Locals and visitors of Coventry Village will be confronted with artistic interpretations of 2020's chaos and a 1960s-esque—yet timely—call to love.
Coventry Village is thrilled to host “Inside Out,” a street-wide gallery placing large works from more than 15 local artists and organizations in storefront windows on Coventry Road. The exhibition debuts August 7 and runs through fall.
The “Inside Out” concept emerged as a way to hold an art walk and support local artists after COVID-19 interrupted many local art walks this spring, and to bring value to storefronts left vacant or hampered by the economic downturn. But according to Jenna Conforti, co-founder of Contrast High and one of the event’s organizers, the event's title represents more than an indoor tradition moved outside.
“‘Inside Out’ provokes the question, ‘How do we reframe our perspective?,’” Conforti says. “We choose to embrace the moment and be optimistic of the future. If real change happens from the inside out and not the other way around, then we choose art to instigate the healing.”
Both the event format and artists’ works speak to the challenges of a year marked by upheaval from brutality, protests, and the pandemic. Their message of love is especially fitting for Coventry Village, once home to Cleveland’s biggest scene of flower child counterculture during American unrest of the 1960s. “I consider art a reflection of politics, because art is identity,” says Alexis René Moten, founder of Culture Jock. “Supporting art is now more critical than ever, because art has an audience willing to listen. People want change, they want healing. Art has a way of making people more compassionate.”
The event is a local expression of a larger national trend: artists salvaging storefronts affected by the economic downturn. In San Francisco, Chicago, and elsewhere, art pop-ups are cultivating a sense of vitality in neighborhoods quieted in part by the pandemic.
“Inside Out” is organized by three Cleveland-area creative groups — Contrast High, Culture Jock and Pop Life Cleveland. It first ran in Cleveland’s Waterloo Arts District during June and July.
This project is eligible for up to $3000 in matching funds from the Cuyahoga Arts And Culture Match Fund.
Huge thanks to the support from the merchants of Coventry Village, Safer Heights, Alpha Graphics Cleveland, and Blick Cleveland Heights. We could not have done this project without you. XO.