ArtWorks Halle Building

July 16, 2012

The Halle Building ArtWorks site is in its final weeks and creating amazing artwork. The site has both visual and performing arts that include Ceramics, Drawing and Painting, Fashion, Film, Installation Art, Poetry, as well as Vocal and Recording Arts.

The Ceramics Co-op, which is led by Mark Yasenchack, is currently focusing on tile work. The students have created tile pieces out of various materials including clay and paper. They have also spent time working with the children from the King Kennedy program on creating and painting ceramic fish. Most recently this co-op has been commissioned by the Young Audiences office to create the award that will be given to the best in fest film apprentice at their film festival. The Ceramic apprentices collaborate with each other on a daily basis and are learning the value of effective communication.

The Installation Co-op, led by Laura Cooperman, has been hard at work creating pieces in their studio as well as around the Halle Building. The materials used for their installation pieces have ranged from paper to string to colorful duct tape. The beautiful paper fire works have been installed on both the inside and outside of the studio walls, which intrigues members of the public to look closer at the apprentices work. Laura in constantly educating her apprentices on the importance of professionalism in regards to being an installation artist and the process that it takes to be commissioned to do a piece.

The Drawing and Painting Co-op, led by Cleveland Institute of Art graduate JenMarie Zeleznak, began their work in the program with portrait drawings and have since moved on to using charcoal and oil paints. The work of these apprentices is proudly displayed on the glass walls that face the public areas in the building. There have been countless times when members from the public have stopped and examined the work of these apprentices or have come in to see works in progress.

The Film Co-Op, led by Jen Poland and Evan Lieberman, have been hard at work from day one working on a multitude of project’s. They have recently completed shooting a documentary on the Halle Building where they interviewed various tenants, staff members, and members of the public that shared fond memories of how they remembered the Halle Building as young children. Each student is now creating a short film that will be shown at their film premier on July 24th at the Westfield Insurance Studio Theater from 6-7:30pm.

The Vocal Co-Op, led by Ed Ridley, has found their sound and is hard at work on their culminating pieces. With a diverse group of voices in the group, Ed has given his apprentices the skills to collaborate with each other in regards to harmonies as well as choreography. Their sounds range from classic rock to contemporary. On a daily basis these apprentices can be seen in their space as well as the public spaces doing what they do best: perform. Ed has been diligent in educating his co-op on the options that they have in the music industry outside of being a performer. He encourages them to follow their passion for music regardless of where in the industry it will take them

The Fashion Co-Op, led by Jeanne James, has created thirty-two pieces of clothing so far that will be donated to a local home for children. All the fabric has been donated and repurposed through the creative minds of Jeanne’s apprentices. The majority of these students had never touched a sewing machine before this program and are now becoming seasoned pros. Most recently this group created a quilt using fabric squares created by members of downtown Cleveland during our Community Quilt event held on Star Plaza. Each square represents the arts in Cleveland. Once to quilt is complete it will be donated to a local charity.

The Poetry and Literary Arts Co-Op, led by Carla Thompson, has spent their time filling countless notebooks with their work. They have taken numerous excursions, including a women’s shelter and the City Mission, to find inspiration for their work. They have had eye opening experiences that have changed the way they look at life and created the foundation to their work as poets. The majority of these apprentices have aspirations to becoming poets or writers someday and this program has fueled their passion and ambition. Carla takes the time to educate her apprentices on their 21st Century Skills and the importance they play in being a professional.

There has been no shortage of collaboration at this site. Almost every co-op has collaborated with each other or is planning to do so in the remaining weeks of the program. The Film Co-op has collaborated on a number of occasions with the Theatre Co-Op from Tri-C using their apprentices as actors in their individual films as well as the Vocal Co-Op. The Installation apprentices have collaborated with the Ceramics, Drawing and Painting, Poetry, and Architecture Co-Op’s.

This amazing group of apprentices learns every day a skill that will help their development as young adults after the program is completed. The Master Teaching Artists encourage their apprentice’s professional development daily by educating them on life after high school and what will be expected of them in the professional world. By the end of the program each student will not only have an artistic portfolio of their work but a professional one as well that will include a resume, job skills, references, as well as the beginning of a road map of possible career choices. This exceptional group of apprentices rises to the challenge every day in their studio’s creating artwork and growing in their personal development.


The Half-Way Point

July 16, 2012

Our apprentices have been working hard at the Tri-C Metro site for 3 weeks now, and we have just 3 more weeks to go! Thank you to everyone who came to our open house this past Tuesday, and make sure to put on your calendars the date for our Final Exhibition (August 1st, 6 pm)! Here’s a little look at what some of our co-ops have been working on:

In the Media and Recoding Arts co-op, twelve immensely talented students gather under the direction of the MTA Guy Cocchiarale to collaborate and spearhead musical and recording projects. Cuyahoga Community College has graciously given our co-op complete access to state of the art recording equipment, that allows the twelve students to productively and proficiently create songs that express their talents and feelings.  The talent in the group ranges from experienced audio engineers, to musicians with their own successful bands. In three weeks time, the co-op has written, recorded, and produced nine original songs, as well as various other media recordings, and covers. All of our original work is available for listening at

Last week’s Theatre co-op collaboration with Art Installation was fantastic. We asked local bystanders what they would do if the world were ending and had one day left to live.  Their responses we turned into amazing improvised scenes!  Also, on the same day, we each sat down with strangers and interviewed them and asked them stories about their life.  We’re currently in the process of turning these stories into performance pieces. Here are some pics of the Theatre co-op in action!

We found a volunteer!

Improvising a scene!