(Plain Press, November 2018) Over seventy friends and supporters of Art House gathered at its facility at 3119 Denison Avenue on October 20th, for a Stand for the Arts Award Ceremony honoring Art House. Ovation TV, America’s only arts network, and local cable provider, Spectrum, hosted the invitation-only, catered event which included the presentation of a $10,000 check to Art House.
In describing the award, the Art House website says,“OvationTV and Spectrum with affiliate and distribution partners, provides contributions to help support local arts, cultural, and educational organizations. Stand for the Arts Awards are granted based on three criteria: level of community outreach and engagement, ability to create inclusive access to artistic programming, and innovative approach to arts education and skills development.”
The website notes, “Art House, Inc. was selected to receive a Stand For The Arts Award this year ‘for their unique and powerful work elevating creatives and communities through art.’ The award includes a grant of $10,000.”
At the Awards Ceremony, Gary Underwood, Regional Vice President of Government Affairs at Charter Communications, represented Spectrum. Underwood said Art House is one of twelve arts organizations being honored with a Stand for the Arts Award. Sol Doten, Vice President of Content Distribution and Marketing for Ovation, praised Art House for its community outreach, cultural programs and arts education.
Artists Augusto Bordelois and Gina Washington, and Arts Educator Christian Osterland shared some stories about how, through their work with Art House, they are harnessing the creative energy of students in Cleveland classrooms.
Bordelois, a teaching artist at Art House, said his work with students involves creating projects which he called, “great fun. He said working on art projects “invigorates kids.”
Bordelois described a project with John Marshall High School students where students were learning about biomimicry. He said as preparation for their art work, they went to the Cleveland Zoo and talked to zoo keepers about examples of biomimicry. He said some examples included a drone, designed to look like an insect, contained a camera that helped to protect African elephants from poachers, and another was the creation of a football helmet, designed like a porcupine spine, that moves with impact so the head inside the helmet is protected from vibrating. Students working on the project created art stemming from their observations of nature.
Bordelois said he had the students create their own frames for the artwork using power tools. He shared some stories about students using power tools for the first time.
Artist Gina Washington talked about being able to use art to communicate and work with children who have only been in this country a month, and the joy the children experienced. Washington shared her appreciation of Art House as a place to work. She said, the organization, founded by and run by an artist, allows artists, “the freedom to be creative.”
Christian Osterland, an art teacher at Denison Elementary and Wilbur Wright Elementary, said he first became familiar with Art House in 2001. He said at that time, he was working at Denison Elementary School teaching art from a cart without any formal classroom art program. He said, the then Councilwoman Merle Gordon introduced him to Art House across the street from the school, and he began to use the facility for his students. Osterland said, “Kids coming over to Art House was an amazing thing for me as an art teacher, being able to offer kids what Art House has to offer.” He noted the importance of students being able to observe and work with working artists. He called Art House “a great thing for my students.”
Osterland said, when he was assigned to also work at Wilbur Wright, Art House helped him to develop an art program for that building. He said working with Art House has made “my career as an art teacher very satisfactory.”
Art House Executive Director Laila Voss in accepted the $10,000 check from Ovation and Spectrum thanked the executives from the companies for the Stand for the Arts Award which she said would help Art House to embrace the future. State Senator Sandra Williams (D-21) and City of Cleveland Ward 12 Councilman Anthony Brancatelli delivered proclamations of appreciation to Art House as well.
Editor’s Note: For more information about Art House visit their website at: www.arthouseinc.org.