William Busta opened William Busta Gallery in 1989 and presented more than 250 exhibitions until his retirement in 2015. William Busta Gallery primarily represented artists living or working in Northeast Ohio. It was among the most influential in the history of Northeast Ohio art, presenting first shows for an extensive list of artists who went on to great success, including many who became winners of the Cleveland Arts Prize—as Busta himself did in 2014. William Busta attended George Washington University, Washington DC: received a BA in English from Baldwin Wallace College, Berea, Ohio (1972); and a MA in History and Museum Studies from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland (1976). Prior to opening his eponymous gallery, he served as director of the Dacotah Prairie Museum in Aberdeen, SD, assistant director of the Plains Art Museum in Moorhead, MN, and back in Ohio, as director of the New Organization for the Visual Arts. In addition to his own gallery, Busta curated countless exhibits in other venues, wrote catalog essays, and routinely presented lectures. He served on the boards of SPACES, Zygote Press, Collective Arts Network, the Poets League of Greater Cleveland, Intermuseum Conservation Association, and, currently, the Cleveland International Film Festival and Cleveland Institute of Art.
Curlee Raven Holton is executive director of the David C. Driskell Center and senior artist-in-residence at the University of Maryland. He is an internationally renowned printmaker and painter whose work has been exhibited professionally in more than 60 one-person shows and more than 100 group shows in such prestigious national and international venues as the 7th International Biennale in Cairo, Egypt; Taller de Artes Plasticás Rufino Tamayo in Oaxaca, Mexico; the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. He earned his M.F.A. with honors from Kent State University and his B.F.A. from the Cleveland Institute of Art in Drawing and Printmaking.
Hilary D. Gent is an artist, director of HEDGE Gallery, and special events director at 78th Street Studios. Through HEDGE Gallery, she has presented Genius Loci, a retrospective of works of Randall Tiedman (curated by Douglas Max Utter and William Scheele), Fandom 216 (with Waterloo Arts and Zygote Press) Drawn and Quartered 2015, Wired and Ready to Hang (featuring students of the Cleveland Institute of Art), and a range of solo exhibits by some of the most influential artists of Northeast Ohio. Beyond HEDGE, she has curated exhibits at Severance Hall, the home of the Cleveland Orchestra, The Cleveland Institute of Art, Myers School of Art (University of Akron), Orange Art Center, and other venues. She has had solo exhibits of her own works in the Eels Gallery at Blossom Music Center, Maria Neil Art Project, Lissauer Gallery (Shaker Historical Society), and elsewhere. Her paintings are in the permanent collections of the Cleveland Clinic and the American Heart Association, as well as several law firms and local businesses. She graduated from Kent State University with a BFA, concentration in painting.
Angelica Pozo is a nationally recognized ceramic artist, educator and author. A New York City native, born of Cuban and Puerto Rican parents, has lived in Cleveland since 1984. She moved there from Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she received her Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Michigan. Her Bachelor of Fine Arts is from SUNY College of Ceramics in Alfred, NY. A full time self employed ceramic artist, Angelica divides her time between public art, tile and sculptural studio work, writing how to books, teaching workshops on ceramic decoration, tile making and architectural ceramics and often serves as an artist-in-residence on large tile/mosaic projects in school and community settings. Recipient of an OAC Individual Artist Fellowship, she is in the permanent collection of Museum of Art & Design in New York City. Angelica’s work has been exhibited widely.
Robert Banks is an experimental filmmaker, freelance cinematographer, and teacher of filmmaking and photography. One of Bank’s best-known works is the 1992 short film “X: The Baby Cinema,” which chronicles the commercial appropriation and transformation of Malcolm X into a commodity-image. His 1995 documentary film, “You Can’t Get a Piece of Mind,” explores the world of Cleveland musician and Vietnam War veteran Dan “Supie T” Theman. Banks’ films have been screened at the Sundance Film Festival, SXSW Film-Music Festival, Film Festival Rotterdam, the New York Underground Film Festival, Chicago Underground Film Festival, the Ann Arbor Film Festival, and the Cleveland International Festival Festival. He is recipient of numerous awards, including Filmmaker of the Year at the Midwest Filmmakers Conference in 2001 and featured filmmaker for the BBC British Short Film Festival (2000). Banks currently teaches at New Bridge Center for Art and Technology, films corporate training videos, and works on all aspects of cinematography for filmmaker-colleagues and clients throughout the country. He has also taught film and photography at Cuyahoga Community College, the Cleveland Institute of Art, and Cleveland State University. He attended the Cleveland School of the Arts, the Cleveland Institute of Art, the Ohio School of Broadcasting, and Cleveland State University. Banks served one term overseas in the U.S. Air Force.
Rian Brown is a filmmaker and Associate Professor of Cinema Studies at Oberlin College. Her work spans film genres – experimental, animation, documentary and video installation – and has screened at the Wexner Center, L.A. Hammer Museum of Art, the Harvard Film Archive, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland, Cleveland Cinematheque and Milano-Athenia in Athens, Greece. Brown and her colleague Geoff Pingree co-directed Blue Desert ~ Towards Antarctica, a multichannel video installation shot during a three week expedition to Antarctica, on the National Geographic Explorer. Brown was associate producer for feature documentary, Raise the Roof, a heroic story about rebuilding a Polish synagogue, which appeared on PBS in 2017 and won Best Documentary in the Seattle Jewish Film Festival. In 2015, Brown and Pingree were awarded grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Ford Foundation’s Just Films initiative for the production of The Foreigner’s Home, a feature-length documentary film on the intellectual and artistic vision of author Toni Morrison. In 2017, Brown received her third Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award.
Gabriel Pollack graduated from Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music in 2011 with a BA in Environmental Studies and a BM in Jazz Entrepreneurship with a concentration in jazz trumpet performance. Upon graduating, Gabe was hired as an East Coast Agent and Production Manager at Jim Wadsworth Productions and Nighttown, a Downbeat top 100 jazz club located in Cleveland Heights, OH. Gabe was responsible for producing over 220 concerts annually at Nighttown while also booking national and international tours for notable jazz artists including The Four Freshmen, Cyrille Aimee, Larry Coryell, Bernard Purdie, and Freddy Cole. While working at Nighttown, Gabe served on the board of the Cleveland International Folk Festival and taught at the Roberto Ocasio Foundation Latin Jazz Camp. In June 2014 Gabe was hired by The Music Settlement to manage BOP STOP, a state of the art music venue located in Cleveland’s Hingetown neighborhood. His work at BOP STOP serves the greater Cleveland community through excellent programs in music and arts instruction, music therapy, early childhood education, and public performances which have included showcasing over 50 Grammy nominees/winners. Gabe’s work has been profiled in Downbeat Magazine and he currently teaches at Baldwin Wallace University as a lecturer in the school's Arts Management and Entrepreneurship department.
Dan Wenninger is a Cleveland based saxophonist and veteran of NE Ohio's jazz and experimental sound scenes. He currently performs with the Revolution Brass Band, Togishi, Oblique Orchestra, Nitebridge, Hexapod, Trepanning Trio, Beans (AntiPop Consortium), and Broken Ornaments (his annual Free Jazz holiday concert). In the past he has performed and recorded reggae with Carlos Jones, afrobeat with Mifune, psychedelic space rock with Fuzzhead, electronic fusion with Pureplex, freaked out avant-rock with Scarcity of Tanks, jump blues and swing with The Rhythm Syndicate and Becky Boyd, ironic lounge music with Lounge Kitty, and swamp boogie with Cats on Holiday.
His most current project, Togishi, is a Cleveland based trio consisting of Mike Sopko - guitar, Joe Tomino - drums & electronics, and Dan on saxophones & hulusi. The trio performs entirely improvised music drawing influences such as avant-garde jazz, experimental rock, contemporary classical, and electronic noise. Their unique sound and creative approach is both visceral and contemplative.
Togishi (along with Oblique Orchestra and Hexapod) is also one of the house bands at 1Way, a monthly new/free music showcase which presents and documents local experimental, new, and free music. Dan curates the music at this event. He also organizes a monthly free improvisation session called OutLab: Experiments In Improvised Music that takes place at legendary Cleveland jazz club, The Bop Stop.
He holds a B.A. from the University of Toledo and an Associates Degree in Jazz Studies from Cuyahoga Community College. Along with his performance schedule, he also maintains an active private lesson studio and has over 17 years of teaching experience.
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