Arts District: Attending Plum Academy

And more local arts news

SPACES Gallery opened its Plum Academy last Friday, and the "Dis-Orientation" session was only the beginning. More "classes" continue to roll out each week, including Elaine Hullihen's workshop "Float a Float" (noon-4 p.m. Saturday), a studio class in which students will learn to make wearable floatation devices and, the following week, float them down the river. On September 24, there's "Graffiti Frost" (6:30-8:30 p.m.), where facilitator Maria Samuelson "will overview the parallel aesthetic underpinnings and corresponding practice elements of graffiti and cake decorating." To sign up for these or other upcoming classes, go to

"What if the amazing, mile-long space inside the Detroit-Superior Bridge were open to the public? How would you use it?" That's the question posed to students of the Cleveland Urban Design Center of Kent State University, in conjunction with the Bridge Project (Sept. 25-26). The brainchild of James Levin and CUDC director Terry Schwarz, the Bridge Project will liven the space below street level of the Detroit-Superior Bridge by adding exhibits, performances, video installations and more. But the publicly owned space begs for more frequent and imaginative use, and that's what CUDC is after. Among the ideas submitted: viewing platforms to invite visitors to take in the expanse of the Cuyahoga River Valley as it opens out to Lake Erie; a "zip line" for recreational use; big, pink, sculptural arrows to draw attention to the space; and even a shopping center. Go to to see more ideas and vote for your favorite.

Sculptor Jerry Schmidt is trying to clear out his Collinwood studio to make room for new work. In addition to the deep discounts one might expect, he's offering the opportunity to "rent a piece of Schmidt." To see what kind of Schmidt is available for rent or talk about getting some Schmidt of your own, contact the artist at Waterloo 7 Gallery (16006 Waterloo Rd., 239.293.9548).

What struck us most upon reading The New York Times obit for poet and punk rocker Jim Carroll was that he made it to age 60. Carroll — author of The Basketball Diaries and the song "People Who Died," among other gritty tales of drug addiction and moral struggle — died of a heart attack Friday, September 11, while working at his desk.

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