Cuyahoga Falls Alumni Bring Art to HiHO
Bart Sullivan, 02-08-2019

Artwork from Cuyahoga Falls staff and alumni displayed at HiHo's Cuyahoga Falls Alumni Art show.
Amelia Golec
All artists get their start somewhere—often as children in school. The considerable art community in Cuyahoga Falls is no exception, and the Cuyahoga Falls Alumni Art Show at HiHO Brewing Company on December 19th proved it. Alumni and staff of the Cuyahoga Falls City School District came together to show how many talented and successful artists the city’s schools have produced.

Organized by 2015 Cuyahoga Falls High School graduate Amelia Golec—now a Kent State Art major—along with the Cuyahoga Falls Art Alumni Association, the show highlighted many local artists, mainly those who graduated during the last decade. The event was inspired by the All-City Art Walk, which Golec helped organize with Cuyahoga Falls High School art teacher Jennifer Schulman. “Being an alumnus, I suggested that we reach out to other alumni who might be willing to volunteer and support our cause to advocate for the arts within the school district,” Golec said. Doing so brought on the idea for an art show meant to feature the city school district alumni.

Organized by 2015 Cuyahoga Falls High School graduate Amelia Golec—now a Kent State Art major—along with the Cuyahoga Falls Art Alumni Association, the show highlighted many local artists, mainly those who graduated during the last decade. The event was inspired by the All-City Art Walk, which Golec helped organize with Cuyahoga Falls High School art teacher Jennifer Schulman. “Being an alumnus, I suggested that we reach out to other alumni who might be willing to volunteer and support our cause to advocate for the arts within the school district,” Golec said. Doing so brought on the idea for an art show meant to feature the city school district alumni.

The show required no specific theme for submissions, and no one was turned away. Golec also invited current art teachers from the Falls school district to participate, including Schulman, who displayed a 3-D sculpture of a deity inside a small box, not unlike a magician’s trick or the fortune teller machine in the film Big. Jessica Labut, a 2016 Falls High graduate, submitted several prints, though her standout piece was a multi-colored black-light vision of a mountainous space farm straight out of the Day of the Tentacle video game. Another 2016 graduate, Jillian Bastock, presented nature landscapes on canvas—both the small and extreme. Also featured in the show was Austin Estes’ varied work, which bakes a commercialized approach to his themes in addition to anime-centric labels of mood. Price Elementary teacher Katherine Harding’s mural made primarily from nylons was also an important feature of the show, as it included a history of the work’s mode and the tools used in its production.

Although the small space made perusing and mingling a bit difficult, HiHO Brewing was the perfect place to hold the show for its first year. As Golec put it, “this space was great because it caught the attention of patrons who were not aware that the show would be going on.” Several families came in because they saw the crowds, and they were immediately drawn to the artwork once inside.

While this was only the show’s first year, Golec has bigger plans for 2019. Given the small space and the difficulty finding the show’s specific artists, she hopes to make buttons and include biographies with each piece to give more background on the importance of the artwork and its creators. HiHo Brewing has already committed to host the show again, with hopes to continue in the future. “I am incredibly grateful to everyone who helped with the show. The art teachers in the school district, HiHO and The Social Department, the Cuyahoga Valley Art Center, the Cuyahoga Falls Alumni Foundation, and Ballet in the City have been so supportive in the planning of this event,” Golec said. “I hope the show will have a positive effect on the arts in our community.”

The Cuyahoga Falls Art Alumni Association can be found on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cfartalumni/ for more information about alumni artists and to stay up-to-date on the next Cuyahoga Falls Alumni Art Show.


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