An A2 Inmate in Cleveland

by Melissa Glick

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Rebar orbs adorn a chain link fence in the Gordon Sq

A few weeks ago I attended the opening days of the first Cleveland Triennial, a 3 month arts event that takes place all across the City.  When I saw this fence, it sort of summed up my experience. The way the industrial material of these rebar orbs are treated in an aesthetic way, felt like something I would see at A2, and I wanted to share how I saw Cleveland’s industrial character intertwined with the creative.

As a representative of A2 with VIP access to openings, parties, the press reception and curator led tours – and free non alcoholic drinks at the opening, I got to see how the arts are contributing to the revitalization of this one time booming City.

The event follows in the tradition of the Venice Biennale – the 123 year old tradition in which inclusion has been a significant accomplishment of the most successful and influential artists. Once the economic benefits for the city became apparent to the rest of the world, “biannuals” began to pop up all over. So much so that those in the “art world” report having “bianual burnout“!  International gatherings such as World’s Fairs have lost their relevance, while those in the arts are thriving.

ClevelandPressconference
FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art is an exhibition consisting of artist commissions, performances, films, and public programs running from July 14 to Sept 30, 2018.  An American City: Eleven Cultural Exercises, features collaborations with museums, civic institutions, and alternative spaces across Cleveland, Akron, and Oberlin. Visit the FRONT website for more information.

I had never been to Ohio before and what I knew of its socio-economic history was not positive, so my first view of the city was a happy surprise! The vista across the  Cuyahoga river with a multitude of bridges, smoke stacks of steel plants, ornate brick buildings and gigantic reflective skyscrapers was eye popping!

Cleveland was a booming industrial and manufacturing epicenter for about a hundred years. It was a transportation hub where the iron ore was processed into the steel that built this great country, along with many other manufacturing industries.  John D. Rockefeller founder of Standard Oil and US Steel started off in Cleveland.

WhiteDam

The White Dam, 1939 Raphael Gleitsmann

Cleveland’s biggest boom was during World Wars. It’s decline began in the 1960’s due to industrial restructuring among other things, by ’78 they entered into financial default on federal loans.

During its heyday, prosperous patrons were intent on building a beautiful, culturally rich new city comparable with Paris or London. They were also concerned with the social welfare of the working population, the many immigrants and their families. The beautiful bones of the city can still be seen, amidst the decay, frenzied revitalization, sports stadiums, obnoxiously grand skyscrapers, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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Cleveland Museum of Art, seen across one of the many parks in the city.

On the East Side, we saw marvels of past including: Olmsted-like parks, the incredible public Library, The Federal Reserve and a shopping arcade with the largest glass & steel beamed roof. An art installation addressing immigration is in one of the many grand library rooms. The Library has a tiny/tidy makerspace with 2 laser cutters, a vinyl cutter, a 3D printer and computers with guitars for working in Rock Band. They have plans for taking over a whole floor since library use is really low.

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Installation by Yinka Shonibare, MBE (RA) at Cleveland Public Library

On the West side we saw beautiful murals in neighborhoods, Trinity, The Flats, Ohio City and beautiful Beaux Arts, Art Deco, Sullivanesque brick buildings. The old factories and warehouses, offer loads of great space for artists. We wandered around the 78th street studios, formally headquarters for American Greeting cards -now full of galleries and work spaces.  I realized it was comparable in size to The Asylum, but times 4 floors! There is so much space out there!  Again, artists have drawn attention to the value of formally unwanted real estate and they are being gobbled up by developers.

Between the developers and artists little areas are being revitalized with murals, art spaces, bars, restaurants, shops and the old time establishments are benefiting.

In an area called Hinge town, the conversion of the The Transformer Building at 1460 West 29th Street has stimulated a lot of activity including a project at SPACES that brings the community together to try to make something positive grow from the shooting of 12 year old Tamir Rice. An installation by Dawoud Bey at St. John’s Church commemorates the Underground Railroad. There is a Cafe and Deli in a beautiful renovated firehouse.

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Hingetown: roof deck of the Triennual’s patron who renovated The Transformer Building into an arts space and lives above SPACES, a gallery that features community arts projects.
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It was interesting to see the beautiful old iron work in conjunction with the video installation about the economy Phil Vanderhyden. Federal Reserve Bank on Detroit Ave.

The Cleveland Museum of Art has an incredible collection! It was awesome to see works by Picasso, Nevelson, Warhol I have never seen before in person

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This amazing arrangement of cinder blocks and other debris picked up around the City was the favorite of many people I spoke with. Notice the variety of clamps!!! Brutalismo by Marlon de Azambuja and Luisa Lambri
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White and Steel Polars, 1945  by Theodore Roszak. Roszak

My favorite was this sculpture which was made by an artist who worked in the aeronautics industry. I love its smooth, white abstract geometry and its futuristic, satellite-like look. I have a predilection for abstract sculpture and my work is made with materials I find at A2. After reading the wall text, I felt it sounded a lot like A2.

In an era when most sculpture was made by traditional methods such as carving or casting, he instead employed industrial techniques to create his inventive works. His studio was more akin to a machine shop, complete with drill presses, lathes and dies.

 

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Yayoi Kusama

We were pleasantly surprised to find we could get tickets to the sold out Yayoi Kusama show. She was involved with the “god father of assemblage” Joseph Cornell in the 1960’s. I had no idea that her work consisted of infinity mirrors (something I have been planning on doing.) I also recently found out, one of her boxes, which you walk into, is currently at DeCordova Museum in Lincoln. So you can experience it yourself!

Hacker Creations by Melissa Glick  visit my website or contact me at glick.melissa [at] gmail.com

Melissa’s work reflects the rapid pace which technology becomes obsolete and the resulting glut of old computers. She is concerned that many people don’t know what to do with their old technology and feels manufacturers must begin to take responsibility for the disposal of their products.

Growing up, her father worked at Raytheon (1960 –90) and brought home outdated equipment that was being thrown out. Nevertheless she never opened a computer until joining The Artisan’s Asylum, maker space in Somerville, MA where she has had a studio since 2012. She is the recipient of surplus parts, cruft, e-waste from the other members.
The older the computer/tech the bigger and better the parts are. There is a limited supply of the most beautiful parts. She is documenting a period of technological development that quickly becomes history. She finds beauty in the abstract shapes and colors of the wide variety of components. Her work has been described as, “Structural Poetry”.

 

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Somerville Open Studios 2018

Disappointing, I didn’t sell any of my actual art. I sold enough earrings, necklaces to cover the fee, plus some. This is when the negative thoughts start. No one likes my work, it’s no good. I’m wasting my time……  Please feel free to disagree!

There were some enthusiastic viewers and some positive reactions, for example a woman was looking at the series I did for Valentines day made with a red circuit board behind laser cut hearts in wildly colored collaged wood. She said “Oh these are great, I work in Pulmonary Medicine.”  “Would look great in your office” said I, to no avail. I offered the small piece for a discount of $20 and she still didn’t take it.

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Turns out pulmonary is lungs not hearts (cardiac) … but she brought it up!

Melissa Glick makes 3D collage out of old computer parts. Her studio is at The Artisan’s Asylum, a 40K sq. foot “Maker Space” in Somerville, MA. Her work has been described as being “structural poetry”. Visit her website and Etsy shop to see more of her work.

www.hackercreations.com

www.etsy.com/shop/hackercreations

Where do you get your parts?

Melissa Glick, Hacker Creations

This is the most common question I am asked at craft shows.  Here are some of the more interesting origins.

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I once received a box of working clock inserts in the mail. The return address was from Malden but I did not recognize/remember who it was from. They have roman numerals but take an unusual battery. Thank you to my donor!

My childhood friend was clearing out her house to be sold and bequeathed upon me her family’s first PC. It was an IBM from 1987. I remember watching Karen annihilate aliens on a tiny 5″x7″ monitor.

At a crowded Flea market a gentleman told me he had some printed circuit boards. We met at a cafe and he gave me 2 boxes of green, shiny as new boards of all sizes. These are samples he said. Let me know if you want more.

 

July 6/17 I saw a black box on the side of the street the other day…. I thought about picking it up but I walked by. Then next day, it was still there, so I took a closer look. It was a 5 disc CD player. So I grabbed it and put it in the back of my car.  I opened it up and found a piece resembling a huge black plastic throwing star. I’ve  opened one of these before, but it did not have this design. I was most interested in the black plastic pieces, I photographed against a green background.

I started off making Joseph Cornell-like boxes using the things my father had saved in the dungeon of my childhood home. The house I grew up in was being emptied out to be sold.  Examples of my oldest work.

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Fellow Artisan’s Asylum members offer me their cruft, (left over parts of unfinished projects, surplus materials.)  Generally happy to see them being put into some kind of use, even if it isn’t electronic.

Once after doing a workshop at an after school in Southie, I was “paid” with a tower of PC’s they were upgrading from. Stacked, they were as talk as me.

My 100 sq foot studio is packed with components that need to be taken apart. At Open Studios a visitor said, entering my studio “is like entering another world, there is so much going on.”

Sometimes when I am offered parts, I take them, even if they are nothing special because I am grateful they think of me and for their act of generosity. I am also grateful for the time the other members give to me when they answer my questions. Although they often go into more detail that I need.

 

Melissa Glick has been an inmate at the Artisan’s Asylum in Somerville, MA since 2012. She grew up in a home where recycling and saving cool looking things was the norm. She studied Art History at SUNY Purchase and got a masters in art education at Mass College of Art.

 

 

 

Hacker Creations Fall & Holiday Season 2016

News about Hacker Creations by Melissa Glick

Cambridge Art Sharecctvcropped

It has been an honor and challenge to be chosen to participate in The Cambridge Arts Council’s Art Share program. Like a “farm share” you can jump start your art collection with 9 different works of art by local Cambridge artists. You are invited to see a sample of each artist’s work on the website. Order your SHARE today! They make wonderful holiday gifts!

Life After Art Share:  Here are some of my upcoming Fall and Holiday events. I love this time of year when I get to share my work see all kinds of interesting reactions. After 5 years my dream of running an art business is alive, evolving & going strong. Thank you for helping to get the word out about Hacker Creations that make great gifts for friends in the tech industry or not. My bold abstract work makes for unique home decor and will always be a conversation starter.

 tbtableSun: Nov 20

Trash Bash 4th Annual Recycled Art Show
Noon -6 PM
Aeronaut Brewery
14 Tyler Street, Somerville
Join us as we dance, drink, and celebrate sustainability in Somerville. This year’s show will support Somerville Local First. All profit will go to support their amazing work in our community!

Nov 20 – Dec 17logo

Union SquarePop-up mall Somerville
337 Somerville Ave Somerville

Open daily from:Mon – Thurs:  noon – 6:30pm
Fri: noon – 8:00pm
Sat & Sun:10:00am -8:00pm
closed 11/24
I will be covering Tuesday, Nov 22nd 12 – 3 pm and Thurs. Dec 8th 12 – 3:30 PM
SLAM is the newest Holiday Arts Pop Up in the heart of Union Sq (next to PA’s). Check out  a maze of shops by over 20 different artists. 10 Artisan’s Asylum Inmates are in room 18 & 19… all the way in the back. Dont stop till you reach us!

Sat: Nov 26

holiday-group
Somerville High School  Craft Show

9 AM to 3 PM
Somerville High School Atrium
81 Highland Ave, Somerville

A local favorite with over 100 vendors!! Enjoy a fun filled day with lots of raffles, door prizes and refreshments.

Thurs, Fri: Dec 1st & 2nd

MIT Winter Craft Fair*
Massachusetts Institute of Technologymit_craft_fair_logo-small_-svg_
Whitaker Atrium, E25, 45 Carleton Street,
& Stata Center Bldg 32 32 Vassar St
Cambridge, MA 02142
9 am – 5  pm

Taking Hacker Creations to NERD central. Lets see if they can identify the parts!

Sat: Dec 3jpcraftgraphic

 

JP Craft Fair
11 AM – 5 PM
First Church Jamaica Plain

6 Elliot Street

Held in a beautiful historic church, this show is packed with creative & unique vendors, refreshments. Check out the Boston Art Makers on the stage!

Fri: Dec 9glick_melissa1

Argenziano School Craft Fair

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
290 Washington Street, Somerville
The third annual PTA craft fair featuring jewelry, scarves, hats, greeting cards, homemade bread, and more! Admission is free.

Sat: Dec 10 earringmonitor

Artisan’s Asylum Winter Open House
11 AM – 6 PM
10 Tyler Street, Somerville, MA
Come see where the magic happens! Always new and fun things to be seen at the Asylum. Dedicated to  teaching, learning and practice of fabrication.

 Sun: Dec 11

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11 am to 5 pm
Seven Hills Foundation, 81 Hope Ave, Worcester

Worcester Roller Derby’s alternative holiday craft fair!
Admission is free! Tons of local artists and crafters! Jewelry, Fine Art & Photography, Vintage goods, Home Décor, Handbags, Bath & Body, and MORE!

Sat & Sun Dec 17 & 18unionholidaywindow

Union Square Pop Up
Sat: 10 AM – 6 PM & Sun: 10 AM – 5 PM
Warehouse XI, 11 Sanborn Court, Somerville  behind The Independent Restaurant.
An annual show that is a gathering of the craft community of Somerville!

Jan 13-16

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Noon- 6 PM
Westin Waterfront Hotel
425 Summer St, Boston
As part of New England’s largest most diverse Sci-Fi & Fantasy Convention
I will be displaying and selling work in the Art Show! Register Here!
My etsy store is always open and being updated:
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Hacker Creations can be found at these find establishments:
 Blue Cloud, Ball Sq Somerville
 Uni-T, the lovely shop at the Natick Mall.
Custom pieces are always welcome. So if you have an near and dear piece of technology that is ready for the junk heap, don’t toss it, transform it into something you can hang on your wall or display on your self… and remember all you’ve been through together. Contact me and will can discuss it. glick.melissa@gmail.com or come visit me at the Artisan’s Asylum, 10 Tyler St. Union Sq, Somerville, MA USA.
Visit my website www.melissasglick.com to see more of my work.

Thanks for your interest and support.