A special report by The Tremonster
Change is the only constant (Heraclitus), and as Tremont ArtWalk rolls through its 22nd year, changes have continued amidst some perennial favorites. Joan Deveney, a veteran of the Cleveland art and poetry world, organized this year’s annual Stupid Cupid exhibit, a Robert Ritchie inspired Valentine’s Day installation at the Doubting Thomas Gallery this past February, which featured over 20 participating artists familiar and new to ArtWalk regulars. Doubting Thomas Gallery has become a center for themed group shows and an array of talented young artists acting as curators. Natalia Dale, Chelsie Barile and Shawn Mishak are a few of the artists who have organized shows. For the May Tremont ArtWalk, Doubting Thomas is showing Five in the Fifth – five female artists, curated by Natalia Dale.
Steve Mastroianni, an artist always on the move, has moved his West 14th studio of 6 years across the street to 2687 West 14th Street. His talent and eye as a photographer serve him well as a curator as he brings out the best in his artists’ exhibits. In addition to his visual arts skills, Steve has joined with musicians Joe Milan and Milenko Budimir to form Malphonia (a band specializing in “acoustic renderings of popular tunes spanning the centuries in a casual, rock-star neutral environment, with occasional forays into otherwise odd time signatures”). Malphonia can often be found performing during Tremont ArtWalk at Steve’s studio and recently performed on Dyngus Day at Prosperity Social Club. This month, ArtWalk features the inaugural exhibit in the new home of Mastroianni Photography & Arts: Ron Knight’s “Signs From GOD.” Hilary Gent, the owner of Hedge Gallery, has been organizing the art exhibits at Visible Voice Books, with a keen eye for exhibits that work nicely with the regularly featured poetry and music. The Visible Voice Books summer concert courtyard series is quite special. On the May ArtWalk at Visible Voice Books, Tremonsters can find music from The Luckey Ones and an event with the author of The Natural Order of Things, Kevin P. Keating. Longtime Tremont resident and artist Tim Herron continues his weekly Friday drawing group Tremont Pretentious Artists of the Literary Cafe. Plans are underway for a Tremont ArtWalk 2015, Calendar which looks to feature more Tremont ArtWalk veterans through drawings rendered by participants in the Friday night drawing group. Tremont ArtWalk’s website, www.tremontartwalk.com, serves as a living archive of the rich history of artists who have graced Tremont and made the ArtWalk a unique Tremont experience. The website archives are being regularly updated in the continuing effort to recall all those who have participated in ArtWalk over the course of its more than 21-year history. Tremonsters may be surprised to learn one such ArtWalk participant, Alenka Banco, formerly of the Left Bank building of the 1980s Flats, moved to Tremont in the mid 1990s and established Eddie Moved Gallery before moving on to open the Convivium 33 Gallery. The location formerly known as Eddie Moved has been a gallery space for a number of projects including Atmosphere Gallery and the Nest. Next door, 2393 Professor Avenue, has been home to the Actor’s Gym, State of Ohio and its most famous occupant, Dana Depew’s Asterisk Gallery. Another interesting piece of ArtWalk history centers around 2678 West 14th Street, where the Kevin Barth Gallery was established. That space later sold to Dodie Hartman, who then ran the Kelly Randall Gallery at that same location from 1999 to 2008. Bridget Ginley and Brenda Stumpf both showed at Dodie’s Gallery and Bridget went on to open Studio 615 on Jefferson Avenue prior to moving to Buzz Gallery on West 25th Street. On May 8th, Jean Brandt released a statement that was quietly posted late last month on the Brandt Gallery website, www.brandtgallery.org, stating that the current May exhibit will be the final art exhibit at Brandt Gallery. The post, titled “Thanks for the Memory,” cites time demands of her law practice as one of many reasons for the closure, and a moving message in which she thanks the many Brandt Gallery exhibitors, patrons, and atendees. Tremont continues to evolve as do the spaces and artists who work and live here. Come by the neighborhood to see old friends and make new ones. Please visit the Tremont Constant website at www.tremontartwalk.com to find out what’s showing on the 2nd Friday of every month in Tremont. In light of recent events, Tremont ArtWalk galleries may be exercising discretion in terms of the refreshments served, however the ArtWalk will continue this Friday as it has these past 21 years, promoting the local artists who display their works here.