Cihlar’s mural at Crocker Park, created as part of a Graffiti HeArt mural project.
One of the city’s most successful recent collaborations between artists, art organizations and local business owners, Graffiti HeArt and CLE Urban Winery have been working together since before CLE Urban Winery opened its doors on Lee Road in Cleveland Heights last summer. Through a combination of murals and fundraising events at the winery, Graffiti HeArt and CLE Urban Winery have developed strong relationships with each other, local artists and residents of Cleveland Heights.
Teaming up once again, Graffiti HeArt and CLE Urban Winery host an interactive art event with local artist R!ch Cihlar, co-founder of E11even 2 at 78th Street Studios and owner of the Pop Shop framing studio in Lakewood, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 21. The upcoming Graffiti & Grapes ‘Paint a Mural’ wine event is the first of many, according to Graffiti HeArt president and founder Stamy Paul.
"Our featured artist, R!ch Cihlar will be constructing and instructing those participating in creating a mural together, each taking home a piece of the completed mural," Paul says. "Graffiti HeArt held a Graffiti & Grapes fundraiser at the CLE Urban Winery last November and raised over $7,000, allowing enough funding to send three under-served high school students through the Pre-College Program at Cleveland Institute of Art this summer.”
Described as a twist on traditional “Paint and Sip” classes, the event offers guests an opportunity to create original art under Cihlar’s guidance. First painting abstract, textural backgrounds with acrylic paint, participants will use spray paint and stencils designed and cut by Cihlar himself to create crisp imagery with specific colors on top. At the end of the evening, each participant will leave with a 12 in. by 12 in. piece of graffiti pop art.
“I like the idea of non-artists (or artists) taking a class to learn something new,” says Cihlar. “Everyone enjoys making something from nothing, right? But I really like the idea that Graffiti HeArt wants a spray paint culture to be that class, bringing to light that spray paint is a very influential medium among contemporary artists. Spray paint tends to have a negative connotation with vandals or criminals. My goal with this class and future demos is to show how resourceful and positive spray paint can be.”
Cihlar graduated from Baldwin Wallace College, where he still works as the office manager for the Studio Art Department. In addition to his work at B-W and 78th Street Studios, Cihlar is the Coordinator for the annual Berea Arts Festival.
Tickets are $30 per person, and include a glass of wine. Proceeds benefit the Graffiti HeArt scholarship fund.
(CLE Urban Winery) 2180 Lee Rd., Cleveland Hts., 216-417-8313, cleurbanwinery.com