Artist and curator Hilary Gent doesn't want art sidelined to galleries, being talked about by other artists. "I reach beyond gallery walls to get art seen and recognized by other people," Gent says.
Her Hedge Gallery in the sprawling former factory space of 78th Street Studios hosts some of the most fascinating shows in town.
Earlier this year, the installation Shelter by Grainne Bird erected a strange but sweet reflection on community with a house decorated with bricks made of human hair. Shedding Light challenged artists and viewers with installations bringing attention and understanding to victims of domestic violence, and brought speakers and activists to its opening reception. Hedge will also host eighthoursraw, a sometimes "graphic" show where artists will peel back the layers of their respective beings, and a retrospective on the recently deceased Randall Tiedman.
Besides managing her own gallery, she also is the in-house events planner for 78th Street. She's planned weddings and benefit receptions for organizations like the Cleveland Kennel and Girls with Soul. Making 78th Street. a destination venue brings in people who otherwise aren't going to galleries, advancing Gent's mission to bring art to the masses. To that end, she has curated exhibits in Severance Hall, St. John's Church and various bars and restaurants. She's also hosted talks to gallery tour groups and Progressive Insurance reps on how to start collecting and investing in local art.
As a member of the board of SPACES, the city's premiere venue for experimental art, Gent has a voice in one of the city's most important cultural embassies. She works on the development and benefit committees.