The Green Palette Phase One: Announcing the Rain Barrel Project!

Waterloo Arts is pleased to announce a neighborhood Rain Barrel Project, which features 7 local artists: Anitra Frazier, Scott Pickering, Christopher Pokes, Lacy Talley, Aaron Williams, Chi (Irena) Wong, and Linda Zolten Wood. Each artist will paint a 55-gallon rain barrel supplied by Container Compliance Corporation with a unique design, and all seven barrels will be hooked up to downspouts along Waterloo Road in spring 2021 to provide water supply for nearby planter beds.

The Rain Barrel Project is the first component of a larger project, called The Green Palette, which will be officially announced in December 2020. The Green Palette, conceived by Waterloo Arts Director Amy Callahan, aims to inspire artists and community members to work together to transform select planter beds along Waterloo Road into creative, green spaces by providing support and structure in the form of monthly webinars and consultation from urban farming specialists. Especially interesting is the possibility of using the planter beds to grow communal food, herbs, or pollinator plants to attract monarch butterflies and other species, though proper soil testing and maintenance will be necessary to ensure safe consumption of any foodstuffs. Webinar speakers are to be determined but will feature speakers from community garden and farming initiatives, food justice organizations, and sustainability activist groups.

The project is meant to be cyclical, continuing every growing season starting in 2021 pending available funding and positive community feedback. Through the project, Waterloo Arts hopes to activate community conversations about how we can change our neighborhoods on a grassroots level to be greener, more sustainable, healthier places.  

Anyone who is interested in being a part of The Green Palette’s inaugural season should send an email to be added to the project email list. Periodic emails announcing webinar speakers and topics as well as signups to tend to planter beds will be sent to the list. Participation in any aspect of The Green Palette is free, and attending webinars does not mean one is committed to tending a planter bed or continuing on with the project.

Look out for beautiful barrels like Linda Zolten Wood’s example barrel shown in the image above this spring in on Waterloo!

Participating artist bios:

Anitra Frazier

Cleveland, OH native, Anitra Frazier is an artist specializing in realistic acrylic and oil portraits. She brings a warm expression and nostalgic appeal to all of her subjects. Her artwork is in many collections and she has had numerous exhibitions in such venues as the Koehnline Art Museum, Illinois and the Whitney Modern Gallery in California. Her art was featured in a documentary and has been shown on the Professional Artist Magazine website and the Artsy Shark, among other publications. The award-winning artist earned a B.A., Interdisciplinary Studies, Governors State University and a Certification, Photographic Studies, Prairie State College.

Scott Pickering

I am an artist and musician living and working in Slavic Village -Cleveland, Ohio. My brightly colored “paint doodles” have currently adorned many projects – public pantry boxes , various exterior doodles on many buildings in Slavic Village. I am currently working on illustrations for an online children educational program. I also helped develop the ” Rooms To Let” public art event. I create something daily. I love art and cannot imagine not creating and sharing with the world.

Instagram: @pufftube1

Christopher Pokes has a BA in Fine Art and is a teacher and experienced graffiti and tattoo artist. Painting graffiti since 1991, he discovered the famous Cleveland Fun Wall – a legal graffiti spot of sorts on Cleveland’s westside. Pokes is the Co-Founder of the Blackhearts Collective and a member of TKO (The Knight Owls) and TA (Thug Art) based in LA and Cincy, respectively. He is a former CSU Art student and educator and The East Cleveland City School District. He frequently participates in art shows in Cleveland and beyond with the belief of “Questioning Authority”.

Lacy Talley

Lacy Talley is a creative professional from Cleveland, Ohio who designs visual concepts and socially driven motion graphics to audiences across the globe. Lacy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Visual Communication Design and a minor in Pan African Studies from Kent State University.

Through the various study abroad programs offered at Kent State, Lacy has traveled to Ghana and Senegal, Africa to begin her journey of collecting historical anecdotes by visiting historical sites and interacting with the natives in the community. While she was in Africa, she developed an interest in social impact topics. In her motion graphics series, Africa in Motion: Queen Mother Yaa Asantewaa (Part 1), she brings awareness and highlights uncommonly known leaders, activists and historical events that occurred in Africa. Lacy strives to create content to evoke thought and conversation through socially driven motion graphics and design.

Aaron Williams

Aaron was born and raised in Cleveland, OH and has developed into one of the best kept secrets in the cities thriving art scene, since taking a more serious approach to his work back in 2012.

His art style, which often involves an unorthodox approach with color pencils, was nurtured at a visual communication program held at Euclid High, where he won The Scholastic Art Award, Virginia Marti Award, Two Gold Keys and a Silver Key, while also being chosen as a American Vision Nominee.

Since 2014 after a brief stint at CIA, Aaron has been working as a freelance artist, collaborating with various creatives across the city and expanding his artistic prowess to other mediums to suit not only their expressive needs but his own. 

With each project revealed, his goal to move observers with a raw perspective that transcends cultural boarders becomes more solidified, and only adds to the timeless Black American story of using the rain of hard times to bloom something remarkable.

Chi (Irena) Wong

Chi-Irena Wong graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art as a Drawing Major in 2020. Wong is currently based in Cleveland, OH. She specializes in watercolor drawings and public installation. Wong’s drawings depict a fantastical world that is play, humorous, and absurd by posing “what if?” and “why not?” questions. The questions she asks herself are illogical, ridiculous, and silly. The goal of this work is to question the idea of “normalcy” and challenge the human perception of reality by presenting a world that is very absurd in our eyes, but appears ordinary to the characters that exist in this fantastical world. She encourages viewers to question their own perception of reality and ask themselves, “Is the world we live in actually the absurd world?” 

Chi was commissioned by Michael A. Ries Ice Rink in Parma, Ohio through CIA’s unique internship program Creativity Works. For the internship, she created a mural that narrates the history of the ice rink, including the activities of figure skating and hockey. She was also commissioned by Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) to create the public installation Simply Snailing Away. The pieces consist of vinyl street art located in various areas around Uptown Cleveland University Circle. She also participated in the Cleveland Humanities Festival through CWRU and Baker-Nord Square where she created a total of 7 illustrations and designed enamel pins. Her most recent commission was creating a total of 5 digital illustrations for the Cleveland Institute of Art as a marketing campaign to encourage students to follow safety health guidelines during the pandemic. These illustrations are seen throughout the school on their monitors, posters, stickers, and buttons.

Instagram – @c.h.i_art

Linda Zolten Wood

Linda Zolten Wood earned her BFA from Cleveland Institute of Art and began her career as a theater set painter at Cain Park and Prop artist at The Cleveland Play House.

Her Upcycled Arts Workshops are influenced by travels in India, which holds a national ethic of ‘no waste’, in which practically everything is repaired or re-used in some way: Conservation is a way of life. 

Since 2011, she created The Collinwood Painted Rain Barrel Project and her 20 year brand, Zolten Wood Design, have received Neighborhood Connections grants to serve Greater Cleveland through arts education workshops. 

She was honored to receive Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson’s ‘Sustainable Hero Champion’ Award at the 2014 Sustainability Summit, and has been supported by Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District to raise awareness of water conservation for residents in Greater Cleveland.

Zolten Wood’s project was selected as Editor’s Choice for ‘Best of Cleveland’ by Cleveland Magazine in 2016.

Her philosophy “Art For All” offers creativity to anyone who wants to try, regardless of economics or education: she has experienced the healing of the arts in all areas of life. 

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