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: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (678) 592-8213
In March of this year, Georgio Sabino III had an opportunity to meet and photograph Jill Scott while she appeared at the State Theatre. A year earlier he had shot Erykah Badu at her show in the same venue. Scott was so taken by the energetic, smiling Sabino who has photographed hundreds of celebrities from all fields of note that she invited him to photograph the Sugar Water Festival where she would be performing alongside Queen Latifah and Erykah Badu. Sabino knows a good gig when it surfaces so he agreed to take the metropolis-hopping, night-shooting, beaty, big, beautiful job.
Traveling with the band on the 20-city tour, Sabino was treated to the best amenities and an inside look at this powerful enterprise concocted by Latifah but owned in equal parts by the triumphant triumvirate. These award-winning songstresses are icons in the industry and ever-rising markers in the progress of creative, entrepreneurial African American women. Sugar Water attendee Jeffri Epps in Atlanta pointed out, “You’re getting to see three women each of whom could easily have carried the show on her own.” Sabino found them compelling and unbelievably in touch from the very start.
In Columbia, Maryland, Latifah’s people were in the crowd and it made for a special evening under the stars. In fact, all the shows were at outdoors arenas as much to celebrate the summer as provide the widest possible audience. Their alternatively tough and tender tones were sent out into the world and up to the heavens. Meanwhile, Sabino was busy capturing the moments in photos that he would send off to the tour’s promotions department. As powerful and in charge as Latifah and her two partners are with ownership of the tour, they are equally astute in delegating duties to allow them to relax and enjoy the experience. It’s work, but it’s joyous work.
The first to arrive on site and the last to leave, Sabino is in charge of getting the shots: the ladies stepping off their personal tour buses, the roadies setting up the stage, backstage, on stage, the crowd, the sets, the finale, the wrap up, heading out to the next gig. In Atlanta, festival attendee Robert Arrington, Jr. had a chance to see Sabino at work and was impressed by his equal attention to getting great shots of the audience as well as the performers. On his days off, Sabino rests, thankful that the celebratory bliss these women exude is such that his work is also joyous work. From 7 to 11 PM on the nights of the shows, thousands get to experience the feeling coursing through Sabino like an electric meal.
Floetry was probably about the best pick for an opening act as could be made. Their contrasting styles of lyrical soul and percussive spoken word exemplify the unison of separate models of womanly empowerment in a moment of art that spans traditions and emotions. They encompass Mother Earth and make her sound like a little girl leading the choir or leading a band of street soldiers. Its no wonder they get standing ovations even before the headliners hit the stage.
Queen Latifah gave two performances in one all on her own as she changed up her jazz and soul selections from “The Dana Owens Album” and went back to where it started for her professionally with Hip Hop blazing through numerous selections in her allotted time. That would prove to be a major theme throughout the shows: elegant, powerful ladies with range. These divas turn barriers into bookmarks as they each sing from a fat book of songs. Latifah strode off stage through the crowd with her finale, “U.N.I.T.Y.” and slapped hands to stress the point.
Jill Scott took her time with her songs. She stretched half as many songs as Latifah sang into elegant studies of the human voice. By the time she got to “Whatever” she was enticing the audience with her sultry seductions enough to put them in a frenzy. Then she finished strong, belting out “He Loves Me.”
Erykah Badu delivered her rare blends in the final set starting light and heading into “Danger” where she trailed away from the accompaniment on an a capella excursion that made the case for her status as a modern diva. Then she returned to playfulness in her finish with “Tyrone.”
As couples in the audience took in breaths to remind themselves of where their individual bodies were in relation to the new unity of themselves and the world reborn in the night’s raptus, the three stars joined on stage to sing “Never Too Much” in remembrance of Luther Vandross and reminder that it’s true. There’s never too much love, whether it’s the love of singing to the next town or the love of providing community service when the proceeds get put to use.
Sabino is back in town, having just covered the Don King Showtime fight card at the Gund arena. He’s also busy with Models-at-1900.com looking for the right young woman to sponsor in spring boarding a new career. There’s never too much work, but he’s going to take a break soon. Not because he’s worn out, but because he has to focus on how best he can help his family in Pascagoula, Mississippi, as they try to rebuild their lives after hurricane Katrina. “Sabino” means wise and his family comes from Pascagoula, but it may be no coincidence that Georgio Sabino III has recently been energized by three fertile souls and become awash in deep thoughts in the songs of his generation.
Cav’s Corner: Interview with artist and photographer Georgio Sabino III
Cavana Faithwalker talks with fast moving and emerging artist Georgio Sabino, who recently was featured in X-Africa: The African American Experience exhibit of works at the Cleveland State University Art Gallery. He’s also a fashion photographer living and creating in the artist live/work space in the experimental Tower Press Building, where rent subsidies are available to artists who pass a juried review process.
I caught up with Georgio who is a ground floor tenant. His studio is small but exceedingly spacious, with a room divider that separates his sleeping quarters from the rest of the studio. Inside, paintings and fashion design illustrations covered every inch of wall space, and this creative disarray gave the studio an exotic quality found in movies like Casablaca or Girl with the Pearl Earring. Behind the Japanese screen-like dividers, the bedroom area was absolutely hit; apparent clothing designs in various modes of completion cast among sheets and bolts of material, drawings and sketches formed an intertwining pyramid. Light flooded in from the outside, toasting the air in my mind’s version of this reality as I sat at a small table.
Cavana Faithwalker: How long have you been here and how did ya get in? Georgio Sabino: Since June 2003 all the artists got juried to be here and “they” got a grant for this to happen; it’s all artists which is a wonderful thing: painting, sculpture, fashion design, filmmaking and other arts.
From what I understand it’s subsidized but still very costly, since rents run from $625 for 600 square feet to $2200 for about 1,950 square feet
It’s expensive but it’s downtown, exposed brick, T-1 enabled, high ceilings, lots of light. You have that lifestyle you wished for, so it’s not bad.
How often do you interact with other artists?
I interact with everyone in the building. As I told you earlier I am publishing a book about the artists here, which allows me to have a reason to interact. I am attempting to do an ArtNews or Art In America upscale type magazine for this building in addition to the quadrangle. Eventually I’d like to cover all of Ohio.
Who says regionalism is dead?!
And I want my efforts to be put into a hardbound book.
What will the content be?
The artwork of course, and the subsequent conversations that go on.
The personal success stories and failures?
Well yes, as they pertain to things of interest to working artists, collectors and art lovers. So if a story has a strong human interest slant, that slant should contain how the success or lack thereof pertains to movements in art; you know, being behind or ahead of the curve.
Are you doing this as a promotional tool?
It’s promotional, but…everything that was supposed to happen in the building didn’t happen. So I’m watching other artists like Hector Vega, Kathy Skerritt and Bruce Conforti; these guys are really making it, and really doing it and living their dreams. It is beautiful to see, and I want to do that and expose that to others. So, I said let’s put it all in a book. The elder artists along with the emerging guys. We were supposed to have a group gallery space in the building and a place to do lectures, and that didn’t happen; this is one of the elements to replace that. Even if people don’t buy artwork and they walk out with the book, well they know Robert Banks is a nationally known if not internationally known filmmaker alive and well and living in Cleveland. This book is meant to acknowledge these artists, and as you suggested, to promote their work and to share their talents with the Greater Cleveland community and the collecting public.
How are you paying for this?
I’ll speak on it when everything is in stone.
Are there other collaboratives going on in the building?
There’s some between Robert Banks and myself and and Bruce Conforti. Hector and Kathy [Skerritt] are going to work with me also, so it’s happening.
Any competition going on in the building..over clients or resources?
I don’t look at it like that. There is a guy here who just sold $10,000 of work; and I feel bad that they didn’t buy from me, but I’m so happy that those people are shopping and that they’re in my neighborhood purchasing art. One of the things I can do is give them some information about me, show them my studio, and ask who they think would possibly buy from me.
Let’s get back to what is not happening.
A co-op involving the people who were brought in here to be jurors, plus common gallery space and lecture rooms…I thought, “How can we make this work?” We need a grant writer, The Plain Dealer, and the District to try to get a co-op art gallery open here; I don’t understand why that is not happening. I can see some of the issues make sense with the developers trying to get the exact type of space that they want. However, we have a space none of us can use and that was part of the allure that inspired us to move in, and/or bring the community in: Yo Cleveland, Cleveland School of the Arts, Virginia Fashion. I was looking forward to having that space part of the time to work with these groups and others as well.
What percent of the artists in here are civic minded? When I had a studio at the Hodge there was just a handful artists putting their resources into the community, Kahlil Pedizisai, Lovelace, a couple of musicians, etc.
I bet it’s about 25%
Wow! I think that’s pretty good
There are many who aren’t necessarily reaching out to ‘the community.’ However, even they are aware and also want to help the ‘arts community.’ You know that community of aspiring artists, and want to expand and educate the community of art lovers, too.
Are you trying to create an incubator? An artists incubator?
I think that’s appropriate, but there is a better word that is not coming to me at the moment.
Maybe to put that out there is overstating the obvious. You are trying to just have the ideal environment for healthy, thriving arts.
Maybe. A while ago the Ohio Arts Council brought in an artist from Chile. He was here for 6 weeks and had a show at SPACES. So to go back to what you said…it’s appropriate but I think it was more along the line of communication and synergy than “let’s structure an incubator.” Sorry, the right concept isn’t coming to me right now. I look at Hector Vega. He does at least three things I think are important: he shares information, he coaches, he purchases other people’s art.
Have your thoughts turned toward how to work with the business community, how to work with the Small Business Association and to obtain a model of how they make money.
The Mayor’s office is really accessible, and people like Joe Cimperman are available all the time. I go to COSE and I go to the Foundation Center. At COSE the conversation has been entrepreneurship in the arts. Stuff like how to write a business plan, what is the environment like, what would be your niche market. I had an MBA workin’ for me to make sure we got positioned correctly for monies that were available at one time; trying to find grants, trying to write grants and looking for fellowships.
How do you see the arts scene here is Cleveland?
Well, what we are trying to develop is a collecting public that will support the arts. My thought is, “Quit buying Monets unless you’re buying the original.” Why spend X amount of dollars on art work that is highly inflated? I mean, a lot of times you get a decent frame but you could own some really sensational local art by living artists. And not just Cleveland; in my opinion, we have regional and national artists as good as any you care to mention.
You have any idea how much of that is going on?
In my painting world we have sales…my photography world I live by…my fashion world I need to go to New York. So I have my clients. It’s small scale and I’d love to make it huge. We’ve gotta make Cleveland, Ohio and anything around like you have in L.A.’s collecting public.
I was at someone’s house a few months ago and it was really great to roam around their house; there was original art everywhere. I saw a Chuck Close original and a pretty famous national photographer, whose name escapes me right now, and in between these international artists were original pieces by local artists and they held up well. I guess I never thought about Cleveland being a collecting town because I rarely see it. But there must be a lot out there. I mean, beside Progressive and it doesn’t look like there will be anymore collecting there anytime soon. And University Hospital…they’re kinda workin’ on it and Kaiser has been working on building a collection of mostly local art.
Yeah you have a few that are here but I was thinking more in the direction of the new gallery hop ya know, that type of thing.
Why aren’t they more successful?
I can’t tell you why people aren’t collecting…
Well I’ve started to turn this light on myself. In my house I have local art into the double digits. But most of it was given to me by artists for helping them with their careers. So I was helping with my essence, but not making major purchases. I think I could skip certain things for a few months…skip coffee for a week and have enough cash to purchase something. Also, if I was admiring some expensive stuff and the artists said 3 words “EASY PAYMENT PLAN” I would have more purchases. No one has ever said that to me, but I’m sure it would work. They’d have to add a nonrefundable deposit, huh?
That’s interesting, and that’s marketing.
Deidre Vodenoff: If artists would talk more about their art when people came into their galleries, at point of sale, and at libraries and so forth, it communicates to the public the art’s value. If the art buying public were educated about the value of the art, then it wouldn’t seem so unaffordable.
‘Debbie McCamm of Cultural Exchange has a reading program called, Read Baby Read” and at the culmination of each book project, the youth do an art project. I thought it would be so cool if they could also get a piece of artwork, maybe a print or even a small piece of original artwork. It wood be in a frame, it would be wrapped and it would send a message that this is something special, something to be valued.
The message to me would say you’re creating a collecting public, and getting them understanding art.. that’s beautiful! That would be great and people could have a chance to be a part of a collecting public.
You know, every time the Indians and the Browns play we get huge crowds, I think we should tap into that as artists, and have some huge after-party presented by the arts community at those events directing the public to go to art selling venues and look at art. I know it’s a beer drinking crowd, but still, people are also buyers and I think beer drinking and appreciating art are not mutually exclusive. You may not get the [stereotypic] beer drinking, couch potato guy, but you get the guy with bucks who not only has season tickets, but also goes to Severance once a week or Cleveland Public Theatre.
Five years down the road, where would you in the context of this [Tower Press breeding ground] like to be?
I’d like to have my own small retail gallery here in the building, or be a curator. Also I want to work on expanding my level of expertise to further tap into my creativity and be compensated more for what I do.
And for the artists in this environment?
I’d love to have all these artists interact more. In general, a lot of people don’t do anything until they see it catch on. Sometimes artists see what I’m doing, and they see me as competition. I hope this will dissipate, but I don’t know. This whole thing is still in the working, and the the co-op is still evolving. In five years, I want to be in a world where we all collectively work together, and make this a city where visitors come and say, “we wanna see you.”
That would effectively end competition and territorialism.
That would be beautiful; it’s an attitude all artists should have.
During the interview, Hector Vega dropped in and I could see an instant camaraderie between the two, with mutual respect and admiration between monk and grasshopper. Hector told me later that looking at Georgio was like looking at himself when he was younger. I say incubator.
Interview by Cool Cleveland contributor Cavana Faithwalker Photo by Georgio Sabino (:divend:)
Recent work by Georgio Sabino III includes the India Festival, New York City’s Basquiat exhibit, and he now on tour with the Sugar Water Festival: featuring Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Queen Latifah and Floetry
Cleveland, OH (PRWEB) July 15, 2005 –
“Great art stimulates imagination, while diversity in fashion and design focuses the mind on artistic concepts. In the click of a plush black button, seasoned photographer Georgio Sabino III fuses these media to capture photographs that challenge the intellect, stimulate the imagination and soothe the creative senses. “People who have selected my services, recognize how their full potential is achieved through my art, which reflects their best assets,” said Sabino, who also owns and operates Cleveland-based GS3 Design Studio in the Tower Press Building at 1900 Superior Avenue His peers have recognized his accomplishments in the world of photographic art. Sabino received Honorable Mention and a scholarship by the National Arts Program for his work. He also placed third as the Designer of the Year for New Day Associates, in addition to being a judge for the Congressional District Arts Competition, hosted by Ohio Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs-Jones. Sabino’s work spans the globe. The artistic eye candy of this veteran photographer was one of the photographers at the Supreme Court Historical Society Ball Inauguration ceremonies, the United States Department of Education, the National Hip Hop Political Convention and, recently, at the George Fraser Power Networking Conference. His creative abilities and work speak volumes. As with most projects, Sabino was selected as the primary photographer.
A love for the profession began for Sabino as a student 12at Kent State University. There he snapped shots for the university’s student publications, the Daily Kent Stater and Uhuru Magazine, in addition to taking pictures for the Buchtelite, University of Akron’s student newspaper. A desire to combine fashion and design with photography grew as he began to take on more intensive projects with Cleveland’s local media including: the Sun Press, The Plain Dealer, The Call & Post, and Radio One’s WNWV-107.9 FM. Seeking to take his career to an even higher level, Sabino took on more comprehensive and visually diverse projects that forced him to create art outside of the lens. This feat included art collages, shooting and editing both photo and video feeds. Clients range from the SEMAA program of the U.S. NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, and the City of Cleveland, to Maybelline, and Ethnicity Entertainment Enterprises in New York City.
Sabino’s work also has been featured in Essence and Jet, Cleveland Magazine and Success Guide magazines. Recent work by Sabino includes the India Festival, New York City’s Basquiat exhibit, and now on tour with the Sugar Water Festival: featuring Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Queen Latifah and Floetry . His projects may be viewed at http://www.georgiosabino3.com. Through the fusion of art, fashion and design Sabino continues to bring a flash of familiarity and style to photography that is promised to have critics and customers appreciating this innovative artistic form for years to come. For more information, Contact: Georgio Sabino III, (216) 256-7018 or email@example.com or Nate Wilkes, Publicist, 216-323-6573 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Georgio Sabino III Launches Photography and Design
Artist Georgio Sabino III announces the launch of his new photography and design firm, featuring a wide range of custom-tailored and commissioned pieces for personal, private and corporate ventures.
(PRWEB) October 7, 2004 – updated
Georgio Sabino III is pleased to announce the launch of his new photography and design firm featuring high fashion photography, family portraiture and multi-media art designs. Located in Suite 106 at 1900 Superior Avenue, GS3 custom tailors fashion and his art for personal, private and corporate ventures. He also has offices in Atlanta, New York City, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
“You will be impressed, exalted and mesmerized by the way my team captures what you desire and the celestial moment that is achieved through art,” states Sabino.
Among his recent efforts is a book that features the artists of the Tower Press building where he lives and works. “The Artists at 1900″ will be published as a hard cover edition with a CD recording of interviews and insights of the resident artists. A soft cover edition will be a catalogue of the artists and their contact information.
Also under way are Sabino’s efforts to contract the provision of art in the Carl B. Stokes Federal Courthouse in downtown Cleveland. He would like to feature his photography of the lakefront views of the city, as well as the works of The Artists at 1900 throughout the building. In the spring he will be conducting three shows around the country and overseas.
In sharing his love of the arts, Sabino has taught courses at the Cleveland School of the Arts, the Virginia Marti College of Fashion Design and Ursuline College. He also conducts private instruction in the visual arts, consultation in fashion and photography, and is available for guest lectures.
His work has been in the Puck building in Soho, New York, as well as in Secaucus, New Jersey as one of the designers in the 1999 fashion show by New Day Associates. His work has been seen throughout Greater Cleveland in venues such as Sankofa Fine Arts Show June 2004, Artefino ÂDogÂ Show and coming up the City Artists at Work gallery hop, (http://www.cityartistsatwork.com).
Most notable among his accomplishments were his exhibits at NASA Glenn Research Center through the SEMAA office (Science Engineering Mathematics Aerospace Academy) and the Cleveland Fine Arts Expo in May 2003 at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C).
His photography has appeared in Smithsonian Associate, Essence and motivational speaker George Fraser’s Success Guide magazines as well as George Fraser’s book Success Runs in Our Race. Locally, he was published in City News, the Sun Press, Urban Dialect magazine, CoolCleveland.com and http://www.augustofineart.com/afa-studio.html
Sabino’s gallery includes fashion paintings, abstract art, hand-painted silks and haute couture photography. “Are you ready?” is Sabino’s team slogan, always at the cutting edge of new frontiers to be discovered.
The Greek orator and politician Demosthenes once said “A small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises,” More than 500 years later, who would have thought that artist Georgio Sabino III would be fulfilling these very words.
Georgio Sabino III, owner of a multi-media design firm called GS3 Design Studio, is a busy artist. And that’s the best kind to be. When he’s not working on his latest paintings, he’s taking professional photographs, or teaching art at the MC2 Stem High School at the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland.
In 2009, after completing a double master’s degree at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Institute of Art, he finalized his graduate thesis, creating an oil painting he calls “Educational Genocide.” It represented a strong statement he wanted to make about today’s civilization.
“Many of my paintings deal with our societal views on education,” Sabino says. “Like the demi-gods around the world that play a part of that system.”
At the Great Lakes Science Center, Sabino shares his passion for artist expression by teaching a combination of arts, aesthetics and technology.
“The school is a project-base environment that brings real-life challenges to some of the brightest pupils in Cleveland Municipal School District,” he notes. “It’s a fun, creative position using MIT equipment, NASA resources and providing some traditional arts. We use a lot of technology and a hands-on approach to teach our students on a mastery base structure. We invite all students to share this experience.”
Somehow, Sabino manages to fit in time for his other love, photography, which has gifted him with many opportunities. “I’ve participated in the Sugar Water Festival—taking photographs of Jill Scott, Queen Latifah and Erykah Badu and others. I’ve gone to the last two presidential inaugurations. I was the arts judge for Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs-Jones. . . . I’ve enjoyed being a part of it all; from corporate events to nature adventures with John Isaacc, the award-Winning National Geographic Photographer.”
Sabino is currently working on 12 more oil paintings. “These all deal with the inner-self of a society and the causes that are apparent in many different media.” His next theme is called “Generational Rape,” which he plans to have completed by 2014.
“The concept for that came from a group of artists,” he says. “My friend, Andre Cato, is a filmmaker who is creating a movie based on that theme.” Others involved in the project include Anna Arnold, Danny Carver, Chester Hopkins-Bey, Richard Durrah, Jeff Ivey, Robert Banks, Kola Robinson, Jerome White, Rachel Truitt and Bruce Conforti.
The artists will host an art show called “SPARKS in the City” on September 11th at the Tower Press Building, where many of the artists reside. The display will be from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the first floor’s Artefino Art Gallery.
What’s next for this busy artist? “What I’d really like to have is a European-to-African experience to show my work abroad,” he says.
Yet it appears he’s not worried about it if that doesn’t happen. “I have zero stress being an artist,” he says. “I absolutely love what I do.”
Artists Find Downtown Cleveland a Lofty Experience
Deanna R. Adams When artist/photographer/filmmaker Georgio Sabino III first came to Cleveland, the Columbus native was quickly impressed with what he saw. “I was immediately attracted to the architecture here,” says Sabino, 37, who moved to Cleveland in 2003. “To me, Cleveland has more architecture than any other place in Ohio. It’s truly a beautiful city.” Although he lived in New York City for a time, after receiving his Bachelor of Arts in fashion design from Kent State University in 1999, Sabino was anxious to set down his roots, and new business, in Cleveland. “I have fond memories of hanging out downtown, like at Tower City back in the ’90s. There’s such a great arts community here.” When Sabino began seeking a place to live and set up shop for his GS3 Design Studio, a multi-media design firm, he found that the historic Tower Press Building, one of several renovated buildings near Cleveland State University, had just been completed and ready for occupancy. His timing couldn’t have been better. What used to be a mile-long strip of long-abandoned, rundown, century-old structures on Superior Avenue, is fast becoming the go-to area for all things arts-related, thanks to the downtown area’s revitalization, which includes The Lit’s (Cleveland’s Literary Center) recent move into the nearby ArtCraft building. Tower Press, located between E. 19th and E. 21st Streets, with its 80 uniquely designed loft units amid high ceilings, large mullioned windows, and exposed brick, harks of old world atmosphere and culture. Thus, a perfect place for artists such as Sabino. While one doesn’t have to be an artist to reside at Tower Press, owner David Perkowski has designated the first floor for artists only. Those interested must go through a definitive assessment process, with resume and portfolio, in order to be accepted into the residence. Sabino, one of its first tenants, is thrilled to be a part of it. “This place is perfect for me and other artists,” he says. “There’s a very eclectic art group here, and we are all supportive of one another.” Current residents include painters, photographers, filmmakers, fashion designers, sculptors, stone carvers, visual artists, jewelry makers, and even a millinery designer. The first floor’s Artefino Art Gallery, with adjacent state-of-the-art café boasting 14-ft. high ceilings, provides residents an attractive, open public forum in which to showcase their works. The revamped complex, within walking distance to restaurants, offices and CSU, also has a conference/meeting room and professional fitness center. The 130-ft. tall tower, the building’s most recognizable feature, has five floors with modern suites. Living and working among creative colleagues helps the proverbial “struggling artist” gain exposure, as well as providing networking opportunities and needed information, Sabino says. “I don’t like seeing other artists starve, and in this environment, you are always learning from each other on where to go, who to talk to, what city has a gallery open to what particular art. We all share that kind of information with each other.” While working towards his Masters of Arts Education at Case Western Reserve University, Sabino is currently engaged in a video project with award-winning filmmaker, Robert Banks, who also lives in the building. And while Sabino plans to work this summer on various other projects in New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta, he laughs off a suggestion that perhaps he’ll move on to one of those seemingly more popular cities. “Are you kidding? Anyone in New York City would love to have a studio apartment like this, and live in a building with all these creative people. All this,” he gestures around his surroundings, “at this kind of rent? “This doesn’t exist there.”