FRONT International
Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art


Announcing artist residency program to be located in new Arts Campus, September ’17

Rendering courtesy of City Architects


CLEVELAND (May 28, 2017) – FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art announces the launch of an artist residency program to be located in a new arts campus in Cleveland in September 2017, which will mark the start of programming for the inaugural edition of the region-wide exhibition. With support from the Cleveland Foundation’s Creative Fusion program, FRONT International will bring six international artists to Cleveland for residency programs beginning this fall. The artists selected by Co-Artistic Directors, Michelle Grabner and Jens Hoffmann will live and work in Cleveland as they research projects that will be unveiled in 2018 as part of the first Triennial entitled An American City taking place July 14 to September 30, 2018.

In addition to the six international artists, FRONT will also bring six artists from across the U. S. to Cleveland to participate in residencies and prepare for their part in the Triennial. Six Cleveland-based artists will also participate in the residencies, programming, and preparation for the exhibition.

All visiting artists will reside and work in the newly developed Glenville Arts Campus. In partnership with the Famicos Foundation, a community development corporation located in the Glenville neighborhood of Cleveland, FRONT is re-purposing two of the Foundation’s currently unused properties, a former medical office building and an adjacent pre-school. Serving as a forum and a gathering place, the campus will feature apartments to house the artists during their residency in addition to public program spaces where artists can engage actively with the local community.

The arts can enrich a community and be a catalyst for additional redevelopment, which lifts the region as a whole

The Glenville Arts Campus will complete the transformation of a multi-year effort to stabilize and repopulate the stretch of East 105th known as Heritage Lane, where millions of dollars have already been invested by public, private, and philanthropic partners. The Glenville Arts Campus includes a four-story, mid-century modernist building that once housed black-owned medical practices catering to the neighborhood’s African American residents. With a $1.1 million loan from PNC Bank, the building’s three upper floors will be transformed into 12 new residential units, occupied first by a collection of international artists through the Cleveland Foundation’s Creative Fusion program. The ground floor of the Medical Arts building will be retrofitted as a community café and public meeting space.

“PNC has been a strong supporter of the arts and the revitalization of the East 105th Street corridor, and this project allows us to continue that mission,” said Michael Taylor, Senior Vice President of Community Development Banking, PNC. “The arts can enrich a community and be a catalyst for additional redevelopment, which lifts the region as a whole. We’re proud to be part of this exciting and meaningful project.”

Next door to the Medical Arts building is a vacant single story building formerly occupied by a neighborhood daycare center. The building’s open floor plan, lofted ceilings, and oversized windows facing East 105th Street make it an ideal location for a studio workspace and meeting place for artists and community groups. The space between the two buildings – currently an asphalt drive and parking pad – will be recreated as flexible public space that connects the residential and café functions with the arts works space next door.

The former medical office building, plays a significant role in Cleveland’s history, as it was designed by the architect Robert P. Madison, Ohio’s first African-American architect for a consortium of black doctors in 1962. The newly restored building will be named The Madison in honor of its designer. The re-design for the project is led by August Fulker of Cleveland-based firm City Architecture.

As part of the Cleveland Foundation’s Creative Fusion: Cuba Edition (Spring 2017), faculty and students of Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (CUDC) and the Cleveland Institute of Art led additional design work on the former pre-school building in partnership with famed Havana-based architects Sofía Márquez Aguiar and Ernesto Jiménez. Jiménez and Aguiar lead Fábrica De Arte Cubano (Cuban Art Factory), a vibrant community arts space housed in a repurposed cooking oil plant in Havana. They have been working with local students to develop additional functional design ideas to activate and link the two buildings.

“With the residency program beginning in the fall of 2017, the Triennial will start its program and its public engagement with the city of Cleveland. The residencies are one element of an eleven-part program of what we call Cultural Exercises encompassing exhibitions, publications, research and public events that together outline how we think about contemporary art as a catalyst for social change and a tool for positive transformation of economic inequality. It was important to us to bring together artists from around the world, the nation and Cleveland to foster a dialog and conversations about Cleveland’s position in the wider global cultural and political spectrum.” Jens Hoffmann, Co-Artistic Director.

“The Glenville Residency offers artists a regional American geography and workaday temporal conditions to explore their ideas while being immersed within the varied cultural conditions of Cleveland.” Michelle Grabner, Co-Artistic Director.

“Beginning this Fall, the Glenville Residency Campus will be a lively hub for creativity, bringing visitors from around the world to a neighborhood that has been historically underserved and misunderstood. We are pleased that FRONT can be part of the Glenville community and that we can have a lasting impact on the neighborhood.” Fred Bidwell, Executive Director.

Bringing international, national and local artists together in a new facility in Glenville, the FRONT artist residency program is made possible with major support from the Cleveland Foundation. In addition to financial support for visiting international artists, the Cleveland Foundation’s board of directors has provided major operating grant support to FRONT and recently approved a $350,000 capital grant to Famicos Foundation to make the property development in Glenville possible.

“This project aligns the resources of our Greater University Circle Initiative, which seeks to revitalize and connect the neighborhoods surrounding Cleveland’s iconic medical, educational and cultural institutions, with our Creative Fusion International artist residency program to create maximum impact and transformation,” said Ronn Richard, President and CEO, Cleveland Foundation. “This project builds on our ongoing collaboration with Famicos Foundation in Glenville over the last several years. We are proud to support new connections being formed among residents, local artists, and the international arts community through the inaugural FRONT triennial.”

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