My Ohio: MOCA is a showcase in CLE's Uptown

Posted at 8:13 PM, Apr 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-01 20:13:09-04

Its building catches your eye.

When it was constructed in Cleveland in 2012, the thought behind the Museum of Contemporary Art was that the building must be art itself.  In the heart of the booming Uptown neighborhood of Cleveland's University Circle area, MOCA, covered with shining black steel, reflects the vibrancy and vitality of its surroundings.

Its angles are almost hypnotic as they catch the images of traffic and pedestrians passing through the intersection of Euclid Avenue and Mayfield Road. 

"The exterior of the building to me is like the ocean because every time you go to the ocean, it is always different," said Jill Snyder, museum executive director.

Inside the four-floor building are exhibits of art in many forms.  Each exhibit is designed to create thought.  "In this museum, it's OK to be greatly different," said Peter Vertes, marketing director for MOCA.

Vertes spoke as he stood next to a piece of art resembling a boulder with a human arm and hand reaching from it.  In the hand is a stick.  "Contemporary art is constantly throwing you in an unfamiliar place," said Snyder.  "That's part of its job."

In a darkened room, a video plays showing actors looking into the camera.  The artists who created this exhibited instructed each actor to show two emotions simultaneously.  There is no audio; only the moving video of the actors who appear to be showing fear and joy at the same time.  The idea is for the viewer to look deeply into the video as well as look deeply into himself or herself.

"We are a place to encounter the new," said Snyder.

MOCA is at 11400 Euclid Avenue in Cleveland.  Its website is