Think Outside the Box; Stink Inside the Box   06.29.11

There are many reasons to "think outside the box," but this may be the best.

Thanks to Nicole Edwards for the laugh today. (Yes, we are a high class organization.)
Thanks to Nicole Edwards for the laugh today. (Yes, we are a high class organization.)

Author: Christopher Lynn, Executive Director
Category: General
Comments: (1) comments

Food + Survival + Everyone   06.23.11

Spring and early summer at SPACES has really underscored the tremendous power food has to bring people together.

We are continuing the community dinner series began in March with Survival Postures,* with 'Full Circle Mirror Image,' a collaborative installation from the legendary urban food advocate Maurice Small and artist Johnny Coleman. We'll share dinner and dialogue about food access in Cleveland. Full event details follow, and we hope to see you there!

* For those of you who couldn't make Survival Postures, a website documenting the project is up at

Full Circle Mirror Image
with Maurice Small and Johnny Coleman
Sunday, July 10, 5:00-7:30 pm
SPACES (2220 Superior Viaduct)
Suggested donation $5-10 at the door.

'Full Circle Mirror Image' is a living tribute to the full life cycle of one tenacious urban crop-- collard greens. A mirror installation inside and outside the gallery will both cook and grow collard greens, and tell the sensory story of what good food can do to bring people together. In that spirit, we'll share a light, locally-sourced dinner and some good company.

For the last twenty years, artist Johnny Coleman has composed spaces activated as prayers: requests for guidance, conscious statements of intent, and thanksgiving. His process spans poetry, performance, and a sculptural format that integrates the dramatic presentation of a stage set with the oral tradition of storytelling, while consciously focusing upon private spaces that sometimes exist in the absence of a performer. He has exhibited extensively throughout the U.S., and continues to collaborate with artists nationally.

Master composter, worm translator, food broker and urban advocate Maurice Small has been building urban food systems, creating soil and training youth entrepreneurs for over twenty years. As Learning Garden Director at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens and Co-founder of City Fresh (a project that built food access in Cleveland neighborhoods, while improving urban market access for rural farmers), his work has taken the region by storm. Most recently he's been organizing on food access in Youngstown, and acting as Chief Compost Officer for Spencer's Boy at

To reserve your spot and guarantee yourself a plate, please call or email SPACES: 216.621.2314 or

Keywords: food, full circle mirror image, survival postures
Author: Kate Sopko, Residency Champion
Category: Events

Farm Stories   06.03.11

Right now at SPACES we've got Farmed, The New Agronomists. The exhibition looks at farming and the production of foods and goods. Each artist, in his or her own way, looks at the questions of land, material, and animal.

Michael Mercil put up a narrative trailer about his farmed plot of land at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio. He also makes the myths of farming 3-dimensional with wall art and sculptures.

Amy Young is growing an edible garden made nutrient rich by worms. By feeding the worms uneaten food and old newspapers, the system transforms waste into food.

Just as these two artists offer commentary on farming and gardening, so too people with farms and gardens have been coming in and sharing with us their stories. Now we want you to share your farm and garden stories here! Some questions to consider: Why did you start your farm or garden? Was the outcome as you expected? What do you foresee as its future?

One more thing: If you are looking for an artist to add another element to your farm or garden, give Tiffany or Vince a call at Cleveland Public Art. Their number is 216-621-5330. They can also be reached at either (for Tiffany) or (for Vince). Enjoy!

photo by cwwycoff1 @ flickr.  see
photo by cwwycoff1 @ flickr. see

Keywords: amy young, farm stories, farmed, michael mercil
Category: Exhibitions

Agri-Cultured   06.01.11

In the early 1970s, Dorothy Retallack conducted experiments of the effects of sound and music on the growth of plants. She published her findings in a book entitled "The Sound of Music and Plants." As we all know from her findings and countless science fair projects, plants seem to respond positively to nature sounds and classical music (although there are persuasive arguments that mathematical heavy-metal is more beneficial to the plants).

We at SPACES are not as concerned about the physical growth of our plants, but of their cultural enrichment. That is why we have three flats of seedlings that receive at least 1 hour of culture each day. This culture comes in the form of experimental music, sound art, video art, art films, and exposure to art objects. We are documenting the daily exposure below. When you come into SPACES, you may take one plant home for free, continue to nourish and enrich it, and harvest its culture-laden fruits. You may select from sweet basil, mixed belle peppers, and swiss chard.

05.17: Tristan Perich's "1-Bit Symphony"
05.18: Ingmar Bergman's "Wild Strawberries"
05.19: Music mix from Pandora
05.20: Nicolas Philibert's "To Be and to Have"
05.21: Selections from The Vault
05.22: Amy Young's "Building a Rainbow"
05.23: Van Halen's "1984"
05.25: French New Wave Films
05.26: Michael Mercil's "Inventive Men"
05.27: Selections from The Vault
05.28: Selections from The Vault
05:29: Michael Mercil's "Covenant"
05.30: Memorial Day Vacation
05.31: Michael Apted's "42 Up"
06.01: Robert Bresson's "Au Hasard Balthazar"
06.02: Mills College Online Stream (experimental music)
06.03: Selections from UbuWeb's Ethnopoetics
06.04: Michael Mercil's "Ladder for Fruit Tree"
06.05: Relaxation
06.06: John Cage's 4'33"
06.07: "We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen"

This is an actual basil seedling you can take home.
This is an actual basil seedling you can take home.

Keywords: agriculture, farmed, green, seeds
Author: Christopher Lynn, Executive Director
Category: Exhibitions

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