As we observe the 20th anniversary of the Tremont Artwalk this year, we are working on a series of portraits of some of the people who were involved with the Artwalk at it’s beginning, with the help of Jean Brandt and Rich Weiss. These portraits will be on display for the February and March Artwalks on 2/8/13 and 3/8/13 at Mastroianni Photography and Arts in the Tremont neighborhood.
Since the late 1980s, artists have been moving into the historic Tremont neighborhood. In September 1990, Tremont resident Jean Brandt exhibited the art installation, “Olde Stuff” by Terry Durst, in her storefront law office on Kenilworth Avenue. Two years later Ron Naso, owner of Studio Gallery on Professor Avenue and artist Robert Ritchie teamed up with Sandy Rotokowski of Edison’s Pub and The Literary Cafe’s Andy Timithy and Linda Baldizzi for a multi-venue Halloween art celebration. The seeds a “Tremont ArtWalk” were being sown.
Two months later, in December 1992, marked the opening of Wildflower, an exhibit and performance space in Lemko Hall, with another neighborhood “ArtWalk”. To celebrate, The Lit exhibited paintings by Tim Herron, another Tremont resident and proprietor of The Manly Pad. Herron customarily left his sketchpad at the end of the bar at The Lit, to be reviewed and even added to by others; echoes of this custom continue today in the monthly drawing club that meets on Friday nights in the back room of The Lit.
The first official Tremont ArtWalk occurred on February 12, 1993–the second Friday of the month. Seven businesses pooled their resources to promote the event, with a card designed by Mikel Mahoney that included the ArtWalk logo and a neighborhood map. These seven businesses included not only two exhibitional galleries but also Bookworm and Bugjuice (a bookstore on Kenilworth Avenue) and The Guerilla Theater.
From these humble beginnings 20 years ago, Tremont ArtWalk has blossomed, now boasting monthly participation from almost 30 restaurants, pubs, galleries, museums, churches, social clubs, boutiques and specialty merchants. Much of this activity would be hard to imagine without the tireless energy and creativity of local artists and residents who have made Tremont ArtWalk the premier monthly event in Cleveland’s original arts neighborhood.
Here are some of the portraits we’ve done so far:
If you think you or someone you know should be included in this exhibition, please contact me to set up a time for your photograph.