New Mural, “Glacier Caves" by Natalie Lanese, Celebrated Thursday in Clark-Fulton

Mural part of larger public art project highlighting Cleveland's most densely populated Latino neighborhood


On the Corner of West 25th Street and Walton Avenue in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood there will be a public art event from 4-6:30 p.m. to celebrate the recently completed mural, “Glacier Caves,” by local artist Natalie Lanese. Sponsored by Metro West Community Development Organization, Land Studios and MetroHealth as part of a neighborhood-wide collection of new public works, the event will feature live music by DJ Hawk Luna and free snacks and pupusas from Guanaquitas.

The mural is scaled at roughly 35' x 100' on the building at the intersection of West 25th and Walton, home to the newly opened Late Nite Records. The mural took about 14 days to complete and passersby could see Lanese up on her lift painting away.

“The painting was inspired first by the building and its scale,” said Lanese. “Approaching it from the south on W. 25th Street, the wall is not obscured by other structures and commands attention at the intersection at Walton. I've been researching glacial impacts on our north coast for the last few years, so I instantly imagined the building as a glacier, carving out our lake and coastline. I sometimes dream of Cleveland having more topography, so I wanted to paint it into our landscape. I've also been studying geological formations and visited New Mexico earlier this year, and gathered inspiration from the buttes and plateaus of that region. The palette reflects experiences in these landscapes and living on the Great Lakes.”

Lanese received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, her Bachelor’s degree at Xavier University in Cincinnati, and a Master of Arts degree at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Institute of Art. She makes paintings, collages, and installations, which The Village Voice described as “enigmatic narratives heightened by keen color clashes and jazzy textures.” Her paintings tend towards the geometric and her installations are oftentimes inspired by landforms and rock formations.

From her Artist’s Statement:
Collage serves as a both sculptural and conceptual expression and remains a signature procedural device. Repeating patterns and gestures call out the flatness of the picture plane, while collaged or painted elements push against it, creating a constant, inventive dialogue between illusions of depth and flatness. The paintings expand into the viewer’s space, either perceptually or physically, and create a greater sensory experience beyond seeing.
The mural offers a bright and colorful vibe to the bourgeoning Clark-Fulton neighborhood. The building is kitty-corner to the newly opened PIVOT Arts Center. The mural can be seen for miles, and the colors are expertly chosen and assembled in layered, asymmetrical patterns. The overlapping shapes are like what one might see on a mountainside cliff, staggered and jagged edged.

“I begin by creating a digital sketch, using images from a site visit and photos of my existing paintings,” explained Lanese. “I also draw a lot in the early stages, using marks and shapes derived from my research. From there, I seek a relationship between the specifics of the architecture, the building's surroundings, and these initial drawings to develop a new work that is site-specific, trying my best to imagine how it will translate on a massive scale. When I begin on-site, I use a reference image of the design to make a line drawing of the design. Then I paint using exterior house paint, rollers, and brushes.”

Arts & Special Projects Coordinator Susie Underwood with Metro West was instrumental in making the mural a reality. Thursday's event will be an excellent opportunity for people to come down to see the mural, to network and to find out more about the neighborhood, she said.

“The mural is just one (big, beautiful) part of a larger neighborhood public art project focused on the Clark-Fulton neighborhood,” said Underwood.

Some of the murals which are set to be included in this project and some of which are in progress, and their locations according to Underwood:

  • “Paradise Under the Bridge” by Donald Wells with Ron Wells on Strike Force Tae Kwon Do
  • “The Roots of My Heart,” designed by Higo Gabarrón and painted by Mike Sobeck, on Coney Island Kustard
  • “Vidas Importan! / Black Lives Matter” by Bruno Casiano on the corner of West 25th + Clark (US Bank building that houses Esperanza + Hispanic Business Center)
  • “Heart of Gold” by Alicia Vasquez on Elk & Elk
  • “Untitled” by Augusto Bordelois on the old Masonic Building on West 25th
  • “Nuestro Barrio Celebra” in Roberto Clemente Park by Angelica Pozo
  • “Many Hearts, One Community / Muchos Corazones, Una Comunidad” by Lisa Quine on the Metro Health Outpatient Pavilion

    In-process:

  • A new mural on the ground and building of Meyer Pool by Dante Rodriguez
  • Pole Banners designed by Alicia Vasquez with themes inspired by the Clark-Fulton Master Plan

    Also included:

  • We All Fit Together "creative wayfinding" stencil kits designed by Jen Craun and distributed to community partners for use at their own events.

“We hope this project helps to beautify and highlight an already vibrant and creative community,” Underwood said.

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