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FRONT: Benefit Auction 2021

September 22, 2021

FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art and Artsy present The 2021 FRONT Benefit Auction.

Proceeds benefit FRONT International, an innovative and large-scale contemporary art triennial presenting free, world-class exhibitions, installations, and public programs across Northeast Ohio.


This auction features original works and limited edition prints created by FRONT artists or contributed by FRONT friends and patrons.


Exclusive offerings include a limited edition FRONT print portfolio featuring work by Michelle Grabner, Odili Odita, Kay Rosen, Julian Stanczak and others.


Online bidding opens on Friday, September 24 at 1:00 pm EDT and closes on Friday, October 8, at 1:00 pm EDT.


Shipping costs are the responsibility of the buyer. Lots ship from Cleveland or New York. Pre-arranged pick-up is also available. Please contact with further inquiries and for shipping quotes. Sales tax may be applicable and will be the responsibility of the buyer. Please note: You may be required to provide documentation of your identity in a form acceptable to us and any other documentation in order to complete the purchase. Should you fail to provide this documentation within a reasonable amount of time your purchase will be cancelled.

Picturing the Humanity and Dread of the Infinite Scroll

September 8, 2021

Picturing the Humanity and Dread of the Infinite Scroll

Tabitha Soren’s “Surface Tension” defamiliarizes the touch screen, where our warm animal bodies collide with the machine’s cold and boundless knowledge of the world.



City Stages 2021

August 3, 2021

City Stages, the CMA’s free acclaimed summer concerts featuring the best in global music, has returned. These block parties will take place in front of Transformer Station, on Wednesday, August 18 and Wednesday, August 25 at 7:30pm. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early! 


Transformer Station will remain open until 9pm during City Stages. Before the concerts, visit Transformer Station to see the CMA’s free exhibition, New Histories, News Futures, on view through September 12. The exhibition showcases work by three contemporary Black artists—Johnny Coleman, Antwoine Washington, and Kambui Olujimi—who engage both historical events and current discourse through their art.


Transformer Station is located at 1460 West 29th Street, Cleveland, OH 44113. Normal hours of operation are Wednesday to Sunday, 11am to 5pm.


City Stages Schedule:


Wednesday, August 18, 7:30 pm
Angel Melendez and the 911 Mambo Orchestra
Composer, arranger and trombonist Angel Melendez will lead the 10-piece 911 Mambo Orchestra  in  original arrangements  of old-school salsa.


Wednesday, August 25, 7:30 pm
Cheik Hamala Diabate
The Malian singer-guitarist and n’goni player will perform the best in West African griot. The  n’goni is a traditional stringed lute considered one of the ancestors of the banjo.


Arrive early and grab dinner and a drink at one of Ohio City’s bars or restaurants.


The Cleveland Museum of Art is funded in part by residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.


The exhibition New Histories, New Futures was supported in part by the Ohio Arts Council, which receives support from the State of Ohio and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Antwoine Washington Celebrates Black Family Life At Transformer Station

August 2, 2021

As a kid, Antwoine Washington spent hours drawing pictures for friends and family. But the images and messages he got from mainstream culture told him that art wasn’t a viable career path. After a life-changing incident, he’s on a mission to tell a different story. During a recent visit to Washington’s studio in Richmond Heights, he worked on a portrait of a young girl.


Washington creates the perfect pink for a daughter’s birthday dress. [David C. Barnett / Ideastream Public Media]


You’re looking at a painting of my daughter,” he said, swirling several colors on his palette to create a special shade of pink.


He carefully added this new blend onto the girl’s birthday party dress. Washington has spent much of the past decade illustrating stories about Black family life, using a variety of styles, from photorealism, to flat, colorful abstractions.


“I think the whole premise around this piece is going to be about young people making wishes and dreaming outside of their birthdays,” he said. “I mean, you make that wish on your birthday, but do you actually really follow through with it? And do you even know how to do that?”


Johnny Coleman [J Seyfried]


Oberlin artist and educator Johnny Coleman is impressed with Washington.


“I think he’s a phenomenal painter and that’s only going to continue to get stronger and stronger,” Coleman said.


Washington’s received numerous commissions and awards in just the past five years, including a 2019 Verge Fellowship for emerging talent from the Cleveland Arts Prize. Growing up in Pontiac, Michigan, Washington had an early dream of being an artist. He said he was always drawing and doodling, often based on images he saw on TV.


“Saturday morning cartoons, that was some of my early influences,” he said. “But, as far as artists, as a kid, I’ll have to go to, like Ernie Barnes and the “Good Times” paintings.”


The celebratory paintings of African American life by artist and occasional actor Ernie Barnes were featured in the opening and closing credits of the 1970s sitcom “Good Times.”


“My grandmother used to watch that all the time,” he said. “That’s where I was first really introduced to, like, ‘Oh, Black artist painting. I would like to do that.’”


But, Washington’s artistic aspirations didn’t seem to be much more than a dream for many years.


“I knew that artists could make money, of course, but I didn’t know how,” he said. “I didn’t have that person around me to actually help guide that or even say, ‘Hey, you have a talent, you have a talent in art. Don’t you know that you can make money from this and you can make a living doing this?’ That never really ever came across my mind or even was even encouraged in my neighborhood where I was from. When you did art, you were kind of looked at as the weirdo.”


Antwoine was always working his crayons as a kid. [Antwoine Washington]


Washington said his mother recognized his talent and was always putting crayons and paper in front of him. Ultimately, the family sent him to Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he earned a B.A. in studio art. Southern was also the place where he met future wife, Carlise, and the two of them ended up moving to her hometown of Cleveland.


“My whole journey moving forward was to come here and try to find work, and knowing that me and my wife were going to get married,” he said.


She worked as a nurse. He got a job at the post office and then started a cleaning business. Once they had a newborn, he cleaned offices during the day, came home and spent time with their daughter and then stayed up until three in the morning drawing and painting. But, self-doubt started creeping in. Did he make a mistake quitting the steady post office job? He said he started having panic attacks.


Staying up late, stress and have a newborn all contributed, he said.


One day in 2018, he woke up and couldn’t feel anything on his right side. Washington was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with a brain infarction – he’d had a stroke.


This vein was hard, like cement hard,” he said, pointing to a blood vessel in his upper arm.


Because he was young, rehabilitation pretty much restored him physically, though he said there’s still a constant tingling sensation in his arm and leg. But, that health scare had another permanent effect.


“I damn sure know that life is short and I could have died, you know? So, I was like, ‘Yo, I got to be fearless in this,’” he said. “I’ve got to live life like any moment it can be over. And so, I just started just painting what I felt, saying what I felt and going after what I wanted.


Transformer Station in Cleveland [David C. Barnett / Ideastream Public Media]


The latest example of that is on display at the Transformer Station gallery on Cleveland’s Near West Side. Washington is part of the exhibition, “New Histories, New Futures,” that he shares with New York artist Kambui Olujimi and Oberlin’s Johnny Coleman.


“When I look at Antwoine, I see a brother who’s young enough to be my son, who is actively engaged in the lives of his children,” Coleman said. “And it affects me on a personal level.”


Washington created four paintings that celebrate Black fathers who love, protect and provide for their families. One of the standout images in the series features a bearded man embracing his wife, daughter and son. It’s called “Black Family: The Myth of the Missing Black Father.”


“Black Family: The Myth of the Missing Black Father” [Antwoine Washington]



“What inspired this one actually was the whole notion and myth that Black fathers aren’t present in their children’s lives,” Washington said. “It was a lie to me because, growing up, I saw different. In my neighborhood, even though we were poor, fathers were always around. Even though I had my father alive and in my life, I had many other fathers, coaches and different people within the community that acted as father figures.”



“He’s a narrative artist,” Coleman said. “But the nature of the story, the quality of the story and his relationship to it, he’s not trying to construct the narrative that he heard about. He’s sharing his life. And it deeply resonates with me.”



Because Washington’s life was almost cut short and because the potential of art was downplayed when he was a child, the 40-year-old said he feels like he’s on a mission.



“[There’s] a lot of opportunity out here in the arts for people that look like me,” he said. “And we just don’t have access to it, because no one is exposing us to it or even telling us about it. And so, I’m like, let me create something or let me get in front of these young people and let them know this opportunity here.”



Michael Russell and Antwoine Washington founded the Museum of Creative Human Art [Antwoine Washington]



Washington and his childhood friend, Michael Russell, also created an art project, “The Museum of Creative Human Art.” They don’t have a permanent gallery right now, and it’s more of a pop-up experienece. But, the larger agenda is to offer art classes and character education for underserved young people. And to demonstrate some life options over and above TV and Tik Tok.



You don’t have to run, jump, dribble the basketball, or catch a football, or rap, sing and dance all the time,” Washington said. “This is another way that you can express yourself.”




The Washington family as rendered in this detail from “Black Family: The Provider” on view at Transformer Station.

WATCH: In Conversation: Johnny Coleman, Antwoine Washington, and Kambui Olujimi

July 13, 2021

Join artists Johnny Coleman (Oberlin, Ohio), Antwoine Washington (Cleveland, Ohio), and Kambui Olujimi (New York, New York) and curator Nadiah Rivera Fellah on a virtual walk-through of the CMA exhibition New Histories, New Futures.


Together, they discuss how contemporary artists both engage with concepts of the past, present, and future and create artworks to revise history, combat stereotypes, and give image to new political possibilities.


This program is organized in tandem with the CMA exhibition New Histories, New Futures, on view at Transformer Station through September 12, 2021.


All exhibitions at the Cleveland Museum of Art are underwritten by the CMA Fund for Exhibitions. Major annual support is provided by the Estate of Dolores B. Comey and Bill and Joyce Litzler, with generous annual funding from Mr. and Mrs. Walter R. Chapman Jr., the Jeffery Wallace Ellis Trust in memory of Lloyd H. Ellis Jr., Janice Hammond and Edward Hemmelgarn, Ms. Arlene Monroe Holden, Eva and Rudolf Linnebach, William S. and Margaret F. Lipscomb, Tim O’Brien and Breck Platner, the Womens Council of the Cleveland Museum of Art, and Claudia Woods and David Osage.


All education programs at the Cleveland Museum of Art are underwritten by the CMA Fund for Education. We recognize the inaugural supporters for the CMA Fund for Education, with generous annual funding provided by an anonymous supporter, the M. E. and F. J. Callahan Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Walter R. Chapman Jr., the Sam J. Frankino Foundation, Florence Kahane Goodman, Janice Hammond and Edward Hemmelgarn, the Lloyd D. Hunter Memorial Fund, Eva and Rudolf Linnebach, Dr. Linda M. Sandhaus and Dr. Roland S. Philip, the Veale Foundation, and the Womens Council of the Cleveland Museum of Art.


The Cleveland Museum of Art is funded in part by residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

This exhibition was supported in part by the Ohio Arts Council, which receives support from the State of Ohio and the National Endowment for the Arts.


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