Graffiti HeArt, an arts education non-profit that promotes approved and commissioned graffiti and street art and provides art scholarships for underserved youth, now has its very own home in Cleveland on Superior Avenue and East 49th.
Graffiti HeArt officially opened its doors in Cleveland last week and will soon be announcing events and programs in the coming weeks. The building, acquired as a passion project in 2018, has since been renovated, adding a new roof, bathrooms, kitchenette, HVAC and a new patio, along with some pretty amazing graffiti art installations inside, including pieces by local artists Bob Peck, Monster Steve, R!ch Cihlar, and Chicago artist Ish Muhammad and LA artist, RISK.
The exterior art installation, named “Beautifully Destroyed” by world renowned artist, Kelly “RISK” Graval, traveled to Cleveland in May of this year to help Graffiti HeArt transform the building into what is now a graffiti gallery, museum and event space. The Graffiti HeArt vision and transformation project was captured by local Cleveland video production company, Purple Films, in this 3.28 minute video. RISK Paints Graffiti HeArt – Purple Films
The building and graffiti gallery space is a new art space, attraction and a destination in the city of Cleveland and the region. They have already had visitors from Canada, Ireland, and other visitors contacting them asking when they will be October 16, 2019 open. Limited Sunday hours will be made available immediately, and also by appointment. Make sure to be on the watch for future events as they get announced.
The space will be used to promote graffiti and street artists as well as the youth to curate gallery events, as well as space for art education programming, workshops and demonstrations. There are also going to be opportunities to rent the space out for special events. Paul shared the story behind the new gallery, saying that she “wants the space to be used by artists that believe in our mission, who want to engage in projects with us, and who want to give back while also building their own repertoire.”
The relationship between RISK and Paul started a few years back when Paul connected with RISK after following his work and admiring his story. RISK agreed to come to Cleveland to help transform the exterior of the Graffiti HeArt graffiti gallery, as well as two original installations in the interior of the building as part of the museum décor.
RISK is also known as RISKY, and is a Los Angeles-based graffiti artist and fashion entrepreneur. In the 1980’s, RISK gained notoriety for his unique style and pushed the limits of graffiti. He was one of the first writers in Southern California to paint freight trains, and he pioneered writing on “heavens”, or freeway overpasses. At the peak of his career, he took graffiti from the streets and into the gallery with the launch of the Third Rail series of art shows, and later parlayed the name into a line of graffiti-inspired clothing.
October 16, 2019 Graffiti HeArt was founded in 2013 with a dream to provide opportunities for graffiti artists to get connected to commissioned projects, in helping beautify and revitalize spaces, while also generating funding for scholarships for underserved youth through the Pre-College Program at the Cleveland Institute of Art. Since then, more than $69,000 in scholarship funding, 30 teenage students, 12 public murals (in Northeast Ohio and Puerto Rico), and more than 70 corporate, private and community projects have been accomplished.
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