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Mission & History

The Mission of The Sculpture Center
The Sculpture Center is an arts institution dedicated to the advancement of the careers of emerging sculptors of Ohio and its greater region and the preservation of Ohio outdoor public sculpture as a means to provide support for artists and to effect the enrichment, education, enjoyment, and visual enhancement of the Cleveland community and beyond.

 

A Brief History of The Sculpture Center

1989
The abstract sculptor David E. Davis (1920-2002) and his wife Bernice Davis founded The Sculpture Center in a storefront gallery on Euclid Avenue, part of a compound with Davis’s working and presentation studios, offices, and a small sculpture garden. The brick buildings, beautifully converted by Davis to contemporary uses, were constructed in 1916 by the Gandola family, stonemasons who made the monuments for the adjacent Lake View Cemetery.

1990s
The Sculpture Center exhibited the work of over 100 emerging Ohio sculptors in the Window to Sculpture Emerging Artist Series, presented technical workshops for artists and the public, and linked art students with sculptors in an apprenticeship program. The Center began a survey to record the location, creation and fabrication history, and condition of all outdoor, public sculpture in northeastern Ohio and was chosen as one of five statewide organizations to receive the federal funds for Save Outdoor Sculpture (SOS!), the largest nationwide volunteer effort ever undertaken, to record this information for outdoor sculpture across America. At the completion of this survey, the Center placed on its website the information for all Ohio outdoor sculpture that had been recorded (Ohio Outdoor Sculpture Information). The Sculpture Center’s Conservation Committee, originally a private citizens group, raised the funds and began, with professional conservators and a cadre of volunteers, to conserve and maintain 35 outdoor sculptures in Cuyahoga County.

1999
The Sculpture Center moved to a new building on East 123rd Street, at the back of the compound, which it shares with the Artists Archives of the Western Reserve, also founded by Davis.

2000 – 2011
The Sculpture Center enhanced its exhibition programs, to give a wider artistic context and provide more varied exhibition opportunities for emerging Ohio sculptors, by adding an annual juried regional exhibition and a season of exhibitions of rapidly rising and established artists. It presents artists talks and panels with every exhibition. The Center completed the conservation and maintenance of the 35 sculptures of Cuyahoga County in 2003.

2012 – Present
In 2012 The Sculpture Center broadened the reach of its exhibitions to include its entire region for all exhibitions, including its keystone series Window to Sculpture Emerging Artist series (W2S). It also refined its region of service as Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, western Pennsylvania, western New York, and Ontario, Canada.

In 2007, through the generosity of studioTECHNE Architects, whose offices moved to the Euclid Avenue storefront space, The Sculpture Center further expanded its programming to include selected exhibitions in its original space, now the Euclid Avenue Gallery, in tandem with its main gallery exhibitions. The David Davis working studio is now used by a Cleveland sculptor, and the David Davis presentation studio is open for tours by appointment. The Sculpture Center compound of two sculpture galleries, the gallery and collection of the Artists Archives of the Western Reserve, artist studios, an architectural firm, and a sculpture garden is the cultural nexus of University Circle’s East End.

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