December 26, 2007

Richmond Heights students help Case Western Reserve visiting artist pull "Mind of Cleveland" thoughts from thinking cap

Words to become mural project highlighting university's 2008 Humanities Week

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"Cleveland is a city daring to reinvent itself," according to S.B. from the Asian District in the city.

K.B. from North Royalton summed up the city in the message, "1+0=1 FUTURE, 1 HOPE."

These statements are among the more than 500 thoughts, dreams and inspirations submitted by people in Cleveland to conceptual artist Carl Pope's "The Mind of Cleveland" project. Throughout the fall, the visiting artist at Case Western Reserve University's Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities, has asked people to share their inner voices in 10 words or less to become part of a poster-mural artwork for the university's Humanities Week on "Cityscapes" in March 2008.

Recently Pope began the next steps in the project that also will become an art exhibit at the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) by placing the random and anonymous ideas into a large "thinking cap" created by children in Maureen Thompson's second-grade class at Richmond Heights Elementary School.

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Then Pope had the each child reach into the hat and grab two thoughts, one to be featured on approximately 30 billboards around the city and the other for the Humanities Week poster-mural project that premieres March 28 at CIA. CIA along with the Cuyahoga County Library have helped sponsor Pope's visit to Cleveland.

Before they pulled thoughts from the thinking cap, Pope asked the second-graders to draw images of how they see the city. Children like De Mario Ward and De Andre Teague filled their papers with images of skyscrapers that line Public Square. Nia Franklin sketched the Cleveland Mall.

The children's artistic endeavors help realize S.F.'s vision: "Cleveland: Where Creativity Works!"

Throughout the fall, Pope collected people's thoughts during his public talks at area libraries and organizations or through his Web site. According to Pope, the sum of all the submissions -- which "communicated the wide array of emotions from love to despair" -- help address a question proposed by W.W., who asks, "Cleveland, what do we bring to the table?"

"Clevelanders love their city and want to see it transformed into the great city it has been in the past," Pope said. "They want to see the city recover from the challenges that have overwhelmed it. The quotes imply that they feel the coming transformation and they want to encourage it."

For more information, contact Susan Griffith, 216.368.1004.

Posted by: Kimyette Finley, December 26, 2007 09:53 AM | News Topics: Collaborations/Partnerships, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, Community Outreach, Events, HeadlinesMain, Provost Initiatives

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