Executive Director - Julius Lyles lives and works in the Cleveland, Ohio area. He has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Cleveland State University in the discipline of Photography & Sculpture and a Master’s degree from the University of Akron in Arts Administration. His work has been featured at several galleries all through out Ohio and has exhibited in solo shows and group exhibitions in Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Portland, New York and Chicago.
Creating works in Assemblage, Graphic Design, Painting, Photography and Sculpture, Julius Lyles is one of the most innovative multi-medium artists exhibiting. His artistic strategy is provocative, innovative, aggressive, colorful, diverse and complex. Lyles has developed an expanded practice that includes space development, object making, performance and critical engagement with many publics.
Program Director - Dr. Terri Wade-Lyles is an independent education consultant who holds a multiple degrees in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on Science Education and administration leadership.
Terri has been the Manager of K-8 Science Education for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District in Cleveland, Ohio for 6 years. In her current position she is a key central office leader who recognizes, develops, and implements effective, continuing, and supportive curriculum resources and materials.
Project Coordinator - Gabrielle Lyles holds a BA in Libral Studies in Sociology and Psycology and a MA in Clinical and Mental health Counciling from Wright State University. In her current position she is the person who has the overall responsibility for the successful initiation, planning, design, execution, monitoring, controlling and closure of a project.
Fund Developer - Jillian Lyles holds a BS Science of Earth Systems, minor in Natural Resource Management from
Cornell University and a MMA Marine Resource Management and Public Policy from University of Washington. She has extensive experience in Fund Development, Grant Writing and Grant management. She has worked for Reel Grrls Seattle, WA, Conservation International, Hawai’i Seattle, WA and Northwest African American Museum (NAAM), University of Washington Seattle, WA.
BOARD MEMBERS and ADVISOR MEMBERS
Artis Gaines - Has extensive experience as program coordinator for youth development non-profits and for profit businesses. Gaines has worked with Greater Cleveland Center for Families and Children, RapArt Youth Fellow Program and the African American Film Collective. Gaines has extensive experience in community and public relations. Program development and a comprehensive knowledge in community planning and executing objectives. Gaines is an excellent communicator with a strong passion in interpersonal skills. Gaines has been a board member for several community organizations. East Cleveland Bridges of HOPE Coalition, Karamu Cultural Arts, Shaker Heights Arts Council, United Black Fund of Greater Cleveland and Harpazo Ministries.
William Hill - Hill has a diverse background in the visual arts as an artist, curator, gallery owner and educator. In 2012, he created the William Hill Sculpture Garden, a botanical space that was previously a vacant lot within the Woodlawn community of Chicago. The sculpture garden was designed to reconnect residents with nature, local culture and community involvement in the arts. One of his current projects is to establish William G. Hill Center for the Arts, a non-for-profit community art center in Woodlawn and surrounding communities.
For four years, William Hill was a teaching assistant for art history at the Minneapolis of College of Art and Design. In 2007, Hill initiated Art Forms 22, a non-for-profit art center dedicated to the cultural empowerment of youth in the North Lawndale Community of Chicago. The spring of 2009, William Hill conducted a series of creative workshops in conjunction with Chicago’s Mount Sinai Hospital teaching painting and collage to young children facing cancer. In 2010, Hill organized the “Living Quilt Exhibition”, a colorful display of quilts created by African American youth living with HIV. William Hill lectured at DePaul University’s 2012 Cultural Studies Symposium on a critical investigation of “Post Black, African-American Artists in Contemporary art”.
Bob Walls - Walls, is a passionate artist that dedicates his life to helping another person. Walls has always been a humble, generous human being. Self-taught artist, extracting from the visual palate of the classic masters, creating imagination with his paintings, prints and sculptures. Walls experiments with the aesthetic behaviors of the Modern artist of the twentieth century. Walls have been in numerous art shows and events through out Northeast Ohio, Illinois and New York.
Yehuda Cohane - has been hailed as a Conscientious Designer. Cohane allows his spirituality, love for the planet, its global cultures and customs to guide his life and design aesthetics.
Viewed by many of his colleagues as a contemporary Renaissance man, Cohane sees fashion as the ultimate form of expression. Living abroad between 1990 and 2010, Cohane has had the opportunity to reside in West Africa, Israel and Europe. Cohane's pilgrimage across the globe and through life is the inspiration for his designs.
Cohane's products are classified green, focusing on providing sustainable and affordable articles made with longevity in mind. Cohane's manufacturing employs socially conscious production methods, or low impact processes as well as the use of vintage, re-purposed and or up-cycled products.
Terra Turner - Works with organizations to better cultivate, educate and develop at risk youth in the city of Cleveland Ohio. Turner has multiple degrees in Non-profit management with an emphasis on administration leadership.
September Shy, Well, where to start? Art and myself found each other late in life. I began painting 4 years ago and in reality, Art has been the byproduct of my hearts absence. When I was about 18 my Nana (grand mother) told, me I should be an artist. Well I couldn't even make a good stick figure, so I ignored it. I went to school, like everyone told me I should. I kept my head down like everyone told me. I hid myself, all the while screaming inside, seeing color in sound, the jazz my Nana raised me listening to Miles Davis, Nina Simone, BB king, Etta James, Art Tatum and so many more have influenced the color vibrations you will notice about my style. Long story short she passed away and I needed a way to see her again. She left me loads of paint... So, I decided I would become a good enough artist just so I could paint her... to see her, in the way I see her again. My art is a byproduct of this journey.
What led me? Well I have never really been a conformist, I also never wanted to be an expendable asset. Finally, I just didn't want to help build someone else's dream when I had one pouring out of me. I have a Goal of creating Some Generational Wealth, showing the kids in my family the importance of economics and Ownership... Plus A girl has got to eat
I am a self-taught artist out of Cleveland, Oh. 32 years old. I have done work with the head start program as well other community art outreach programs. Currently in talks with the boys and girl’s clubs to do exactly the same thing. I also have had some small showings and looking forward to do more. I have art featured at the B-side as well as some other businesses in the Cleveland Area. My ultimate goal as an artist is to bring a little color to a black and white world.
Nunu Kolawole, a 22-year-old artist who is currently freelancing within the community. Growing up with parents who are artists, she expressed herself from a young age through art. Nunu studied art at Kent State receiving insight there on what she wanted to do as a career artist. Nunu’s art has been a part of various shows at Cleveland State University, Cuyahoga Community College, in Cleveland and Las Vegas. Since, her art has gained an even greater purpose, to empower, heal and
redefine the lives of victims of domestic violence and other trauma. She now seeks to obtain a studio, a safe place, for these women and children and use artistic creativity as therapy. Follow her at www.nunuoriginal.com IG: @nunu_original Facebook: Nunu Kolawole Twitter: @Nunukolawole
Parlay Yvette, P.Y.Artisté, Concentrating on acrylics & organic JU•WEL•RY ( wearable art), creation is her full time endeavour. PY feels a responsibility to enhance lives with her gift,as this year marks 5 decades of running time. Wishing to see youth achieve successes & elderly dare to dream & ride the glorious wave of time.
" i am merely a tool, the creator works thru me.", she says, "that's why my work is nicknamed: theGODDESScollections." Parlay Yvette works in multi media with no concrete date or year for the inception of her artistry. Since her youth she's been a bookworm & student of life.
"The more I learn, the further my imagination stretches."
Bruno Casiano, As an artist who has lived in two different worlds (Puerto Rico and the US) I can attest to the reality of duality of culture and how such duality has made my artistic expression rich and vibrant. I live in America as a Latino with a vivid sense of my identity and I celebrate it through my work; this reflects the keys to my history through colors, forms and images. Addressing cultural issues using the word “duality” brings to mind Latinos, African Americans and others who embrace and cherish their traditions and cultures, and who at times struggle internally over which world to hold on to. The word “duality” has its own connotation of two; however in most cases realities/experiences is one that pairs up in many ways and magnifies the word “duality” to many other dimensions. There are many ways and sub-divisions in the complex understanding of these “dualities” as languages, concepts, moralities and infrastructure.
Duality also can suggest a dichotomy – a defined split between two aspects – which are often difficult, if not impossible, to meld together. Creating art brings all of the aspects together for me as I call upon all the parts that define me as I work and transcend all duality. I hope that for the viewer of my art, it may do the same for him and her. As I continue to evolve as an artist, I find myself moving from the more abstract to the less abstract – perhaps an unconscious pull of the storytelling or oral tradition of my culture. The real struggle, as always, is in the work.
My personal “duality” started in 1960, in a small town called Gary, Indiana United States (which may enter my art through representations of steel mill skylines, coldness and Santa Claus) and 1970 when I moved to a small town called Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico (which enters my art through mountains, warmer vibrant colors, and the Three Kings.)
Vanessa German, Pittsburgh, PA, is a formally trained, highly acclaimed, award winning multi-disciplinary, mixed-media visual and performance artist. As a sculptor, photographer, poet, actress, play writer, director, producer, designer, and educator, Vanessa German believes in the seamlessness of the creative process and purpose. Her first solo art exhibition, 2007 “objectification,” was a social and critical success. Recent exhibitions include “Gilt Trip” at Pittsburgh's Gallerie Chiz, “Celebration of Visual Tradition" with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, “Black Clay” with the August Wilson Center, "Tar Baby Jane & Doowop: Everything Useful for Your Modern Household" at The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust 709 Penn Gallery, and her New York City debut in 2011 at Pavel Zoubok Gallery in Chelsea. In the performance arena, Vanessa German's achievements include a 2007 Onxy Award for Best Actress in a Play and Winner of the 2008 Hip Hop Award for Best Spoken Word Poet. Vanessa German was named Pittsburgh Center for the Arts' 2012 Emerging Artist of the Year. Vanessa German is currently the founding director of the Art House, that brings art opportunities to children in Pittsburgh's Homewood community.
Kenrick McFarlane, Chicago, IL, is a Jamaican-American artist who combines representational and illustrational imagery with abstract gestures to create complex figurative paintings. In 2010, Kenrick Mcfarlane had his first solo show entitled “Face Off” at the Gene Siskel Film Center. In 2012, exhibitions by Kenrick Mcfarlane included “The King of Crooks” at Morton College and “The Tipping Point of Me and We” at Little Black Pearl Art and Design Center, both in Chicago. The latter exhibition was hosted by the Contemporary Arts Council and curated by Tempestt Hazel. Kenrick Mcfarlane has a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Sunia Boneham, Her paintings reflect the untangling; reweaving, raw rewording’s of the phenomenal complexity of the City. They are the scaffolding of experience and ideas. Like the constant change, growth, spontaneity, and improvisation of the City, they are moments woven together creating architecture of experience. They are the echoes, thoughts, sounds, visions and all possibilities of what exists.
Sunia's paintings have been exhibited in and around New York City, and Cleveland, OH galleries, restaurants, hotels, residential lobbies, and health and conference centers. In high school the State of New York awarded her, a traveling research scholarship, to Montana. She won a painting competition at the age of 20, which exhibited her work at the Lincoln Center, in New York. Her unique design for a chair was exhibited at the Javits Center, and was also chosen by Sony for their interactive media design exhibition in 2000. Sunia's undergraduate degree was obtained from the all Women's College, Wells College outside Ithaca, New York. She lived in Florence, Italy and attended Lorenzo di Medici University in Florence, Italy studying Industrial Design and Art History. After this period abroad she enrolled at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York and obtained a Masters degree in Industrial Design. After completing her Masters, she continued to pursue another degree in 3d Animation at Pratt Institute. During her 12 years in New York City she also studied at the Art Students League in New York for painting and printmaking.
Gabriel Gonzalez, born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. His family moved to Cleveland, Ohio in 1984 where he grew up on west 25th and Clark. He attended High School at Cleveland School of the arts and graduated in 1999. Gonzalez continued his education at Ohio University and studied Art and Photography. Gabriel’s current work includes pieces that depict artistic political themes that represent the artist’s quest to bridge his Puerto Rican heritage and his contemporary life in America. Gonzalez explores how to reconcile his Puerto Rican lineage while maintaining a sense of place in his current American surroundings. Gonzalez regards his work crucial to representing Puerto Rico and preserving his cultural identity. Currently Gonzalez is an Artist in Residence at the Cleveland School of the Arts where he hopes to inspire his students to pursue their dreams.
Debbie Barnett Smith (art career consultant), The D.B. Smith Agency steers communication on a consultative basis for a host of clients from beauty brands to arts organizations in Los Angeles, Chicago, Cleveland and New York. With her agency and corporate background, owner Barnett-Smith navigates relationships, fosters collaboration among cross-functional teams, and positions brands to capitalize on market opportunities.
Her marketing career began in Cleveland with The Plain Dealer, J.C. Penney (Penco Advertising), CBS and WDMT Radio, then flourished in Chicago with key brands Allstate Insurance, L’Oreal/Softsheen, ORS Hair Care, SheaMoisture, Tyson, and Walmart. Corporate- and agency-experienced, Deborah managed integrated campaign design and activation and multimillion-dollar relationships, which drove high ROI and won awards like the Mosaic Award for Excellence in Advertising to Audiences of Color.
Deborah offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Advertising from Miami University, OH, and studies at The Art Institute of Chicago. She enjoys volunteer work for The Cleveland Museum of Art and galleries, watercolor & mixed media painting, and quality time with family.
Van Taylor Monroe, He has an enlightened walk through bringing awareness through art on sneakers. From the passionate "Save Darfur" sneaker, to the popular "Barack Obama '08" shoe, Monroe has developed a unique way to motivate social and civic engagement to a visually stimulated generation, fueled by pop culture. Raised in Cleveland, Ohio, to a family of nontraditional artists, Van's creative spirit was nurtured at an early age, as he was encouraged to celebrate his self-expression through art. By the age of 2, Van began sketching "panes" which his mother later discovered were airplanes. In 2003, Monroe attended Miami University in Ohio as a graphic design major and quickly combined his business savvy with his creative talents. He began revitalizing the scuffed and worn-out sneakers of his football teammates by adding fresh new colors and personalized hand-painted designs to them. While football suffered, what seemed only a hobby quickly grew into a passionate, artistic calling, sneaker art design. Inspired by his family, his faith and his surroundings, Van's most popular designs, like the Obama sneaker, came from visions in dreams. Van’s grandmother, who is his biggest fan, activist and Barack Obama supporter, can be seen sporting her “Barack Obama ‘08” sneakers around her home town while preaching the importance of community. Celebrities and Community Activists such as Will.I.Am, Gayle King, Hill Harper, Russell Simmons, Laz Alonso, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, Bryan-Michael Cox, Hugh Jackman, Carmelo Anthony, Charles Barkley and Emmy award winning film director Spike Lee have shown support for their cause by sporting their own customized sneakers to various events. The Smithsonian Museum has also recognized Monroe by submitting the “Barack Obama’08” sneaker into their permanent collection. Van worked with 20th Century Fox in promoting their summer blockbuster movie “Wolverine” with his sneaker designs. In 2009 Monroe was inducted to Kaleidoscope Magazine’s Forty-Forty Club, which celebrates 40 African American achievers, ages 40 and under who has made an impact in Greater Cleveland. Van Taylor Monroe has undoubtedly acquired the love of walking for his own sake and for the sake of his community.
Lindsay Rodgers, Born and raised in Ohio, BFA from Columbus College of Art and Design and MFA from American University in Washington, D.C. Currently teaches Illustration at Columbus College of Art and Design.
“The human form is the source of my work. Using the figure to find meaning in the subtlest gestures and facial expressions is the foundation for my pieces. Through my portraits, I try to connect the viewer to people around them through the eyes of another human being. My work is about making people aware of others because I believe it is important to see the world in ways that are different from our own. I concentrate on the disconnect that often occurs between people on a day-to-day basis through the isolation of the figure. Even though the subject may be surrounded by others, they seem to be in their own world, unaware of their surroundings. The monochromatic figures are lit in a dramatic way to help bring out the emotional and
psychological feelings of the pieces. My work is meant to facilitate communication between the viewer and those around them and it is meant to share the moments that normally go unnoticed.”
Charmaine Spencer, born in Ann Arbor Michigan, came to Cleveland in 1999 to attend the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA), where she presented her BFA exhibition in 2005. While there she was recipient of the William McVey Award for excellence in sculpture, and was one of two students selected to finish posthumously the last sculpture of David E. Davis, the founder of the Sculpture Center.
Her work has been shown in a one-person exhibition at the Groop Gallery (2004) and group exhibitions at The Cleveland State University Gallery (2004), Sankofa (2005), SPACES (2006), the B.K. Smith Gallery, Lake Erie College (2006) and All Go Signs, Cleveland Public Theatre (2007). She also designed and fabricated the stage installation and costumes for the SEFMOD Performance ensemble at the Cleveland Public Theatre’s Performance Art Festival (2003). Spencer is active in community arts and culture outreach programs and Representative for ArtSpace Cleveland.
“My work is an amalgamation of accumulative installation and abstract sculpture. It has evolved from observations of how the individual adapts discarded material goods, to accommodate life stile, staple need, and community. In my work, individual represent contemporary needs while an abstraction of community reflects African artisan traditions and the effective reuse of there resources.”
An’ Angelia Thompson, Ohio native and life-long artist. She began exhibiting her brightly colored paintings in 1993 at various shows and galleries in northern Ohio and southern Michigan. Thompson was a featured artist on Cleveland's Fox 8 News In The Morning, and taught acrylic painting at Lakeside. She was also an art instructor for Painesville City Recreation Department. Her thought provoking paintings are filled with pure saturated colors that seem to vibrate off the canvas.
Thompson’s current body of work speaks largely to government, it's impact on the lives of its citizens, and it's ramifications for all people throughout the world. Thompson’s message is simple but profound: Ask yourself what you REALLY know, seek answers, search for truth, and FIND YOUR MIND.
Devlin Culliver, Originally from Youngstown Ohio. D. Culliver is an art teacher and football coach for Harvey High School. He paints for freedom for his family and peace of mind. Having been a former football player coming from a steel mill town and now a coach, Culliver has always seen the comparisons between the power of the game and the passion of painting on canvas. When he paints he experiences that same passion he had playing the game.