FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art has announced an ambitious residency program to coincide with the opening of its inaugural event. The residency will bring together international, national, and local artist to produce work individually and collaboratively in the new Glenville Arts Campus, in partnership between the Famicos Foundation, a community development corporation in the Glenville neighborhood, and FRONT. The new Glenville Arts Campus is being realized in a former medical office building and a former preschool. The office building portion of the campus holds a special place in Cleveland’s history. Designed Robert P. Madison, Ohio’s first African American architect, the building was built in 1962 for a consortium of black doctors. The three upper floors of the building will be converted into 12 living units for the residency, while the ground floor will be transformed into a community cafe and public meeting space. The open floorplan of the preschool will be reconfigured into working space for artists, and the space between the two buildings will be turning into a flexible public area. The design for the renovations was carried out by a Cleveland Foundation spring class, Creative Fusion: Cuba Edition, faculty and students from Kent State University's Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, and the Cleveland Institute of Art. Led by Havana-based architects Sofía Márquez Aguiar and Ernesto Jiménez, students have been working to find ways to reuse and connect the buildings. "With the residency program beginning in the fall of 2017, the Triennial will start its program and its public engagement with the city of Cleveland," said Jens Hoffmann, Co-Artistic Director of FRONT International in a press release. "The residencies are one element of an eleven-part program of what we call Cultural Exercises, encompassing exhibitions, publications, research, and public events that together outline how we think about contemporary art as a catalyst for social change and a tool for positive transformation of economic inequality. It was important to us to bring together artists from around the world, the nation, and Cleveland to foster a dialogue about Cleveland's position in the wider global cultural and political spectrum." Co-Artistic Directors Michelle Grabner and Jens Hoffmann have selected a total of 18 artists to live and work in Cleveland leading up to the opening of the Triennial. Like the rehabilitation of the Arts campus, the residency is being supported by Cleveland Foundation's Creative Fusion residency. On show from July 14 through September 30, 2018, the Triennial is called An American City.
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FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art has announced its exhibition director and curatorial fellow for the 2018 exhibition. Jamie Hardis was named as exhibition director and Lisa Kurzner as the associate curator. FRONT is a city-wide exhibition that takes place in museums, galleries, and unconventional sites throughout Cleveland. With the title of “An American City,” the inaugural exhibition is set to open in July 2018. “I am pleased that we were able to find strong Cleveland-based talent to fill these important management and curatorial positions,” said Fred Bidwell, executive director of FRONT Exhibition Company, in a press release. “Jamie and Lisa’s experience with the Cleveland-area arts institutions who are our Presenting Partners and their understanding of the local artistic community will allow them to be immediately effective and continue our already strong momentum toward our inaugural exhibition.” Jamie Hardis’s role will be to manage and coordinate the exhibition while working closely with Lisa Kurzner and the co-artistic directors, Jens Hoffmann and Michelle Grabner. Her experience includes exhibition management and administration; she has previously served as director of operations for the building of MOCA Cleveland. Hardis was also MOCA’s director of exhibitions. Lisa Kurzner will work with Hoffmann and Grabner as part of a two-year fellowship. A Cleveland resident, Kurzner has experience as a curator, gallerist, and research scholar in American and European modern art. She has worked at Museum of Modern Art, Victoria and Albert Museum, The Contemporary Art Society, London, and The British Council in Brussels. She has also worked with local institutions including Cleveland Museum of Art, MOCA Cleveland, Transformer Station, Columbus Metropolitan Library, and Metro Health Hospital Systems as an independent curator. “Lisa’s knowledge of the region’s artistic community will be so important to our work,” said Michelle Grabner, FRONT co-artistic director. “Although we will be bringing many international artists to Cleveland, we are eager to engage and discover area’s artists and create meaningful and relevant conversations between their work and outside perspectives. Lisa will be our eyes and ears in Northeast Ohio for the next two years and she will help us create an exhibition which is both of the world and authentically rooted in the community.”
Cleveland will host a new contemporary art triennial in 2018. FRONT International: Cleveland Exhibition for Contemporary Art will bring together works from the collections of multiple Cleveland art institutions. FRONT will be displayed in museum exhibitions and unconventional sites throughout the city. More than 50 artists will produce site specific works, public programs, a temporary academy, a web-based Midwest art journal, along with solo and group exhibitions. The exhibition will commission 20 new works from local, national, and international artists. The curatorial team will also nominate six international artists for the fall 2017 Cleveland Foundation's three-month artist residency program, Creative Fusion. Main venues for the exhibition include: the Akron Art Museum, Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College, Cleveland Museum of Art, MOCA Cleveland, SPACES, and Transformer Station. Set to run from July 7 through September 30, 2018, the inaugural exhibition will be entitled An American City. Co-Artistic Directors, Michelle Grabner and Jens Hoffmann, plan to rethink the conventional triennial exhibition model. Presenting partners for the exhibition will include the Akron Art Museum, Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, LAND Studios, Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, The Sculpture Center, SPACES, Cleveland, Transformer Station, and Zygote Press. Substantial gifts have been committed by The Cleveland Foundation and the George Gund Foundation. "Cultural identities are multilayered, conflicted, and vary in hyper-local ways. An American City investigates the complex processes by which Cleveland is being constantly undone and rebuilt," Grabner and Hoffmann explained. "Treating the city as both paradigm and physical site, this citywide initiative will tease out the ways in which contemporary experiences of an urban location are shaped by historical and current events, and uncover how the city's collective memory and sociopolitical imperatives can define artistic and curatorial production."
The West Coast edition of AN’s 2012 Facades Conference, “The Art and Science of Building Facades,” held at the UCSF Mission Bay Conference Center on July 26 examined the state of the art in building envelope design. The common thread: collaboration. The first speaker, Phil Williams, VP of Webcor Builders, set the tone by emphasizing early team integration in developing innovative design. Dennis Sheldon, CTO of Gehry Technologies, spoke on how their software facilitates a deeper and more integrated collaborative process between architects, contractors, and fabricating teams. Several consultants and fabricators were represented, including Enclos, Kreysler, Thornton Tomasetti, Front, Element, Seele, Cambridge, and Firestone, who similarly called for early input into the design process. Academic innovators in fabrication and parametrics included Jason Kelly Johnson and Andrew Kudless from CCA, Lisa Iwamoto from UC Berkeley, Chris Lasch from University of Arizona, and Marcelo Spina from Sci-Arc. The highlight was keynote speaker Craig Dykers of Snøhetta, who presented projects ranging from their Alexandria Library in Egypt to the upcoming addition to SFMOMA. Dykers touted the idea of reversing the conventional design process, using a "geological approach—materials before form." He also emphasized the importance of talking to others in fields outside of architecture, long before any lines are drawn. The third segment in AN's Facades Conference will take place later this year in Chicago.