 pm


Tri-C Gallery East
4250 Richmond Rd
Highland Hills, OH 44122 United States
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