Cleveland artists eager to showcase work during Republican National Convention

Posted at 6:53 PM, Jun 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-30 13:33:45-04

Our city's transformation will certainly continue to make headlines during the Republican National Convention, but some creative Clevelanders are hoping to tap into that hype.

We're no longer the mistake by the lake. The CLE is now known internationally for good grub and great brews. But there's another part to who we are that's ready to rise to prominence during the RNC.

"The facts are we are a big arts town and this is our chance to show everybody," said Fred Bidwell, Co-Founder of Transformer Station.

And local artists are ready to impress the tens of thousands of visitors heading to town.

"They're gonna start thinking Cleveland is more sophisticated than they thought," said Bidwell.

Bidwell says this is a time for our smaller cultural institutions to shine.

"People who are into art and culture have probably heard of the Cleveland Orchestra or the Cleveland Museum of Art, but they maybe think the rest of Cleveland is about beer and pierogies," said Bidwell.

Transformer Station is set to host two Brooklyn artists who will display a 4,000 pound ice sculpture that says "The American Dream."
It will sit outside so you can stop by and watch it melt away.

"Now you can interperet that from both sides of the political spectrum whichever way you want and that's the genius of the idea," said Bidwell.

Down the street, another small neighborhood gallery is set to make a big splash.

"Spaces is the only visual arts organization in the entire city that has devoted all of its programming to the political process," said Christina Vassallo, Executive Director of Spaces.

Four projects at Spaces look at the issues surrounding the RNC in Cleveland and the political process.

"We work with artists who want to change the world. We also work with artists who want to comment on what's going on," said Vassallo.

Sure to have people talking is artist Spencer Tunick's plan to photograph 100 naked women in downtown Cleveland holding large mirrored discs.

Right now ladies can apply online to be a part of the picture.