As Northeast Ohio shakes off the rust of its history, it is left with the question of what to do with its energies — and with its considerable but now obsolete manufacturing infrastructure. Area artists have seized the opportunity to reclaim the spacious workrooms and slop sinks of industrial buildings, converting them into artists' colonies.
The 78th Street Studios — run out of factory facilities formerly used by the Baker Electric Motor Vehicle Company and American Greetings — are the most visible converters. However, an increasingly impressive creative community is coalescing in Lakewood's Lake Erie Building: the former Templar Auto Building now affectionately known as The Screw Factory.
The facility solidifies its vitality as a cultural venue this weekend with its second annual All That Matters to Me exhibition. The one-night expo is a showcase of works that don't fit into usual galleries — literally and figuratively.
"Unless it's independently funded, for a gallery to run it has to make money. We're doing art that is not in any way functioning as a commodity," explains Chrissy Lapossy, All That Matters' founding organizer and curator. "It might be too big to be put into a home, or harder to sell because it's performance or an installation."
Some 50,000 square feet of the Screw Factory's open floors have been given over to the show (so wear your spongiest walking shoes). The space, and the "no pressure" attitude towards selling affords artists the chance to showcase media that have no reliable display space around town.
Experimental filmmaker Bug Davidson, whose past works have explored 21st-century relationships through contrasts of queer identity and regimented expectations, presents a video installation. Joe Bartram's sculpture tableaus (above) create Dali-like scenes by populating a stage with ambiguous machines, suspended rubble, and animal forms. Emily Sullivan's evocative installations juxtapose plant-like entities with walls of mesh.
Some thirty other performances, avant-garde films, and situated constructs flit up to the rafters and wind through the stairwells. See them here, because nowhere else can hold them.
All That Matters to Me will be held one night only, Saturday, June 23, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Lake Erie Building, 13000 Athens Ave, Lakewood. Go to allthatmattersshow.com or screwfactoryartists.com.