Tucked away on a one-way street just outside of downtown Cleveland, the Morgan Conservatory is the largest arts center in the U.S. of its kind, dedicated to every aspect of papermaking, book arts and letterpress printing. Founded in 2008, this non-profit has quickly become an international destination for artists and artisans. Its 15,000-sq.-ft. property includes an 85-ft.-long gallery space, studios and urban garden, which provides renewable fiber plants, natural dyes and more. Thanks to a $50,000 grant in 2014, the Morgan Conservatory is working to become the only domestic source for eastern-style handmade artist-quality paper (currently it is all imported from Japan).
This year, the Morgan Conservatory received nearly 140 submissions from 80 local and regional artists for its fourth annual juried exhibition, From the Ground Up: Surface and Dimension
. This eclectic collection of works using at least 50-percent paper includes painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture and more. Stop by from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. this Friday, April 1, to see the 60 selected works on paper during the opening reception.
“The show is comprised of many talented artists living within a 100-mile radius of Cleveland, who have created a vast array of works made on paper," says studio apprentice and intern coordinator Charity Thomas. "To say the judges had a hard time selecting the works in the show is an understatement. The aim is to showcase the versatility of paper as an artistic medium and the talent of the artists in Northeast Ohio, and I know we have done just that. We’d like to extend our gratitude to all of the artists who participated.”
Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Sculpture Center Ann Albano and Jessica Pinsky, Executive Director of Praxis Fiber Workshop, served as jurors, selecting the exhibition and awarding prizes.
In a prepared statement, they expound on the quality and diversity of submissions: “As jurors we were so impressed by the quality of hand work and the range of media and concepts of artists in our region. The Morgan Conservatory provides a significant venue for work so deeply based in materiality. A preponderance of artists responded to the title's hint 'From the Ground Up: Surface and Dimension' with work that portrays landscape, natural imagery and abstract forms suggestive of nature. Within this genre, a delicacy of line and outline predominate. Other artists have responded directly to the inherent nature of paper, fiber and colorants to create luminous wall hangings and tiny, intense art books. While surrounded by this polished and delicate work, we also gravitated strongly to certain pieces that can only be described as weird, funny and even awkward in their originality. There are also strains of medical phenomena and loving memories of home.”
From the Ground Up: Surface and Dimension
will remain on view at the Morgan Conservatory through Saturday, May 7. The exhibition can be viewed during regular business hours: Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by appointment.
(Morgan Conservatory) 1754 E. 47th St., 216-361-9255, morganconservatory.org