Rooms To Let: Cleveland

A new type of canvas is coming to Cleveland!

2238711ff763d2df540e3cc1f54ff269I’m taking my talent for transforming underutilized, vacant space on the road (from the Waterloo Arts District follow I-90 West to I-77 South, exit at Broadway and continue until Forman Ave. Stop when you see the bright red, plastic wrapped house. You’ve reached your destination!) My installation is located at 6628 Sebert Ave, first floor, and is titled “PAPER/plastic: The Great Lake Garbage Patch”.

Inspired by a similar project in Columbus, Rooms to Let: Cleveland (RTL) will create a series of temporary arts exhibition s using vacant homes as a truly interpretational, opportune art medium.

The event will be held in May 2014 with a day-long neighborhood block party and street tour– free and open to the public.
The curators live or work in the Slavic Village neighborhood accepted proposals from a range of artists interested in creating transformations of space in abandoned or foreclosed homes.
From the Press Release: Given the larger context of Slavic Village’s unique history (and national attention received in the wake of the American foreclosure crisis), Rooms to Let: Cleveland provides an opportunity to view one of Cleveland’s most historic neighborhoods in new light. Rooms to Let inverts those icons often associated with neighborhood blight and despair into new propositions of engagement, resilience, and contemplation.
Proposed artists participating in the event include: Allison Lukacsy, David Craun,Theodore Ferringer, Michael Horton, Westliegh Harper, Michael Loderstedt, Donald Black, Jr., Ali McClain, Gabriel Gonzalez, Darius Steward, and Shawn Jiménez, Claudia Berlinski, Nicholas Fenell, Charles Gliha, Jessica Naples, Cynthia Penter, Julie Schenkelberg, Laila Voss, Olga Ziemska, Matthew Rowe, Barbara Bachtell, Scott Pickering, Bob Aufuldish, David Cintron, Alane Potokar Sandoval, Tony Yanick, Sean Kelly, Loren Naji, Jeff Chiplis, Steven Intermill, Justin Brennan, and Dan Corrigan.
photo 1

Sneak-peak at the half-finished install at 6626 Forman Avenue in Slavic Village. See the finished product on May 17, 2014 from 1-6pm.

UPCYCLING WINS AGAIN! While some of my colleagues chose to purchase paint and other (new) material, I looked the minimal project budget ($30) in the wallet and said, “Let’s do this for $10 or less.” Of course that meant countless social media posts calling for plastic and paper grocery bags, recycle-bin diving at Giant Eagle, and couponing for a huge bag of wheat flour. My network is amazing and far exceeded my needs. I could have wheat-pasted the entire house will all of the material donations I received. Luckily for my poor hands and kitchen stove caked in the flour, sugar, and water mixture, this wasn’t my charge!

photo 2

Plastic, painted cigar tips rain down from the “sky” of plastic bags. We live in a want-it-all, waste-it-all culture. Is this the environment we are after?


PAPER/plastic portrays the adverse environmental impact our actions have on our Great Lakes and consequently our health and quality of life here in Cleveland. By entering this space you have become part of the cycle and part of the solution. Witness plastic polluted water fall from the sky, emerge from the Lake, and settle onto the beach. Look around the room. Would you lay your towel down here?

In 2013 alone, over 12,000 plastic cigar tips were collected by Adopt-a-Beach volunteer teams at Huntington Beach, Edgewater Park and Euclid Beach/Villa Angela putting our city’s beaches far ahead of all other cities in the Great Lakes for plastic cigar tips collected…not necessarily a high distinction.

Vacancy is a rampant problem in Cleveland. Thirteen thousand structures awaiting demolition give way to empty lots and abandoned properties ripe for dumping. Globally, excessive consumerism and a waste-it-all, want-it-all mentality manifests as five large gyres – plastic trash islands – floating in the middle of our Oceans. The largest is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Scientists estimate the Patch to be nearly 6 Million Square Miles, twice the size of the Continental United States, or 8% of the size of the Pacific Ocean.

This is an exceptional example of marine pollution. To anyone who visits our lakefront, the impact of plastic litter and illegal dumping on wildlife, vegetation, and human comfort is sorely seen.

This is our City. This is our Lake. This is our problem.

Get involved: Join Euclid Beach Adopt-a-Beach volunteers this summer for Adopt-a-Beachcleanups at Euclid Beach and learn about our efforts with the Alliance for the Great Lakes to mitigate plastic litter.

Saturday June 21st

Saturday July 19th

Saturday August 16th

Adopt-a-BeachCleanups take place from 10am-12pm.

photo 3

Would you lay your towel down on this sand? These cigar tips and plastic trash were collected by volunteers at Euclid Beach in March and April 2014.

Volunteers are to meet at the Euclid Beach Picnic Shelter (16301 Lakeshore Blvd.).

Gloves, bags and trash pickers will be provided but feel free to bring your own!

Refreshments are provided courtesy of Gus’ Diner 185 and other neighborhood vendors.

All volunteers will receive a coupon good for 1/2 off your purchase of a meal from Chili Peppers Restaurant (869 East 185th). Please be sure to thank owner Steve Newman!

Like ‘Euclid Beach Adopt-a-Beach Team’ on Facebook

For more information contact,

Stephen Love

RTL: Cleveland is supported by a Cuyahoga Arts and Culture grant.

One thought on “Rooms To Let: Cleveland

  1. Pingback: Paper Panache, Holiday 2014 | art + architecture + awesome in Cleveland

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