Up-and-Coming Artist Amber Ford Starts Residency in Gordon Square


Fri 7/27 @ 2:30-5:30 PM

Tue 7/30 @ 6-10PM

Cleveland art mavens are already keeping an eye on photographer Amber N. Ford, who is a mere three years out of the Cleveland Institute of Art. She’s rapidly becoming known for her compelling, insightful portraiture, especially of black subjects. But Ford also pushes herself subject-wise with subjects such as immigrants and refugees in Cleveland which she showed at 78th Street Studios’ former Zaina Gallery, and media-wise, with work at Morgan Conservatory and Zygote Press in printmaking. She’s shown at the Yards Project, the Cleveland Print Room, The Temple-Tifereth Israel, Heights Arts and Urusline College’s Wasmer Gallery. She was part of last year’s CAN Triennial.

“The base of my work is the exploration of the word black which, although it is seen as a single color, comes in many shades, hues, and tones,” says Ford. “It is the intersection where a color meets an identity because it is also a way to describe my people, our history, and our unique challenges. Through photography and installation, I create work that connects with, resonates among, and gives opportunity to a people looking to call some corner of the world their own.”

The young artist not only has talent to burn but she’s making all the right moves, with a portfolio of work, gallery shows and honors that would be the envy of an artist twice her age. That combination of talent and career savvy is sure to make her a star.

Currently, she’s got a show at the Shaker Historical Society’s Lissauer Gallery called Amber N. Ford: Portraits, on view through 9/8. She’s also part of current show, I Sing the Body, at the Transformer Station, where her work hangs alongside that of established international artists.

And she keeps raising her profile. This week she’ll add another bullet point to her resume — and share her powerful work with new viewers — when she starts her stint as artist in residence in the Gordon Square Arts District. Her three-month residency kicks off Tue 7/30 with a free open mic event at the Happy Dog. There she’ll introduce her residency project, title This Story Is Mine and Ours, while poets, musicians, storytellers and performance artists can step up to the mic to present an original piece related to the topic “BLACK: the intersection where color meets identity.”

Ford’s residency project will feature a series of portraits of Gordon Square’s people of color, which will ultimately comprise a mural to be installed in a neighborhood location. She’ll be hosting free open portrait hours at the Gordon Square office space on the first floor of 78th Street Studios Tue 8/6 & 8/20 @ 6-8:30pm.


There’s yet another place to find Ford this week: moCa Cleveland where, on Fri 7/27, she’ll be doing an artist talk on the portraits by veteran photographer Abe Frajndlich, currently on view at moCa. The series features artists talking about works on view that have some similarities to their own work. It’s free and open to the public.


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