Cleveland, the quirky kid who's been holding down the great lunch table of the Midwest for decades now, was built on its residents' unique creative culture. More specifically: Manufacturing gave us our structure; art provided the soul.
These days, new and inventive artistic endeavors pop up in neighborhoods all over the city and beyond. In fact, those neighborhoods come to be defined by the artists who populate them and who leave their imprints on its sidewalks, streets, fences, walls.
Have you been to Collinwood? If so, you know what we're talking about. The street — newly renovated as of the fall of 2014 — brims with the artistic yearnings of its residents. In technicolor, the neighborhood glows. (And if you haven't been, when what in the world are you waiting for?)
Hence the theme of so much of this special issue. The city beckons with countless enticing options for your entertainment and delight. Dozens of art galleries and boutiques line our favorite neighborhoods, and they're just waiting for you to stop by and take it all in. What are you waiting for?
Take the bus to just about any stop, and you'll be within a few blocks or so of something artistic, something creative. Hop on your bike and skip on down to a new hang spot. You'll find something beautiful to soak up visually in no time. Or, hell, just for convenience, pack the family up in the station wagon and trek on out to literally anywhere: The artistic world awaits.
Collinwood: Waterloo Arts, Maria Neil Art Project, Gallery One Sixty, Waterloo Sculpture Garden, Loren Naji's Satellite Gallery, Azure Glass Studio, Brick Ceramic Studio (coming soon), Zygote Press' Ink House (coming soon)
Cleveland Heights: Heights Art
Mentor: Flux Metal Studio, Lakeland Community College's gallery
Shaker Heights: Juma Gallery
Little Italy: Serafino Gallery and Design
Midtown/University Circle: MOCA Cleveland, Artists Archives of the Western Reserve, Sculpture Center, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland Museum of Art
Slavic Village: Elevate Gallery
Asiantown: Zygote Press, Negative Space, Tower Press Studios, Art Craft Building
Downtown: Harris Stanton Gallery
Tremont: Doubting Thomas, Calluna (featuring the coolest miniature paintings), Lava Lounge (Rust Belt Monster Collective hosts Drink-n-Draws on the third Thursday of each month), LOOP (hosting a revolving cast of local artists and damn good coffee)
Ohio City: SPACES, Loren Naji Studio Gallery (presently inactive as of winter 2015), Hildebrandt Studios, Rust Belt Welding
Lakewood: Beck Center (some of the region's best art and theater, straight up), Good Goat Gallery, Breakneck Gallery, Screw Factory
Gordon Square: 78th Street Studios (a terrarium of local artists' independent galleries, all housed in the former American Greeting studios [ca. 1970s and 1980s]), 1point618, Bruno Casiano Gallery
Hingetown: Transformer Station
Bay Village: BAYarts
Rocky River: River Gallery