For the third consecutive year, the Cleveland West Art League (CWAL) is hosting Tall Walls, its annual unjuried, uncensored exhibition. Although the premise is the same, this year’s show is going to be a little different than previous years.
Tall Walls started as a collaboration between CWAL and local artist and gallery owner, Loren Naji. “The exhibition first started about 3 years ago when we were attempting to branch out and do a membership exhibition off site,” explains CWAL Vice President and Chair of Off-Site Programming, Jeannie Oakar. “Loren really wanted to do a salon-style show and luckily, he wanted to also support the Cleveland West Art League so he invited us to collaborate and it went from there.”
“As a new board member of CWAL,” explains Naji. “I invited this organization to share this show in my gallery. The name ‘Tall Walls’ was created by Mona Gazala of CWAL referring to the high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling hanging area in my space. It has evolved into an exciting community show.”
Due to Naji’s well-documented, ongoing legal trouble, he has stepped back from this year’s exhibition. With Naji still unable to host events, CWAL was forced to seek a new venue for this year’s show. Luckily, the Detroit Shoreway Development Corporation graciously donated a large, vacant storefront for the one-night-only event (6706 Detroit Ave. – next to Sweet Moses).
With nearly 200 current members (and hopefully many new ones) submitting up to two works each, this show is sure to be one of the biggest yet. Additionally, for the first time, CWAL has removed size limitations for submitted work.
CWAL started four years ago, when founding director Mona Gazala was curating an exhibition at IngenuityFest. The 20 participating artists became the first CWAL members. In early 2011, they established a board of directors, and secured their gallery space at 78th Street Studios. Later that year, CWAL added an educational program, and earned their nonprofit status.
CWAL’s gallery at 78th Street Studios maintains a regular exhibition schedule featuring work by many of their members. October’s Third Friday open house will include an opening reception for the works of local painters Justin Brennan and Deb Lawrence at CWAL (through Friday, November 21st, 6 to 9 p.m.). The week before Christmas, the gallery will host a one-night-only Holiday Show – featuring unique gifts and art made by their members (Friday, December 19th, 6 to 9 p.m.).
The reception is Friday, October 3rd from 6 to 11 p.m.