Opening Thu 5/14 + Fri 5/15 from 5 – 8pm
Cleveland’s weird east side/west side relationship is examined in a whole new light in Antonia Cruz’s latest exhibition, Remnants+Fragments. In it, she takes hair samples from east siders and west siders and creates a whole body of work around it.
But that’s not all. This Chilean artist, who is in Cleveland as part of the Cleveland Foundation’s Creative Fusion program, sees the city through her own unique cultural lens — which is the beauty of hosting an artist from a different culture. They bring a fresh perspective.
For three years the Cleveland Print Room has hosted artists from around the world for extended three-month residencies as part of the Creative Fusion program. Antonia Cruz is their latest resident artist.
“Creative Fusion focuses on bringing artists to Cleveland from cultures not well-represented in our community and in providing many opportunities for the community to interact with the artists,” says Shari Wilkins, founder/director of the Cleveland Print Room. “There is a particular focus on having the artists engage with young people through in-depth projects conducted at schools and youth-centered arts organizations.
“In her case, she has had sustaining relationships with Lake Erie Ink’s after-school Inkspot program, and Saint Martin De Porres High School, and she has also worked with Brush High School, MC2 STEM High School and Westside Community House Sisterhood Program making art and talking with them about being an artist and her cultural life in Chile.”
A digital photographer, Cruz’s latest body of work deconstructs fragments from various sources — like hair collected from both sides of Cleveland — to create something new.
“Since coming to Cleveland, she has been working in our darkroom which is unusual for her as a digital photographer, says Wilkins. “The new work that she has created is primarily photograms, which is a photographic process that is cameraless.
“She has taken hair samples from the east side of town and hair samples from the west side of town (referring to the unique battle between the two sides of our town) and created a body of work around these photograms.
“She has also made large-scale photograms using her garbage, for instance; pineapple and pumpkin seed scraps. Her work is stunning and beautiful! These works are large and will be shown for the first time at our opening exhibition on May 14 & May 15 from 5-8PM at CPR. She will also give an artist talk on Saturday May 16 at 1pm in which she will speak about her work and other Chilean photographers.”
The exhibition will also feature work by students enrolled in Saint Martin De Porres High School and Lake Erie Ink — two places Cruz has been working with.
“We feel that the many Clevelanders that have come in contact with Antonia will take with them a better understanding of Chilean culture and the warmness of the Chilean people,” says Wilkins. “Additionally, she speaks through her work and this body of work surely says something about Cleveland and its people.”
Remnants+Fragments has two opening receptions — Thu 5/14 and Fri 5/15 — both taking place from 5 – 8pm at the Cleveland Print Room. The show will run through Wed 6/3.
Cool Cleveland correspondent Sarah Valek studied art and writing at Ithaca College. After graduation, she came back to Cle and served two years as an AmeriCorps*VISTA with the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless. She can be found on all sides of the city in pursuit of homeschooling activities for her son and the perfect soy latte. Contact her at CoolEditor@CoolCleveland.com or via Twitter.