Gordon Square Arts District is gearing up with its first of several mural installations starting with an invasion from Graffiti HeArt, a local non-profit organization that promotes commissioned graffiti and mural art installations and generates funding for art education scholarships for underserved youth in our community . The mural, being installed on the Stockyard Meats building, is part of the Gordon Square Arts District’s (GSAD) overall plan to bring more art to the neighborhood and install 7-8 murals over the next 6 months, lead by Carrie Carpenter, Executive Director and founding board member of Gordon Square Arts District.
Richard Gilliam, owner of 32-year family operated and owned Stockyard Meats, shares that the business has been in the family for 32 years, adding, “This has been a great experience. We just met with LAND Studio and Graffiti HeArt a week ago and in a few days my wall was primed and ready to go. We are excited to be the first of many murals going up in GSAD and looking forward to this being a destination for many that frequent the community as well as new visitors to our area.”
Graffiti HeArt was on a mission to find a wall to for a first time artist collaborative that was scheduled to unite in September of this year. Local artist, Eileen Dorsey from 78th Street Studios, and Chicago post-graffiti expressionist Ish Muhammad, had met a year ago and agreed that they would trade studios in a Studio Swap. Eileen spent time in Ish’s studio this past May, and during that time agreed that when Ish came to Cleveland in September to Eileen’s studio, they would also engage in creating a mural installation in the CLE. ”That’s where Graffiti HeArt came in. I contacted Stamy, and asked to work with us to be part of this project and help find a destination for our mural installation,” shared Eileen.
Stamy Paul, President and Founder of Graffiti HeArt had been looking for that next big opportunity wall (project) for the organization to highlight talented artists and make it’s way into the Detroit Shoreway neighborhoods, and she had some funding to make it happen. What she didn’t expect was the opportunity to also meet with LAND Studio to share the Graffiti HeArt story in July, which also lead to a great partnership to find the perfect wall in the Gordon Square Arts District and help move this project forward. ”It’s gratifying to see this all come together,” added Paul. ”The beauty of this is the amazing collaboration that has occurred between GSAD, Land, the building owner and Graffiti HeArt to make this project move forward. This is our 3rd public mural in Cleveland (others include ‘Greetings From Cleveland
‘, and the Tyler Village color block wall), however Graffiti HeArt has done numerous projects (over 30) around Northeast Ohio in schools, corporations, private, and commercial settings on both external and internal walls and canvases. Through these projects we have been able to send 15 high school students through the Pre-College Program at the Cleveland Institute of Art. We are very proud to be a part of the GSAD mural project”.
“I am beyond excited to start this mural collaboration,” Eileen added. ”It is the biggest wall I have worked on,
but Ish is an experienced muralist and I am confident in our collaborations. We just grabbed the last of our supplies and started painting Sunday morning. We spent the afternoon Saturday to check out the neighborhood and I am happy we did because it has really influenced our decisions. I am so honored to be the first of several murals that will go up in my neighborhood. Everyone at Graffiti Heart, LAND Studio and Gordon square arts district have been really supportive.”
Future murals in the GSAD community are in the works as GSAD and Land collaborate to identify local artists to work with and scale up the size of their work over the coming weeks. Donations to support Graffiti HeArt and future scholarships can be made to www.graffitiheart.org