Bio: Ryan Jaenke
Ryan Jaenke is a 2016 Creative Workforce Fellow. He was born and raised on the west side of Cleveland where he learned that the city’s culture begins at the neighborhood level. Early encounters with graffiti art, railroad tracks, and alleyways have led to a life-long pursuit of finding inspiration from often overlooked corners of the city. For the past 10 years, Ryan has worked collaboratively with a tight-knit group like-minded artists that have investigated the hidden meaning of Cleveland’s commercial narrative through short films, multimedia installations, and public art. He currently contributes to the short documentary series “Behind the Sign” that highlights the unsung heroes of Cleveland’s small business community. Ryan’s work has been exhibited in Cleveland, Chicago, Miami, and San Francisco.
Inspiration: Montage of a Dream Deferred by Langston Hughes
My mural is based on the poem Montage of a Dream Deferred written by Langston Hughes in 1951. The poem describes life in Harlem and the broken dreams of its inhabitants. Hughes’ work has a rhythm that derives from the jazz music that was popular in the borough at the time. I chose to work in black and white because it has the immediacy of the printed word or a musical score, and the repetition of line and shape builds a visual rhythm. I want the piece to be read as much as it is looked at. The hands represent the struggles and intimacy of people confined to a place that has been overlooked by the opportunity and prosperity of the post war dream. The isolated hand holding the diamond to the right of the mural represents the dream that is out of reach.
Bio: Pat Perry
Pat Perry is an artist from Michigan who writes and makes pictures through careful and cautious observation. His subjects feature the clash of urban and natural life, with meticulous details strewn throughout each work. He works itinerantly, and currently lives in Detroit.
Inspiration: Edith Anisfield Wolf
We hope this mural is a message and reminder that we are not all apt to be so fearful of each other. That the ground we stand on was built to be a refuge. A reminder that divisiveness is a crack in the dam. When you shut them out, you shut yourselves in. Aggression and locked doors are what sow explosive seeds, and wars are always paid for with the blood of kids. This place was made to be a refuge. Our hollowed cities need people; bring them here.
If Edith Anisfield Wolf were alive today, I think she'd be encouraging us all to take direct aim at the great moral and social crises of our time. I can earnestly say that I think she'd be proud to see folks employing ideals taught to us by the past, in order to tackle issues of the present. That is the greatest gift history can give us.
Bio: Osman Muhammad
Multifaceted artist, SWIM CST, also known as Osman Alim Muhammad was born and based in Cleveland, OH, later taking the name Task38 of the Cleveland Skribe Tribe crew. Earning his place in “The History of American Graffiti,” his indisputable talent and creativity has been exhibited on a multitude of projects and has achieved multiple creative and advisory roles with The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame among other momentous endeavors.
His career led him to collaborate with In Creative Unity, out of Los Angeles, on commercial mural work. SWIM is now currently living in Cleveland, OH and continues to share his cultivated ingenuity by producing live aerosol art and murals, designing graphic art, and leaving his permanent mark with custom tattoo work.
A woman representing a Butoh dancer is burning and turning into ash, symbolizing the victims of Hiroshima. Flaming slave ships and a map in the background illustrate the slave trade routes, all representing the evils of colonization. Though the evils of these events will never be forgotten, the piece is a reminder that human civilization is always moving forward and progressing, even though its history can be haunting.
NoseGo is a Philadelphia-based artist with a passion for illustration and media arts. He mixes fine art with a contemporary style to deliver highly energetic work. His designs feature an assemblage of patterns, vibrant colors and characters derived from his imagination and his surrounding environment.
My image depicts a character removing a mask and revealing a landscape on the inside. The idea is to create a visual metaphor about self-awareness, self-reflection, and perception.
Bio: Margaret Kimball
Originally from Connecticut, Margaret Kimball is an illustrator and writer living in Cleveland, Ohio (by way of Boston and New York City). Her work ranges from spot illustrations to surface designs for both large and small clientele. Her favorite things to draw are buildings and houses, along with natural objects, such as flowering plants and animals.
In addition to client projects, Kimball is also working on a graphic memoir about childhood and place, excerpts of which have appeared in Ecotone, Black Warrior Review, Copper Nickel, South Loop Review, and others. She is also working on illustrations for a young adult novel with Christian Moody.
Margaret Kimball has two MFAs from the University of Arizone, one in creative writing (nonfiction) and one in visual communication (illustration).
Inspiration: White Pages by Martha Collins
Martha Collins’ poem is an indictment on the white narrative and history of/participation in civil rights. Put simply: she calls into question phrases and conversation (or silences) that, on the surface, seem inclusive but which actually perpetuate systemic racism. A few of the phrases contain the words “Yes but…” where the concept of inclusion and equality (i.e. the word “yes”) are interrupted by a conflicting statement. To me, the poem actually seems to be all about the word “no.” For example, “Yes but”; “borders”; “lines drawn”; “colored section”; “not mine”; etc. are all ways of putting up walls between people or groups of people. For my section of this project, I wanted to use the simple and powerful word ‘YES’. The word is inclusive and strong and in this case, has no strings attached, nothing to interrupt it. The word also harkens to Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign slogan, ‘Yes we can.