Canopy is celebrating its second anniversary this weekend while paying homage to its predecessor, Buckbuck Gallery, the physical space's former tenant. Your Show Too! is an art exhibition that invites guests to join in the creative process as active participants, which makes total sense given Canopy's emergence as a collective big top for the community.
"It started as a collaboration between Buckbuck and Free Period Press, which is a coloring book company geared toward adults," says Joe Lanzilotta, former co-owner of Buckbuck. "At the time, Buckbuck had been doing a lot of traditional shows and wanted to explore using the gallery space for public intervention. Using this idea that all people have the capacity to be creative and deserve to explore their own creativity, we decided to offer a show where they could do just that. Knowing that art and creativity can be a bit difficult to approach unprompted, we decided to set up the gallery with a series of activities, mediums, and loosely based directions and told folks to go wild."
While the event itself was a great success, the results left the gallery in chaos. Focusing on the positive, Lanzilotta says, "They absolutely destroyed the gallery by the time the show was over, but within that destruction were all kinds of unique processes, remnants of masterpieces and collaborations both warranted and not. Looking at what had become of the space — string hanging from the lights like nests, clay smashed into the floor, cut paper in every corner — we could have named it 'Shit Show,' but what we took away was the success of the event itself, the fact that people unfamiliar with the creative process, galleries and fine art came through and contributed, unabashedly. It was a blast."
Canopy's Your Show Too! includes a coloring book-style mural for guests to dabble in designed by studio artist Aly Dodds. Fellow studio artist Christophe Kochheiser will begin a piece for visitors to contribute to and complete. Several walls will be available for freestyle painting and cut-paper art. Local photographer Adam Jaenke will be running a photo booth for guests all night to document the experience. The event also includes music, cartoons projected on a wall and even a game of Twister. Canopy will provide supplies, but guests are encouraged to bring their own as well.
Although Canopy's official two-year anniversary falls on May 1, April 29 holds significance for both Canopy and its owner Erika Jaenke. It was two years ago on that date that Jaenke's father passed away.
"While I have and have had many people in my life who are loving and supportive, no one was more so than my father, who selflessly encouraged me to chase whatever I was after, even if it meant I would move away from home," Jaenke says. "It only felt appropriate to use money he worked for toward a project that means so much to me and hopefully now a lot of other people in Cleveland."
That's exactly what she's done. Over the past two years, Canopy has hosted 24 art exhibitions, including solo shows by local artists, as well as group shows like the Cozy Up! Collective's annual 'zine show, an all-female art show for Women's History Month, Modern Sexuality, the official book launch for Laura Wimbels' Faces of Cleveland and even a Lake Erie surfing-themed show. Variety is the spice of life, after all, and Canopy has served as the circus tent.
"We've held film screenings and mini film festivals. There have been poetry readings, theater productions, live drawing, music of all kinds, baby showers, a 'cat acrobat' show, vintage clothing markets and even a wedding," Jaenke says.
Canopy's consignment shop has grown considerably, with more than 100 individual artists from Cleveland and around the country represented.
Help celebrate this Saturday, April 29, from 6 to 10 p.m. You'll find Canopy at 3910 Lorain Ave. Learn more at canopy-collective.com.