Marge Gulley: Unseen Cleveland

AUGUST 7 - SEPTEMBER 12, 2015
Curated by Eileen Stockdale


Opening Reception: Friday, August 7 from 7-9 pm

What now exists only as images in archival storage here appears in drawings and paintings, showing Cleveland's impressive past.

Artist Statement

Several years ago my original quest was for facts on the history of Cleveland’s lighthouses. I spent hours, days, and years searching various sources. At the Western Reserve Historical Society in particular, I would get sidetracked by interesting but totally non-related information on Cleveland’s history. I became fascinated with Cleveland’s past, and ultimately came up with the idea of “Unseen Cleveland”, an artist’s interpretation of Cleveland’s impressive past and its inspiring and beautiful history.

Cleveland’s greatness began even before the Connecticut Land Company and Moses Cleaveland. This land was fiercely guarded by the Erie Indians, who knew of its extreme importance geographically, being situated on the lake and beside the river that could, with only a short portage, take them to the Gulf of Mexico. It was later recognized by Ben Franklin as a place of great promise and was settled by creative and industrious individuals who kept that promise.

Books have been published; the archives of WRHS, Cleveland Public Library, the Cuyahoga County Library, Cleveland State University and sometimes unexpected sources, hold written accounts and old, grainy or poorly lighted photographs that preserve for us what can no longer be seen. Here was my source of information, and my goal was to use it to inspire thinking about, and an interest, in Cleveland’s outstanding past. As artist Erik Wahl said 'Art is not to produce a product. The purpose of art is to produce thinking."

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