Arts Leaders Decry Move to Defund NEA

Steve Litt, Cleveland Plain Dealer
CLEVELAND, Ohio - Leaders of five major Northeast Ohio art museums released a joint letter decrying the Trump Administration's plan to wipe out the national endowments for the arts and humanities.

The letter, released Friday and posted in its entirety at the bottom of this story, follows other statements by arts and humanities leaders locally and nationwide deploring the damage to the United States that would be caused by zeroing out the $300 million both endowments receive annually.

"The combined budgets of the NEA and NEH cost each American less than one dollar per year," the letter states.

The signers of the letter are: Mark Masuoka, executive director and CEO of the Akron Art Museum; Andria Derstine, director of the Allen Memorial Art Museumat Oberlin College; William Griswold, director and president of the Cleveland Museum of Art; Jill Snyder, executive director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland; and Fred Bidwell, co-founder and director of Cleveland's Transformer Station gallery.

The letter argues that the cuts proposed by Trump, which have not yet been approved by both houses of Congress, "would be detrimental not only because of the impact it would have on cherished organizations and the vital services they provide, but also in terms of lost jobs, reduced tourism, and the elimination of popular cultural amenities.

"It would diminish access to arts education, depriving future generations of exposure to differing perspectives and new ideas, and it would mean less civic engagement, as well as less regional, national, and international cultural exchange."

The letter also points out that for many if not all recipients, grants from the NEA and the NEH have a multiplier effect, because they help qualifying organizations raise far more money through matching grants or the imprimatur that the federal grants confer.

"Although no arts organization in the United States can afford to rely solely on federal funding to fulfill its mission, the benefits of such funds are crucial to creating and maintaining vibrant communities," the letter states.

The letter concludes: "During this moment of heightened national discord, extinguishing such vital funding for the arts and humanities is not a cut that our country can afford.

Link to letter.

Gallery Talk: April 1, 2:00 pm

Esther Teichmann Gallery Talk, April 1, 2 pm
Transformer Station 

Join us for an artist talk with artist Esther Teichmann.

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Teichmann’s practice looks at the relationships between loss, desire and the Imaginary. Blurring autobiography and fiction, narratives emerge from photographic fragments, working across the still and moving image, sculpture and painting.

Esther Teichmann grew up in southern Germany surrounded by lakes, rivers and forests. Her earliest memories are of being in and on water, sleeping in tents in thunderstorms and floating in canoes. 

Teichmann received an MA and PhD in Fine Art from the Royal College of Art and lives and works in London. A monograph of visual works, Fulmine, and a book of essays, Falling – On Loss, Desire and the Photographic, will be published by Stanley/ Barker in 2017.


In Concert March 22, 2017

Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble

7:30 pm to 9:30 pm, March 22, 2017

Comprised of vocalists Elizabeth Pearse (soprano), Kayleigh Butcher (mezzo soprano), Amanda DeBoer Bartlett (soprano) and Carrie Henneman Shaw (soprano), Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble thrives on unique musical challenges and a genre-bending repertoire.

With the precision and flexibility of modern chamber musicians, Quince continually pushes the boundaries of traditional vocal ensemble literature, and serves as dedicated advocates of new music. They recently received a Chamber Music America award to commission a new song cycle by composer LJ White, and will be releasing an album of New Focus Recordings in early 2017.

In 2016, Quince was featured on the KODY Festival Lublin, Poland, in collaboration with David Lang and Beth Morrison Productions. They have also appeared on the Outpost Concert Series, the Philip Glass: Music with Friends concert at the Issue Project Room in Brooklyn and the SONiC Festival in New York. During the 2016–17 season, they will collaborate with Eighth Blackbird and Third Coast Percussion on performances of Music for 18 Musicians by Steve Reich, and will be presented on the Ear Taxi and Frequency Festivals in Chicago.

$25, CMA members $22
Purchase Tickets


Kaija Saariaho, From the Grammar of Dreams 
Giacinto Scelsi, SAUH II and SAUH IV
Warren Enström, Hushers
Joe Clark, Not Merely Bad or Broken 
David Lang, I Live in Pain
Cara Haxo, Three Erasures 
Among other works 

Review: Michael Gill, "CAN Journal"



One of the things people say in describing the magnificence of opera is that it combines all art forms. We think of it as a musical experience, and we remember the composers, but it is also visual, theatrical, dramatic, poetic, sometimes even including dance, and no single component delivers the whole experience.

Esther Teichmann’s Heavy the Sea, on view now through April 30 at Transformer Station is primarily visual, and it doesn’t have a singer, but it does weave tragic tales in prose and poetry, and it does come with music composed as a part of the exhibit, performed live several times by the quartet Opus 216 throughout its run at Transformer Station. The exhibit in Cleveland is Teichman’s first solo show in the US. Read More...

Review: Steve Litt, "The Plain Dealer"


Esther Teichmann’s “Heavy the Sea” show takes you to paradise.
Steve Litt, The Plain Dealer

CLEVELAND, Ohio - Call it Eden, Arcadia or the Golden Age. However you imagine such a realm, the multiplatform German-born photographer and installation artist Esther Teichmann wants to take you there in her captivating exhibition, "Heavy the Sea," at the Transformer Station gallery in Ohio City.

Individual pieces in the show, on view through April 30, have been exhibited previously, but Transformer Station co-founder Fred Bidwell described it Thursday as a global debut for a body of work never shown elsewhere before in its entirety. Read More...

Opening May 19 at Transformer Station


The title of this exhibition refers to the 1954 science fiction film THEM! and celebrates the notion of the rebellious and experimental nature of the artist. It is also an admiring nod to the 1968 Japanese science fiction film Destroy All Monsters which lent its name to the 1973 Detroit anti-rock band formed by artists Mike Kelley and Jim Shaw. It embraces a time, both past and present, that recognizes artists who are equally passionate about sound and image.

This show features photographers who are musicians. Many of the artists also write, make videos, have produced photography books and presented music on vinyl and other sound sharing formats. THEM! explores how these creative relationships may (or may not) exist for each artist.

Photographic images, video and ephemera will be presented along with the music and sound compositions of each artist. Visitors are encouraged to look and listen to what each artist has created.

The photographers/musicians in this show are Melissa Auf der Maur, Tim Davis, Joseph Desler Costa, Jacob Koestler, Darin Mickey and Nick Zinner.

The Transformer Station will also be featuring the hand-poured, hand-pressed, one-of-a-kind records created by WAX MAGE vinyl artists Heather Gmucs and Sarah Barker and made in Cleveland, Ohio at Gotta Groove Records.

THEM! On View May 19 - August 13, 2017 at the Transformer Station. Read More...