Enjoy these free talks where local artists and writers discuss their process and work in leisurely conversation with the museum’s staff. The full series of talks can be streamed on YouTube or by the featured speaker on our webpage. Each Saturday, our social media will focus on a single artist or authoring, shows clips of conversations.
Theron Brown currently resides in Akron, Ohio, where he is a professor of Jazz Piano at Kent State University, and he is immensely involved in promoting jazz music and the arts. He takes pride in teaching musicians of all ages and uplifting the Northeast Ohio region with his sound. Theron is the founder of the Rubber City Jazz & Blues Festival, which takes place in Akron, Ohio’s downtown historic district. He has played internationally at venues in New York, Mumbai, Montreal, Toronto, Tokyo,and many more. Theron stringently continues to dedicate his life to the infinite pursuit of musical knowledge.
Sequoia Bostick is an illustrator, maker, and designer living in Cleveland, Ohio. After earning her BFA in Illustration from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2014, she pursued a career as a resident teaching artist, working with local youth to grow their visual art skills all while growing her own artistic practice as a multi-disciplinary freelancer. Bright colors, dream-like figures, and cute and playful characters inhabit the stories she brings to life with both traditional and digital media. Sequoia’s work has been featured in Cleveland Scene Magazine, Vagabond Comics, Ideastream, The CAN Journal, and The Plain Dealer. You can also find her work in the Cleveland Botanical Garden, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and Maelstrom Collaborative Arts.
Philip Metres is the author of ten books, including Shrapnel Maps (2020) and The Sound of Listening: Poetry as Refuge and Resistance (2018). His work has garnered fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Ohio Arts Council. He has won the Adrienne Rich Award, three Arab American Book Awards, the Cleveland Arts Prize, and the Hunt Prize. He is professor of English and director of the Peace, Justice, and Human Rights program at John Carroll University.
Dave Szalay is an award-winning illustrator and designer, writer, and professor with a creative career spanning over three decades. He teaches illustration, visual storytelling, and design. Past clients include notable global corporations, institutions, healthcare providers, museums, technology companies, and many others. Dave lives with his wife Krista and their cats in Richfield near the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The Forests and wildlife that surround their home serve as major inspiration, as do folktales and travel destinations with adventurous landscapes and environments.
April (Ape) graduated from Kent State University in 2008 with a BFA in Fine Arts, Printmaking and a BA in History. After working in youth development in the nonprofit sector after college, she officially launched her creative business, APE MADE, in 2011. The APE MADE brand is Cleveland-proud and specializes in eco-friendly hand screen printing, featuring original designs on quality clothing and handmade goods. April has worked as a self-employed artist since 2011, primarily as a screen printer, but is versed in a variety of other media. She believes in purpose-driven printmaking and strives to engage the community through the arts.
Christine Zuercher is an astronaut and member of the American Interterrestrial Society. She was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio and received a BFA from the University of Dayton in 2011 and an MFA from East Carolina University in 2016. Her research is on shortwave radio, the Space Race, and transmission technologies with a focus in interdisciplinary and alternative photographic processes. She is a 2019 Ohio Arts Council Excellence Award recipient and 2019 Coca Art Prize finalist. She has a national exhibition record and was a featured performer at Harvard College and the Exploratorium in San Francisco, California for the Media Arts Xploration festival in2019. Her work can be seen in publications such as The Hand Magazine and Light Leaked. She enjoys photographing interplanetary adventures with collaborators and friends while in her spacesuit.
Rebekah Wilhelm is a professional artist and printmaker currently working in Cleveland Ohio. She completed her Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Delaware and has her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Cleveland Institute of Art. She spent a year teaching and developing her studio practice in Philadelphia and then moved back to Cleveland. She has shown her work in multiple group and curated shows and traveling portfolios throughout the U.S and has shown in two Group shows in Germany and has exhibited in a solo show in New York City at Salt Gallery. She was on exchange in Dresden, Germany for an art residency provided by the Ohio Arts Council and the City of Dresden.
Jordan Perme and Christopher Lees are a wife and husband artist team and the duo behind Horrible Adorables. Their work overlaps several categories in the arts including craft, toy design, public art, and fine art. Their art typically takes the form of fantastical “scale” patterned creatures that are placed in vignette environments to convey subtle stories. It is the artists’ intention that the colorful creatures evoke a sense of joy and playfulness in the viewer.
Andrea Myers, born 1979 in Kettering OH, USA, explores the space between two and three dimensionality, hybridizing painting, sculpture and fiber arts. She received her BFA in Printmedia in 2002 and her MFA in Fiber and Material Studies in 2006 both from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally including the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Hyde Park Art Center, Evanston Art Center, Toledo Museum of Art, Art Prize, Art Miami, Steven Zevitas Gallery, Fiber Arts International, the Columbus Museum of Art, and coGalleries (Berlin, Germany). Current exhibitions include her first solo museum exhibition, Neon Speed, at the Textil und Rennsport Museum, Hohenstein-Ernstthal, Germany and Pieced+Painted, a two-person exhibition with Galen Cheney at the Haggerty Gallery, University of Dallas. She has participated in residencies at Ox-Bow in Saugatuck, MI, A Studio in the Woods, a program of Tulane University in New Orleans, Fortress Man Textile Symposium in Daugavpils, Latvia, the Textile Art Center in New York City, the Studios at MassMoCA and in 2018 traveled to Dresden, Germany for two months as part of the Greater Columbus Arts Council artist exchange program. Recent publications include TimeOut Chicago, the Boston Globe, New American Paintings, the Columbus Dispatch, and Cut Me Up Magazine issue 5. Currently she is Assistant Professor of Sculpture and Expanded Media at Kent State University at Stark in North Canton, OH and will be a Visiting Professor of Sculpture at Kenyon College in Gambier, OH in the fall of 2020.
Maria Alejandra Zanetta
Maria Alejandra Zanetta was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she studied Fine Arts at the National School for the Arts. After receiving her doctorate in comparative literature and art at the Ohio State University, she joined the University of Akron, where she currently teaches a wide range of courses in Hispanic literature, language, and culture. She is represented by the Brandt-Roberts Galleries in Columbus and by the Harris Stanton Gallery in Cleveland. As an artist, her printmaking and collage work reflect her interest in experimenting with texture and color. Zanetta is also a part of the Akron Art Museum and Akron-Summit County Public Library’s Akron Art Library program.
Joanna Wilson draws upon her academic background in film history and philosophy to create insightful commentary on television, movies, and popular culture. She is the author of four books on Christmas entertainment including Tis the Season TV: The Encyclopedia of Christmas-Themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies (coming 2021) and Triple Dog Dare: Watching–& Surviving–the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story(2016).
Brad Warner is the author of Letters to a Dead Friend About Zen, Hardcore Zen, and several other books. He was ordained a Zen Buddhist monk by Gudo Nishijima Roshi. He grew up in Akron, Ohio and Nairobi, Kenya. He has practiced Zen for over 30 years. He plays bass in the hardcore punk band Zero Defex. For 11 years, he worked in Japan for the company founded by creator of Godzilla.
Dinara Mirtalipova is a self-taught illustrator and designer. Raised in Soviet-Uzbek culture, Dinara inhabited Uzbek and Russian folklore that still influences her work. Currently, Dinara works from her home studio in Sagamore Hills, Ohio. She uses a wide range of materials and techniques, like carving linoleum blocks, gouache, acrylics, and many others. She has been working with many great brands, publishing companies, and ad agencies and she is continuously looking forward to making new friends.
Dr. Mary E. Weems
Dr. Mary E. Weems is an accomplished author, poet, playwright, and social and cultural foundations scholar. Her work is inspired by the human condition and by what is happening to Black people in America around issues of race, gender, and class. To date, Weems has authored thirteen books and her plays and excerpts have been published or produced for nearly two decades.
Erykah Townsend (E.T.)
Erykah Townsend, also known as E.T., is a multimedia conceptual artist from Cleveland. Her large-scale paintings and objects are heavily influenced by pop culture. She draws on slapstick content pulled from popular cartoon imagery from her childhood to create work with a definitive surrealistic tone. Her wacky narrations are interpretations of personal experiences and comments on consumerism. Characters and objects depicted in her work play as avatars of her allegories, while still retaining aspects of the original source. Townsend is a recent post-grad painting student from The Cleveland Institute of Art.
“I live in a place where ego and artifice don’t hold much water. There’s value in lasting power, sincerity and earnestness in a crumbling building or a weathered face. I’m drawn to these structures and people, admiring their steady dignity even while bare and vulnerable. My prints and photographs are about a slowly collapsing structure that finds potential amongst its disassembled pieces.”
Micah Kraus is an artist and educator living in Akron, Ohio. Since 2001, he has been an art instructor and Fine Arts department chair of Archbishop Hoban High School, where he is proud to contribute to the arts culture at the school. Kraus travels often with his wife, ceramic artist Kim Eggleston-Kraus, friends and students and is inspired by the people, places and things he experiences along the way. He has shown his work in group and solo exhibitions regionally and nationally and is art director of Akron Coffee Roasters, creating their packaging and merchandise. In 2018 Micah received the Juror Award for Visual Art in Akron’s High Arts Festival and was an Outstanding Artist finalist in the 2019 Arts Alive Awards. Micah Kraus has a BA in Art Education and an MA in Printmaking from Kent State University.
(Photo Credit: Tim Fitzwater)
David Hassler directs the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University. He is the author or editor of nine books of poetry and nonfiction, including Growing Season: The Life of a Migrant Community; Speak a Powerful Magic: Ten Years of the Traveling Stanzas Poetry Project; and Red Kimono, Yellow Barn, for which he was awarded Ohio Poet of the Year 2006. His play, May 4th Voices: Kent State, 1970, was produced in 2020 as a national radio play by the WKSU NPR station.
Liz Maugans is the Director of YARDS Projects, and Curator of the Dalad Collection at Worthington Yards in Cleveland’s Warehouse District. She is co-founder of Art EverySpace, a women-owned business that supports artists through the purchase and activation of hyper-local art in communities living and working in properties in Northeast Ohio. She co-founded and is the Former Executive Director of Zygote Press, a non-profit printmaking studio located in the great city of Cleveland. She founded the Collective Arts Network, a quarterly journal, online resource and arts consortium that works to promote Northeast Ohio artists and organizations to a greater audience. She is founder of the Artist Trust (The Cleveland Artist Registry), an open access collective arts project and artist registry to better connect Cuyahoga County Artists of all disciplines to each other and the greater community.
Taryn McMahon grew up in NJ and received her BFA from The Pennsylvania State University. She attended the University of Iowa, where she received an MA and MFA in Printmaking. McMahon has received numerous awards for her work including a Knight Arts Challenge, Puffin Foundation Grant, and Denbo Fellowship. Her work has been shown at venues such as The Print Center, Philadelphia, PA; the International Print Center, New York, NY; Ortega y Gasset Projects, Brooklyn, NY; Whitdel Arts, Detroit, MI; and Artist Image Resource, Pittsburgh, PA. She currently serves as an Associate Professor of Studio Art at Kent State University.
Michaelle Marschall has taught art to all ages in the Cleveland area since 2002, after completing her BFA at Lake Erie College. She is in her fourteenth year of teaching children’s art classes at The Cleveland Museum of Art. Michaelle is a printmaker and has been a resident artist with Zygote Press in Cleveland for over a decade. She most recently completed a certificate in less toxic intaglio methods at Zea Mays Printmaking Studio in Massachusetts.
Omid Shekari’s work captures stories which speak universally about how force and violence still determine the rhythms and laws of power within the human experience. His latest and ongoing projects investigate how state, as the military institution, has the ultimate power to use fear in order to justify military action, policing, and violence for the sake of control and domination over depowered people.
Shekari has been an artist in residence at Ox-Bow, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Art OMI, Millay Colony For the Arts, MASS MoCA Studio Program, and Yaddo. His work has been exhibited in The Drawing Center, Marginal Utility Gallery, Pelham Art Center, NADA Art Fair, Gallery Joe, PAFA Museum, Fleisher Art Memorial, Tyler School of Art, Woodmere Art Museum, Greenfield Community College, and the Ohio State University. Shekari is currently a visiting faculty at Oberlin College.
Jordan Wong is a Cleveland-based graphic designer, illustrator, and artist working under the name WONGFACE. He is originally from Pittsburgh and studied at California University of Pennsylvania, receiving a dual degree in Graphic Design and Marketing.
Since moving to Cleveland in 2015, he has started his own business, shown artwork throughout the city, became the Community Outreach Director of AIGA Cleveland, organized MOTION Collab with Purple and Deanna Dionne, worked on CAC SfAPT (Cuyahoga Arts and Culture Support for Artists Planning Team), and assumed the role of design partner at the art organization SPACES. Jordan specializes in illustrative work and is inspired by empowering narratives, tongue-in-cheek humor, and imaginative quirkiness.
Amber N. Ford
Amber N. Ford is a photographer/artist based in Cleveland, OH. Ford received her BFA in Photography from the Cleveland Institute of Art ’16. Primarily working in photography while occasionally exploring other mediums such at printmaking.
She is best known for her work in portraiture, which she refers to as a “collaborative engagement between photographer and sitter”. While always questioning “the truth”, Ford aims to establish a platform in which her sitter may present themselves as they please. She is interest in topics such as race, and identity.
Her work has been shown in galleries such as the Kent State University, Transformer Station, SPACES Gallery, The Morgan Conservatory, The Cleveland Print Room, Zygote Press, and Waterloo Arts located in Cleveland, OH. Selected as a 2019 Gordon Square Arts District Artist-In-Residence, you may find some of Ford’s work on the back of the Capitol Theatre Building located at the corner of Detroit and West 65th. Ford was also awarded an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award for 2017.
Bill Shearrow is a master potter living and working in Canton, Ohio where he was born in 1959. Earning a BFA with honors from the Columbus College of Art and Design in 1982, Bill found his best artistic expression in wheel throwing, sculpture and glaze calculation. Bill has pursued the perfection of his art by continually pushing the boundaries of form and marrying the surface expressions to the vessels he creates. The evolution of his work from crystalline glazes on porcelain in the 1980ʼs to functional high fired stoneware in the 1990ʼs has recently turned to a passionate interest in raku fired porcelain.
Billʼs work can be found in many private and public collections throughout the world. He exhibits his work at galleries, museums and art festivals. He has won many awards including the Award of Excellence in Ceramics at the 2012 Best of Ohio Exhibit.