Transformer Station is a non-collecting contemporary art venue in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood. It serves as the exhibition hub of Oh, Gods of Dust and Rainbows, the starting point for the visitor’s explorations of art across Northeast Ohio. The curatorial approach and display strategies here intentionally reveal associative connections between artists, texts, and ideas.The venue features an intergenerational group show that touches on several of FRONT 2022’s core themes and methods. Transformer Station’s Crane Gallery is the site for a large-scale participatory video installation made by artists Sarah Oppenheimer and Tony Cokes that blends their distinct approaches to interactive architecture and moving images. This highlights the significance of collaboration between unexpected actors throughout the exhibition.
The main gallery continues this journey, as with Paul O’Keeffe’s In Memoriam (I Wanna Be Pure), part of a larger project spread throughout FRONT 2022 that relates to the tragic passing of his son and his own processing of that event by incorporating his son’s poetry into his artwork. Other works by Langston Hughes, Karel Martens, and the accomplished local artists Charmaine Spencer, Dexter Davis, and La Wilson evoke the daily practice of artmaking and its liberatory potential. Elsewhere, Martin Beck and Magali Reus underscore the importance of sharing joy and how the aesthetic pleasure of art can connect different people (and beings) in communion. Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Christopher Kulendran Thomas, Hughie Lee Smith, and Beni E. Kosh question the artist’s role in society and suggest ways that artists can intervene in larger structures by speaking with power. On Kawara’s One Million Years offers a meditative and participatory way to approach larger-than-human scales of transformation.
The final programmatic focus considers the relationship between artmaking and therapy through works by late Oberlin-based artist Audra Skuodas, alongside Scott Mars, Linda D.L. Green, and other clients of Art Therapy Studio, one of the oldest such independent organizations in the nation. Its free public art-therapy workshops hosted throughout the show raise important questions: how legible is the process of collaboration, of learning from others, of healing within finished artworks? How can the pain of the past be transformed through artmaking and its reception?
• FRONT welcomes visitors of all abilities, ages, backgrounds, genders, races, and religions and is committed to providing opportunities for meaningful inclusion.
• The FRONT PNC Exhibition Hub at Transformer Station meets and exceeds ADA requirements, offering accessible parking, ramp access, ADA accessible restrooms, and an elevator to the second floor visitors lounge. Accommodations available upon request; please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
• FRONT is proud to be part of the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities ALL means ALL initiative to highlight its commitment to inclusion and accessibility.