Heights Arts, the multi-disciplinary community arts organization based in Cleveland Heights, is partnering with University Hospitals (UH) to showcase Heights-area visual artists as part of its 20th-anniversary celebration of connecting the arts with community. The exhibition, which runs from mid-November through mid-February, is not the first collaboration between Heights Arts and Thomas Huck, director of the UH fine art program. Heights Arts frequently collaborates with organizations and community members with expertise and passion for the arts, and Huck was invited to curate the All Ohio Ceramic Invitational at Heights Arts in September 2013, showcasing more than 20 artists.
Now Huck is returning the favor by inviting Heights Arts to curate the show Heights Artists Showcase, featuring more than a dozen visual artists from the Heights. Says Huck: “During these months of uncertainty, individuals and businesses continue to experience unprecedented hardship. UH prides itself in being an important community leader whose healthcare and community support, extends far beyond the walls of our facilities. The UH Fine Art program is taking this time to extend an invitation to show our appreciation for important local arts organizations who continue to be a valued platform for our regional artists. The Trudy Wiesenberger Gallery at our UH Cleveland Medical Center main campus provides a unique opportunity to showcase many of our talented and regional artists. We would like to take this opportunity to feature Heights Arts who continues to play an important role within our community.”
The Heights Artist Showcase UH exhibition features about a dozen artists who live and work in the Heights area. “This project exemplifies some of the reasons Heights Arts was founded in the first place 20 years ago,” says Greg Donley, chair of the Heights Arts exhibition community team. “This area has long been home to a lot of working artists and musicians and arts professionals, and the proximity of University Circle is a big reason for that concentration. We’re grateful to have this opportunity to showcase the work of just a few of our visual artists at the Trudy Wiesenberger Gallery, and we hope that the exhibition will help brighten the days (and nights, since the UH gallery is open 24 hours) of visitors to the hospital over these next few months.”
The exhibit is located in the first floor of the Humphrey building adjacent to the Lerner Tower. The gallery is currently open to the public with the usual COVID-19 protocols, but circumstances continue to evolve, so anyone planning to visit should first check www.uhhospitals.org.
This opportunity couldn’t come at a better time for Heights Arts, which, like other arts organizations, has been significantly impacted by the COVID pandemic. Currently in the midst of its 19th annual Holiday Store, Heights Arts depends upon the revenue generated from holiday shoppers purchasing hand-made art and craft from the store. Says executive director Rachel Bernstein, “We are proud to have provided this opportunity for so many years to both artists and the community. It is therefore not only an important program in support of the creative economy, but also Heights Arts’ biggest revenue producing program of the year. Our presence at University Hospitals allows us to bring the work of these excellent Heights artists to a larger audience, and will also hopefully bring new visitors to our space in Cleveland Heights.” Most people don’t realize that we are a nonprofit with 60% of our sales going right back to the artists. We hope that in this, of all years, people will visit us on-site or online to buy their holiday gifts.”
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