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.

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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.

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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

Updated Bio and Dali’s Table

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Dali’s Table, 2017 Patterns upon patterns over the distorted red pattern from Dali’s 1956 painting Living Still Life (French: Nature Morte Vivante) Dali painted this piece during a period that he called “Nuclear Mysticism.”[1] Nuclear Mysticism is composed of different theories that try to show the relationships between quantum physics and the conscious mind. The different theories are composed of elements that range from “Catalan philosophers” to “classicismpop art, and nuclear physics.”[2] The painting, done in 1956, currently resides at the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida.
I find beauty in unexpected places.  As a “hacker” I take things apart and re-purpose them in cool new ways. I transform “e-waste”- discarded electronics and outdated computer components into dynamic compositions that combine 2D color and pattern with 3D abstract forms. My work touches upon issues ofintimacy, excess, ecology and raising awareness. My work has been described as being ”structural poetry.”

 

Growing up, my Dad worked at Raytheon (1960-90) and brought home outdated equipment that was being thrown out. I never opened a computer until I joined The Artisan’s Asylum, maker space in Somerville MA in 2012.  Since that time I have learned a great deal about the abundance of outdated technology and the toll it is taking on the world because manufacturers do not take responsibility for the full lifecycle of their products.

There’s an element of chance in my work since my materials are given to me and because each series of computer I open is different. It’s like a treasure hunt.  I know immediately if a piece is visually interesting or not (unless I’m in an indecisive mood). The visual excitement when a particular shape just POPS when in relation to a particular color or pattern is thrilling.

I weave in my background and love of Modernism by appropriating imagery from the past. Originally I built upon a surface made from old letters, post cards and other personal items that romantic people accumulate. Currently I incorporate digital imagery (mine, Modern Art, random print) which I alter with Photoshop.  The compositions place shapes of disassembled technology in relationship with abstract imagery with contrast, balance and repetition and suggest a connection or equivalence.

I grew up going to DeCordova summer camp where my creativity was always encouraged. At the age of ten I saw the Acropolis in Athens and knew I would be studying Art History when I went to college. Between visiting galleries and museums in NYC while at SUNY Purchase and a year in Paris, I developed my aesthetic sense and became focused on contemporary art.  After 5 years of doing administrative work at the ICA, I enrolled at Mass College of Art and earned a Masters in Art Education. I have run educational programs at the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center, Boston Ballet, Museum of Fine Arts. Once I got out of the office and starting making art, I taught at Watertown Arsenal Center for the Arts, Parts & Crafts. I offer workshops to people of all ages at the Artisan’s Asylum and at various community events.

www.hackercreations.com

www.artisansasylum.com

www.etsy.com/shop/hackercreations

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OPEN STUDIO season!

Melissa Glick
CubaDiegohttp://www.Hackercreations.com
glick.melissa@gmail.com

What an exciting Spring !
I’m just back from a trip to Cuba which was so inspiring, I’ve already made new 2 pieces. Including this one that includes images of the neighborhood covered in mosaic.

I received a grant from the Artisan’s Asylum to start a line of work to market specifically to funky art gallery shops. After Open Studios, I will start learning to use the Shop Bot (CNC Gantry Router) to drill shadow boxes out of a 2 ” solid piece of wood. If you know of any funky art gallery shops, similar to where I current sell work, Blue Cloud and Uni-T please let me know.

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First weekend of May you can visit me at The Artisan’s Asylum, 10 Tyler St Somerville. The largest Maker Space on the East coast with 40,000 Square feet of workshops, studios, classrooms and community space. Parking in the lot off Dane St. Learn about all the classes you could take.

Come to Space #10 and see all my new work! You also get to check out all the old technology that has been donated to me and my organizational system that goes up 10 feet, requiring a ladder to reach the top! You can also make a pin or necklace.mwc800px72dpi32

Additionally, there is the SOS First Look show at the Somerville Museum, One Westwood Ro. Every SOS artist has been invited to submit one work. Open April 27-29: Thurs 2-7pm, Fri 2-5 pm, Sat noon-5pm & SOS weekend May 4-7: Thurs 2-7 pm, Fri 2-9 pm, Sat and Sun 11am-6pm.

MAY 6 & 7

Preview Party Invite

The Atrium 100-200 Technology Square on Main Street at the railroad tracks, in Kendall Square. Refreshments will be served.

The Second weekend of May is Cambridge Open Studios where I will be displaying my work along with 9 other artists: Jose Estrela, Shin MaengMelissa Glick  Seeds of JoieDeborah Peeples,  Carlos Arzaga,  Alice Kovler, Rebecca Scott, Rhia Swyers & Julia Blake.

Check out this awesome bike tour map! Our Open Studios Launch Party and Artist Showcase will be Thursday, May 11th from 6-8pm at The Cambridge Art Association  25 Lowell Street, Cambridge. Open to the public.

GearlogoHACKER WORKSHOPS

Lots of people have expressed interest in taking my fun workshops…..but I haven’t managed to get them all in the same room! If you would like to join and give it a try, please email me:  and let me know what days/times work best for you and we will make it happen!

LONG LIVE HACK!!! 

Open Call: HackCycle Deadline for Submissions: May 25th

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The Nave Gallery (Somerville, MA) invites artists to participate in the curated exhibition, HackCycle.

HackCycle celebrates recycled art of the 21st century. We invite submissions from  artists, nerds, makers, burners and others who employ experimentation and serendipity using today’s technological debris and/or innovative techniques as part of their creative process.

The exhibition examines the transformation of bits, bytes, cruft, e-waste, circuits, doodads, odds & ends and more into objects of art. Work may (but is not limited to) demonstrate the use of 3D printing, laser cutters and/or CNC bots in combination with found art, assemblage and/or appropriation.

Entries sought may (but are not limited to) include unique and reimagined re-uses of the following elements:

 – robotics
– electronics
– sci fi
– cosplay
– anime, action figure toys & fun childhood memories

GUIDELINES:
– $15 entry fee payable through PayPal

– A maximum of five pieces may be entered for consideration

– Submissions will be accepted through September 8, 2015

– The Nave Gallery will retain a 30% commission for work sold

– Artist is responsible for cost of shipping work to and from the gallery

HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR WORK:
-Send up to five artwork submissions as .jpg files to info@navegallery.org.

-Each .jpg should be 1200 pixels in the long dimension and named as “NAME_#.jpg” where # is the submission number and NAME is your last name

-Include an image list with your jpeg submission email, indicating submission number, title, size, process and year, as well as a brief artist bio and statement

-There is a $15 submission fee, payable through Paypal. Paypal is available here. Please include “HackCycle” in the note field

– Please indicate where you learned of the call

Accepted pieces should be delivered to the Nave Gallery located in Teele Square (155 Powder House Blvd, Somerville, MA) ready to install.

CALENDAR:
Deadline for entries: May 25, 2015
Notification: May 30, 2015
Artwork drop-off: June 7, 2015
Exhibition dates: June 11 – July 11, 2015
Opening reception:  June 11, 2015; 6:00 pm-8:00 pm

ABOUT THE CURATOR:
Melissa Glick is a Boston-based artist and teacher who finds beauty in unexpected places. She creates dynamic compositions with abstract elements and bold colors by combining disassembled computer parts with appropriated imagery and personal relics. In addition to her work being fun and eye catching it address the environmental impact of our technological lifestyle and our emotional attachments to the “things” that represent and validate who we are. Melissa works out of the Artisan’s Asylum and is a proponent of the Maker Movement and the democratization of production. She has a Masters in Art Education from Mass College of Art and a BA from SUNY Purchase and has run educational programs at the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center, Boston Ballet, Museum of Fine Arts, Watertown Arsenal Center for the Arts, Parts & Crafts and at various community events.  View her work at www.melissasglick.com