CAN Triennial

Site Specific

Throughout 78thStreet Studios, inside and out, from gardens and rooftops to stairwells and all the building's unique corners.

Exhibit hours:

Noon to 7 pm Wednesday through Saturday

Noon to 6 pm Sunday and Monday

July 7 - 29

Performaces, talks, and film screenings as noted for each event.

Featured installation artists:


Installation artist Sherry Bradshaw is a graduate of Baldwin Wallace’s studio art program. She moved to the lakeside town Vermillion, Ohio, to have easy access to her materials, many of which can be found on Lake Erie’s beaches. Using natural found objects such as driftwood, bones, artifacts, detritus, and other flotsam, she transforms these discarded and washed up items into large-scale constructions.

“My motive is to create juxtapositions that blur the distinctions between the real and artificial, between science and mythology, and to kindle a sense of wonder and mystery for the viewer: Are they fossilized prehistoric bones? Are they petrified toads? Are they insects or bones from some exotic species? Are they real?” says Bradshaw of her finished works of art.

In addition to showing her work throughout Ohio and Missouri, Bradshaw has taught art at the Firelands Association for the Visual Arts in Oberlin. She also transformed the historic Liberty Theater, a 1930s movie house on the main street of Vermillion, into a gallery. At the artseen Bradshaw shows her own installations as well as the work of regional artists such as Hilary Gent, Douglas Max Utter, and Audra Skuodas. At CAN Triennial, she will make an installation on the Ramp level. —Brittany Mariel Hudak


Jeff Chiplis has been working with recycled neon for three decades. “In my wandering around I saw there was this material out there that was not being used, so I got my first piece of glass,” the artist explains. “Now I don’t have to purloin it anymore; it finds its way to me. Sometimes I come home and there are things waiting on my doorstep.”

Re-working vintage and found neon signs in his Tremont studio since the early 1980s, Chiplis’s cheeky creations were described by New York Times critic Michael Kimmelman as “tinker toys in light.” Liberated from their original commercial context, Chiplis reworks these one-time markers of commerce for his own pursuits. Often using humorous juxtapositions, puns, and word play, Chiplis also indulges in colorful abstractions, all simultaneously audacious and delicate.

“My ambition is to create objects that have as many possible interpretations as there are potential observers.” For CAN Triennial he is making an installation for the mailroom at the main entrance. —BMH


Graffiti writers Sano, Task, Twig and Script would link with Bias, Dayz and Tace to form the Cleveland Skribe Tribe (CST/RTA Crew) in 1992. What the young artists had in common was ambition for their work. Individually and as a group, their accomplishments included murals along the Red Line that earned raves from their peers, but also advisory roles at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Cleveland’s first aerosol art festival, City Xpressions.

They influenced not only through skillful work but also by mentoring, teaching, and entrepreneurship. CST became legendary among subsequent generations of Cleveland graffiti writers, and their impact has outlasted their work on those walls. After the turn of the millennium, members of CST pursued careers in design, graphics, art education, and tattoo art, which took some of them to Japan, Atlanta, California, China, and Brooklyn, and kept some in Cleveland. For more in-depth biographical information about individual members, see the Cleveland Skribe Tribe in the CAN Triennial Gallery Pavilion section of this guide.

CST reunites at CAN Triennial to create a mural on the West 78thStreet side of the building, and to sell individual artists’ work at the CAN Triennial Gallery Pavilion. —Michael Gill


“I think to some extent we write what’s necessary for us to write,” says writer and textile sculptor Rebecca Cross, of Oberlin. “We make what’s necessary for us to make.”

What’s currently necessary for Cross, who spends time at Kelleys Island and in northwestern New York state, in addition to Cleveland, is an exploration of “the wonder, the history, and the future” of Lake Erie—the oft-troubled body of water that flows between the three locations.

To create her pieces, Cross often encases an object in silk and ties it into place, applying dyes or graphite sketching onto the silk before removing the object. For Cross, the shape or skin that remains is a metaphor for memory. Her work for CAN Triennial involved tying silk around lake rocks. Cross has incorporated the words of Oberlin-based poet Marco Wilkinson, along with her own sketches on paper, for her installation, which will be at the end of a hallway vista outside of the exhibit area in Studio 215. While recognizing the beauty and drama of the lake, she can’t swim in it without considering the complex relationship we have with it, and how it has been ravaged at the hands of humans. With her own body immersed in this body of water, the conclusion that politics and the environment are personal is inescapable.

Regardless of the politics, Cross says that the central theme of her work is always beauty.

“All of us making a creative response is a fist-shaking,” she says. “It’s really a way of saying, in defiance of all of this destruction, ‘I insist I’m going to make something beautiful.’” Jeff Hagan


Sarah Curry’s paintings have explored personal stories, relationships, and perceptions of the self in a long list of group shows at Lakeland Community College, ARTneo, BAYarts, Ohio University, HEDGE Gallery, and many others.

Her work for CAN Triennial is a part of a series driven by issues facing teenage girls. She started the project with an anonymous survey addressing teenage girls’ self-image, beauty standards, and peer relationships. The secret lives of these girls, their inner battles, the bullying, and peer pressure often plays out in school restrooms. She says in the survey responses, many of the young women documented stories of girls using restrooms as a venue to find a private moment to cry, self-judge, or even change into clothes unsanctioned at home.

She asked the respondents to allow themselves to be photographed for the series, but rather than posing them, invited them to behave as though the photographer was not present. “Given the chance to shed light on a secret part of their lives, they often choose to reenact painful situations experienced by other girls,” Curry says. For the installation, she is creating life-size silkscreens of girls and printing them directly onto the mirrors of both women’s and men’s restrooms. —MG


Susan Danko is an artist whose works respond to nature. Her oeuvre considers ecology on every scale and time frame. Various pieces consider the environment as an immediately experienced surrounding; as a cycle of growth, death, and renewal; and as a worldwide system undergoing rapid change caused by human activity.

Danko uses vivid colors to depict scenes that are at once strange and attractive. The floral figures in Danko’s work take inspiration from both abstraction and from natural growing structures. Danko is primarily a painter, and she sees her assemblage art as an extension of her painting practice. Her three-dimensional works are made with sturdy Bristol paper, which she paints by hand to control color and surface texture.

Currently, Danko is represented by the Bonfoey Gallery. She has also exhibited in venues such as SPACES, Zygote Press, the Harris Stanton Gallery, the Butler Institute of American Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland. Her work has been acquired by collections maintained at the Cleveland Clinic, Cuyahoga County Administrative Headquarters, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

Besides making art, Danko also works with the art installation crews at MOCA Cleveland and Transformer Station, and teaches painting at Cleveland Institute of Art. Her work for CAN Triennial will be installed at the top of the ramp level. —Joseph Clark


Dana Depew’s artistic career has included running the acclaimed Asterisk Gallery (2001-2011) in Tremont, curating its annual 19 show, and more recently curating houses and organizing artists for the annual Rooms to Let installation festival, using abandoned, soon-to-be-demolished homes in Slavic Village.

But his greatest impact has been his own practice, with its long embrace of scavenged and reused materials, and the stories and history they imply. That has played out in installations such as the Rust Belt Crystal Palace (reclaimed storm windows, stained glass, and found objects) for the exhibit Everything All at Once at MOCA in 2013, in his Seussian Stoplights (reclaimed storage tanks with reclaimed light fixtures), which can be found in outdoor installations around West 78th Street Studios and other locations, as well as paintings on reclaimed chenille blankets, signs cobbled together from salvaged neon and other lettering, and other works. His ongoing Urban Aviary project began guerrilla-style, by placing around the city birdhouses acquired from the estate of the late John Main in 2010. The project grew as Depew continued manufacturing bird houses and set up a workshop at the Waterloo Arts Festival, where visitors could make their own bird house—the only condition being that they put it up and send the artist a picture. In spring 2018, Depew estimated that he had made more than 2,000 bird houses. For CAN Triennial, he will create an installation on the roof over the main entrance to West 78th Street Studios. —MG


Sara Jordan Fine says that “pattern has been the impetus for the majority of [her] work” for the past ten years. And indeed, Pattern Play was the name of her 2017 solo show at Brick Ceramics Studio. Using glass as her primary medium, the idea plays out in a broad range of work, from adornment to installations, which she has created at Waterloo Arts, Room to Let, the Cleveland Institute of Art, and elsewhere. Several of her installations have involved suspended, blown-glass vessels, filled with water, illuminated with light in such a way as to cast shadows and foci into the room.

Considering her 2013 installation That’s Where You’ll Find Me, pattern is inescapable, even if it is not the first thing that comes to mind. The work’s coherence is created by variations on a theme: similar (but never identical) colorless forms like crystalline gourds are suspended in an empty room, illuminated from above to cast rings of light beneath, and within them umbrae. A similar installation at Waterloo Arts—not with controlled illumination, but with natural light flooding in—had the added random-yet-controlled movement of beta fish swimming in the vessels. Fine earned her BFA at the Cleveland Institute of Art. For CAN Triennial, she will create an installation on the Ramp level. —MG


Fresh Eggs is a landscape design studio, led by the vision of principal designer Ellen Elhert, landscape designer Desiree Angelotta, and landscape architect and consultant Hank Rapport. Their work includes residential and commercial work, especially large scale public spaces such as at Crocker Park, where they design “color gardens” using more than 700 container plantings, in addition to ground beds, all planted with extravagantly colorful annuals which vary year after year.  Angelotta and Rapport both studied landscape architecture at Ohio State University, while Elhert learned by working in the garden industry, including at garden centers. She says she takes inspiration from what she sees around her. Their proposal for CAN Triennial, which they are calling “The Obsolete Method” is a vertical design built on a platform and living wall on the North side of the building, facing the parking lot. The title refers both to a turning point in the studio's process, and a contrast built into the installation. --MG


Almost Studio is a collective whose core membership consists of Anthony Gagliardi, Jessica Angel, and Dorian Booth. This trio has worked together for more than five years, and all graduated in 2016 from the Yale School of Architecture.

Booth says that the Studio’s works are “incredibly varied,” both in their media and their themes. In their artistic practice, Almost Studio begins projects by examining members’ personal connections to a region, or by starting a rapport with a locale ignored by the architectural establishment. From there, they partner with regional “experts” with on-the-ground knowledge of a place, its problems, and its potential. “We’re not interested in having sole authorship of a project. Collaboration is incredibly important and central to our practice,” Gagliardi says. They then set to work exploring issues specific to that particular urban center. For CAN Triennial, for example, Almost Studio is working with the Detroit-based architect Michael Harrison to examine the common Rust Belt homeowner’s experience of finding that over the years, their property has not appreciated as promised at the point of sale.

Almost Studio’s focus on place is informed by their diverse cultural and geographic backgrounds. Gagliardi hails from Parma, and how splits his time between Ohio and New York. Angel is from Paris, and Booth from Maine. The three did their undergraduate work at, respectively, The Ohio State University, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, and the University of Pennsylvania. Their installation for CAN Triennial will be located on the roof deck outside HEDGE Gallery, overlooking West 78thStreet.  JC


Comic creator and freelance illustrator John Greiner (aka John G) is perhaps best known for his work for clients like Melt Bar & Grilled, Cleveland Cinemas, and Scene Magazine, but his trademark gritty, colorful, post-apocalyptic style is best seen in his gig posters and comics such as the Rust Belt-centered horror anthology comic The Lake Erie Monster (created with Jake Kelly). Greiner is also the head of the Cleveland-based small press Shiner Comics, Inc. He co-founded and continues to run Genghis Con, an award-winning annual small press and underground comics convention in Cleveland. The recipient of a Creative Workforce Fellowship grant from the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC) in 2016, he was also the first artist-in-residence for the nonprofit Gordon Square Arts District in 2017. Most recently he completed a residency at Playa in Summer Lake, Oregon, and released a hardcover anthology of his posters. Sandwich Anarchy: the Cult Culinary Posters of Melt Bar & Grilled collects ten years of Melt posters into one lavish volume. For CAN Triennial he is drawing a map of the Cleveland art scene, which will be printed as a mural installation and also as a fold-out in this exhibition guide. —BMH


Born in Albany, Georgia, in 1929, Wadsworth Jarrell moved to Illinois to attend the Art Institute of Chicago, where he met his future wife, Cleveland/Glenville-born Elaine “Jae” Johnson. Wadsworth Jarrell is internationally recognized for his role in AfriCOBRA (African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists), which he co-founded in Chicago in the late ’60s, with Jae and other collaborators. Rather than focus on turmoil and politics, their works emphasized community-building through Black culture—especially music and family life—presented in bright color. AfriCOBRA presented three major group shows in 1970, 1971, and 1973, at the Studio Museum in Harlem.

In recent years, Wadsworth and Jae Jarrell moved to Cleveland. In 2016, former Cleveland Museum of Art curator Reto Thüring successfully advocated for the Museum’s acquisition of Wadsworth Jarrell’s 1973 painting African Rhythm, Our Heritage. To celebrate the purchase, the Jarrells had a two-person show, Heritage, in one of the Museum’s most prominent galleries. For the Museum, exhibits focused on any living Cleveland-based artist are exceedingly rare. During CAN Triennial, Wadsworth Jarrell will be featured in a room at HEDGE Gallery. —MG


As individual artists, Lori Kella and Michael Loderstedt have created works rooted in photography that often center on narratives and nature. It makes sense, then, that when the married couple collaborate on a project, these aspects of their work are especially prevalent. For their work in the CAN Triennial, the story they tell about nature presented itself in their front yard.

Kella, a photographer and assistant professor of photography at Kent State University, and Loderstedt, a professor of printmaking and photography at Kent State, whose work incorporates photography, printmaking, artist books, and installation, live along the shores of Lake Erie in Cleveland’s North Collinwood neighborhood, a geography important to the work of both artists. Each spring they witness the environmental phenomenon of dead gizzard shad, a small fish, washing up on the beach. Although the die-off is naturally occurring, climate change, with its fluctuations of temperatures, has increased the severity of the process.

Kella’s work usually involves the construction of elaborate tableaus that she stages for the camera lens. While at first glance her works appear to represent reality, a longer look often reveals something slightly surreal or ominous in the scene, an acknowledgement that what is being seen is artificial, and that, in fact, all of our interactions with nature are, by the nature of our own participation and documentation, somewhat artificial. Her dioramas are constructed in a backless, Potemkin Village-style and photographed from one rigidly fixed point of view, but her work emphasizes that perspectives and perceptions can differ dramatically between people.

Loderstedt’s work also takes an observational approach and through various media depicts nature, including human nature, but he’s interested in what he calls the “transformative and metaphoric relationship” to the subject matter. In the mid-1990s, Loderstedt realized he wanted to shed all of the styles and subjects that didn’t interest him: abstract work, playing around with theoretical ideas, appropriation or pop culture as strategies. “That left me with my natural environment, living along the lake in North Collinwood.”

Both see this work as taking on a political edge out of necessity. Among other things, Loderstedt sees the work as an act of environmental advocacy.

Kella says that, with this idea circulating about living in a “post-truth world,” she really had to think about whether “it makes sense to still make work that in some ways builds elaborate fictionsdoes that still work in a world where truth is not relevant to everyone?”

“My only answer,” she says, “is that I hope it allows for us to reexamine our relationship with observation, and understand the importance of observation, of scrutinizing something, where you see that things aren’t what they seem.”

For CAN Triennial they will install their work in the third floor anteroom.  —JH


Christine Mauersberger is an artist working in multiple media and on a range of scales. Her repertoire includes installations, fiber art, and works on paper. For all her projects, Mauersberger draws inspiration from natural forms she encounters on lakeside walks around Cleveland. Recently, she began making art which draws attention to humans’ role in the health of water systems. “I’m informed by what I see, and I’m grateful for where I live,” Mauersberger says.

Though artistically inclined since childhood, Mauersberger entered the financial industry after high school. Alongside this career, Mauersberger pursued graphic design, curating, and a BA in studio art from Cleveland State University. At age 49, she left banking to pursue art full-time, a move she says was made possible by a 2013 Creative Workforce Fellowship. Since then, Mauersberger’s work has been exhibited at venues such as HEDGE Gallery, the Canton Museum of Art, and Link Art Gallery at Kent State University at Trumbull. She has also created site-specific pieces for FireFish Festivals and Rooms to Let.

In 2013 and 2017, Mauersberger won the Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award. Her work has been acquired by MetroHealth and Southwest General Health Center. Mauersberger regularly runs workshops, and has taught or lectured in four states, two Canadian provinces, and Switzerland. For CAN Triennial, she is making an installation for the first landing of the main staircase. —JC


Multimedia artist Ron Shelton launched the online art magazine High Art Fridays ( on his personal Facebook page in 2013, and through that platform has connected to an eclectic range of artists around the world. In the beginning, he would spend each Thursday night perusing Pinterest to create online exhibits to post the following day. In that way, he has curated seven “plastic trash into art” exhibits, showing an enormous range of artistic responses to the superfluity of plastic trash around the world.

Shelton’s own artistic practice responds to the abundance of plastic trash by using it as a raw material. In the last ten months, he has gathered specific types of colorful plastic waste, especially detergent and bleach bottles from public laundry facilities. He has been cutting them into geometric shapes to be stitched together with wire to create mosaic patterns for large installations. He also has a technique using heat to hand-form plastic into marbles, which are wrapped with wire. For CAN Triennial he plans an installation for the main stairwell. “It is my goal to bring awareness to my local community, which seems to be oblivious to the menace this material generates in Northeast Ohio,” he says. —MG


A collaboration between Erin Guido and John Paul Costello, So Fun Studio has quickly made a mark at festivals and public spaces with their colorful combination of whimsy and mechanism in interactive sculptures. “Delightfully pointless” is how CAN described their kinetic sculptures in a show at 3204 Studio in June, 2017. In that case their hand-cranked machines set wheels turning to make breezes blow and flowers grow. Guido brings the cheery color, and Costello brings the precision and engineering skills to make the gears mesh and the wheels turn. Their work has been commissioned by museums and festivals to create opportunity for public interaction and play. Their sculpture Dancing Machine, created for the Ohio City Street Festival in 2017, is a working teeter totter, the motion of which causes dancing figures to move. Another work, Today I Feel, is an installation featuring a series of large wheels with colorful letters around their perimeters, which could be turned independently to spell out words to complete the titular statement. Today I Feel was created for the Akron Art Museum in 2017. For CAN Triennial they will create a rooftop installation at the west end of the West 78th Street Studios complex. —MG


After graduating high school in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Charmaine Spencer came to Cleveland to study sculpture at the Cleveland Institute of Art. After completing her BFA, she stayed. She has exhibited in the W2S series at the Sculpture Center, at SPACES, Cleveland Public Theatre, and the Gallery at Lakeland. She was the recipient of a Creative Workforce Fellowship, an Ingenuity Project Grant, and an Ohio Arts Council ADAP grant, among others. Her commissioned works include Harmonic (Convention Center Hilton, Downtown Cleveland), Story's Shade Tree (Carl and Louis Stokes Central Academy / Sisters of Charity Foundation, Cleveland), Gathering (Green City Blue Lake Institute / Cleveland Museum of Natural History), and several privately commissioned works.

Conceptually, her sculpture deals with social conditioning and accepted ideas of value. She explores this through natural salvage, such as reeds, vines, and sticks, as well as utilitarian materials, such as lathe and wire. She combines traditional techniques like weaving with abstract forms and more contemporary ideas. For CAN Triennial Spencer proposed an outdoor sculpture as part of her ongoing Amendment Project. This is “object-based earth art that will help nature restore healthy soil in order to create nontoxic gardening spaces.” It is part site-specific installation, and part guerrilla art and gardening. Spencer writes, “The sculptures will eventually transform the site and its toxic soil into a healthier food-grade gardening space.” Spencer will create related sculpture for Rooms to Let (July 28-29) in Slavic Village. —MG


Sculptor Olga Ziemska creates large public works that juxtapose organic and industrial materials to examine man’s relationship to the natural world. Her large-scale creations have been installed at numerous sites internationally, in places such as South Korea, the Czech Republic, Poland, Italy, Mexico, and regionally across the Midwest. In Cleveland her work can be seen in Tremont, at the Westin Hotel, and at the Hilton Downtown.

“Art became one of the ways I could communicate with others without the need to know a specific language or culture well, and instead I could intuitively communicate about all the things that are universally shared and understood by all human beings—the things that underlie all of life and connect all of us to one another.”

Ziemska is the recipient of many prestigious grants and awards, including a Fulbright Fellowship in 2002 and a Creative Workforce Fellowship in 2009 and 2013. The daughter of Polish immigrants, Ziemska was born in Cleveland in 1976. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio, and pursued her master studies in sculpture at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. For CAN Triennial she is creating work for the grassy area near the entrance. —BMH

Photo Gallery

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