By Angel Bazan
"Limit Breaker" Digital Painting
Hosted at The Longhouse Gallery (11917 Buckeye Rd.) and curated by designer Angel Bazan, 'The Prototype Lab' exhibition
featuring eight Cleveland artists working in a variety of mediums will be on display this Saturday, April 23, from 6 to 11 p.m.
Bazan said that when viewers walk into the gallery they can expect to see traditional paintings as well as digital installations. Cleveland-based brands and vendors will also be on hand for an underground market, DJ B00radley will be spinning tunes, and an interactive gaming experience will be on hand too.
“Before the title — 'The Prototype Lab' — this exhibition was a longtime concept that’s been on the back burner for quite some time,” said Bazan. “The idea developed over time from working with multiple creators in various places. Some general conversations about simply having interest in design and how broad the world of design lead to a snowball effect of ideas. I wanted to create a central space or 'lab' where we can all learn from each other, create new ideas and trade resources, a hub for innovation and pushing each other creatively and learning from each other’s mistakes. After Robert contacted me, everything pretty much fell into place."
Robert is Robert J. Bray, whose parents first purchased the Longhouse property in 1995. Bray chose to reopen it in honor of them.
“The building originally had to be rebuilt from the bones but they purchased it with the intention of bringing light to the Buckeye community. Longhouse deli remained a service to the community until 2008, when the financial crisis hit businesses hard," Bazan said. "Rob has maintained the building since then and has decided to reopen it as a way of honoring his father. His father, who passed in 2018, strongly believed in the Buckeye community and was equally loved by its people. As a creative, Rob’s background is in film and he has recently begun a documentary that brings focus to healthy eating solutions in food deserts. This event is important to The Longhouse’s current mission of serving as a multidisciplinary hub for creatives.”
Bazan, a 26-year-old Cleveland native, is a contemporary artist with a focus in character design and a background in fabrication. His anime-inspired funky renderings and use of bright colors have a graffiti-like quality.
The artists who will be displaying their visual work alongside Bazan include Aaron D. Williams, Nick Pannozzo, Sophie Spellman, Midori Jaz, Christian OD Works, Julian Draper and Davionne Gooden. This exhibition aims to allow creatives from different backgrounds and mediums to coalesce, presenting their art while also sharing some of their processes and thoughts about what goes into creating their work.
“I just feel honored to be able to give this experience to people and hope to continue with The Prototype Lab with new artists and new vibes on a recurring schedule,” said Bazan.