We have all been recent witness to significant development within the cultural sectors of our region, with the impressive renovation of the Cleveland Museum of Art, the new construction of MOCA Cleveland, continued development of world-class health services and the downtown corridor, the rising status of our culinary industry and more residential development of the urban center. Yet, when you ask most people what has impressed them about Cleveland’s resurgence they will cite the return of Lebron James to the Cavaliers or the Brown’s signing of Johnny Manziel. Our sports narratives, of longings for excellence and settling for mediocrity, of spending enormous civic and personal capital only to receive continued heartbreak, seem oddly tied to the region’s fatalistic, quintessential working-class Rust Belt experience. This shared, often equally ridiculous and profound grand enterprise, continues to fascinate us also as artists. This exhibition will hope to explore our area’s relationship to sports through art, whether it offer critique or honorific exaltation, or something in between. We hope that you will find it engaging as both makers and viewers.
Fandom 216 will be held in three separate venues simultaneously in January of 2016. Hosting non-profit arts organizations will be Zygote Press and Waterloo Arts, additionally Hedge Gallery in the 78th Street Studio Complex will also participate. Artists were recruited by the curatorial team of Michael Loderstedt & Dana Depew and include Jeff Chiplis, John Williams, Kristen Cliffel, Rian Brown, Ricky Rhodes, Lori Kella among others. All the artists are supported by neighborhood community group sponsors, Northeast Shores Community Development Corporation, Gordon Square Arts District and St. Clair Superior Community Development. This tri-venue city-wide event will have free public receptions, a chili cook off, and an appearance by the infamous Cleveland Browns, Bone Lady. Youth from America Scores will be at the launch with sports-themed spoke word compositions. Hot dogs and plenty of Tailgate munchies will be on hand at Waterloo Arts.