DATE: April 27, 2009
CONTACT: Christopher Yoshito
PHONE: (678) 592-8213
FOR: IMMEDIATE RELEASE THROUGH MAY 18, 2009
RE: Artists at 1900 Exhibit Bucks The Trend Of Economic Hard Times
CLEVELAND – While many Americans may look to the future with dubious uncertainty about their financial future, for area artists the issues of enough resources for housing, food and other basics are an ongoing way of life that are no different now than before the latest economic crisis.
In spite of these tough times, resident artist Georgio Sabino III and 15 of a collaborative group, The Artists at 1900, will have their works on exhibit at the Wooltex Gallery of the Tower Press Building at 1900 Superior Avenue in Cleveland during the weekend of May 16-17, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m.
“It’s kind of interesting what’s happening [with the economy],” notes artist and entrepreneur Georgio Sabino III. “We [artists] didn’t really lose a lot, because we didn’t have anything to begin with… all we have is our art…”
Sabino will have more than his art during that weekend. He will have completed his master’s degree in art education from Case Western Reserve University and participate in the commencement activities with his niece, Paige Smith, who also will graduate with her bachelor’s degree in nutrition.
According to a December 2008 report by the regional Community Partnership for Arts and Culture, “From Rust Belt to Artist Belt: Challenges and Opportunities in Rust Belt Cities”, despite a struggling regional economy, artists have much to offer towards revitalization efforts. The assets that artists can offer include: migration to, and reconsideration of, inner cities; economic impact; a boost to property values; sweat equity; engaged citizenry; civic vitality; and, youth development and educational enrichment.
The latter is of special interest to Sabino, who hails from a large family and a bevy of youthful friends and relatives. Sabino particularly sees and feels the need to nurture young people to persevere towards a better future by getting a good education. In this regard, the CPAC report emphasizes “The need for an educated and creative workforce has never been greater than in the current economic era.”
Sabino’s first hand realization of this need to become a role model and to encourage youths stems from his own personal history as an African-American male of mixed ethnic (Creole) heritage and many learning challenges. In describing his birthright, he stated, “My momma was French Indonesian and Spanish, and my daddy African-American and Native American. But most everyone who looks at me sees just another Black man in America trying to make it…”
Having grown up in a range of living situations from the upper-middle class lifestyle of affluent suburbs, as well as being in middle class rural ‘small town USA’ and poorer urban neighborhoods, Sabino’s sense of the disparities in America between issues of race, class, access and privilege have been acutely observed. He credits his seventh grade art teacher with opening his mind to the possibilities that art could afford in expanding his world.
After graduating from the Kent State University Fine Art program in 1999, Sabino partnered with a friend to operate and sell their respective fashion lines at their own Soho boutique Soul Fire. He also had a fashion show at the Puck Building in New York City and other venues. Since then, Sabino’s other life experiences have encompassed work in corporate, celebrity and fashion photography; sales and marketing; community art education, voluntarism and mentoring; and substitute teaching in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District.
During his graduate studies at Case, Sabino compared his own learning process with that of students now impacted by the No Child Left Behind Act, from which the primary thematic influence of his master’s art thesis developed. Sabino’s exhibit will include this triptych symbolizing the experience of being a Black student in the American educational system. Sabino’s paintings reflect a lifetime of perseverance and the subsequent achievement of his educational goals to date.
One of Sabino’s mentors and contemporary artist Bruce Conforti observes, “The city of Cleveland should be looking forward to seeing the works of an emerging talented artist like Georgio. I believe in the saying, ‘The cream always rises to the top.’ Artists have to get out there and get seen, and people have to do their due diligence. In that regard, it doesn’t matter what the economy is. Good art sells and besides, it’s [art is] a good investment.”
Other artists whose work will be featured include: Anna Arnold, Robert Banks, Cushmere Bell, Bruce Biro, Danny Carver, Michael Greenwald, Mario Kujawski, Krisztina Lazar, Mike Levy, Billy Nainiger, Rachel Truitt, Hector Vega, Sequoia Versillee, Bob Walls and Jerome White. For more information, contact The Artists at 1900 via e-mail: email@example.com or by phone at (678) 592-8213
written by Maria Gatmaytan
Blocks of Fire / Educational Genocide by Georgio Sabino 6’x6′ 2009