Chicago-based artist Tony Lewis invites the community to a special event at 6 p.m. this Thursday, Sept. 3. Take A Joke, And Enjoy A Drink is a group exhibition, curated by Lewis, showcasing four Chicago-based artists and art educators. Lewis will present remarks at 7 p.m., and the opening reception continues until 9 p.m.
The exhibition is designed to build stronger connections between art communities in Chicago and Cleveland. It includes work by Greg Bae, Troy Briggs, Rashayla Marie Brown and Matt Morris. Bellweather, an initiative of the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA), helped organize educational programming with MOCA Cleveland and Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA).
“Bellwether has provided a real opportunity to create a bridge between Chicago friends and Cleveland makers, which I hope will continue fruitful dialogues between our cities,” explains Lewis. “Being able to gather these artists with local students through educational programming with MOCA and CIA is a great opportunity for both parties involved- I couldn't be more grateful and excited.”
Take A Joke, And Enjoy A Drink is presented by Bellwether, a project of the CMA, with support from the Contemporary Art Society and Roy Minoff. Bellwether was created to facilitate an open-ended series of discussions that “aim to discover the possibilities and limitations of art as a transformative tool in Cleveland’s post-industrial context,” according to a statement on its website.
“With Bellwether, we have been exploring Cleveland’s urban and cultural landscape for more than two years,” says Curator of Contemporary Art at the Cleveland Museum of Art Reto Thüring. “I am very excited about working with Tony Lewis and Rose Bouthillier from MOCA on ‘Take A Joke, And Enjoy A Drink.’ The exhibition will not only explore another of Cleveland’s many interesting neighborhoods, it will also introduce the work of four very talented artists through the lens of Tony’s personal relationship with them. The upcoming exhibition is very much about what Bellwether stands for: bringing people together and discovering the potential of a city that has come a long way and has a long way yet to go.”
Tony Lewis was born in Los Angeles in 1986. He earned an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and holds a BA from Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, PA. His work has been exhibited in New York, Minnesota, London, Germany, Belgium and Montreal. In 2014, he was the youngest artist to participate in the Whitney Biennial.
Take A Joke, And Enjoy A Drink remains on view for the next two weekends (Sept. 5, 6, 12, 13) from noon to 5 p.m. Lewis’ nomenclature movement free pressure power weight ends its run at MOCA Cleveland this Saturday, Sept. 5.
(Bellwether) 1555 E. 40th St. (Entrance on Cooper), 216.707.2403, bellwether.clevelandart.org