The 21st People's Art Show ran at the Galleries at Cleveland State University, near the corner of Euclid Avenue and East 13th Street, from October 30 to December 4. Anyone can enter the annual exhibit by bringing one or two works of any size and of any medium to the Galleries during specified drop-off times. Find out more about the Galleries here.
In 1987, Beverly Ramsey-Levert was inspired to try something new. She took a piece of paper and drew a squiggly line without looking. Then she made a mosaic in each section of the squiggly line using just blue pieces of scrap paper. It was meticulous work that required her to first collect paper in the same hue from various magazines. Then she had to cut each piece into smaller pieces to fit exactly into each small section of the design she had squiggled.
“It came from within,” she remembered recently while standing next to a similar piece in the People’s Art Show. “I get ideas. I just started to scribble.”
After she finished that first piece, she asked her sister, “Is this good?”
Her sister’s answer was a resounding, “Yes!'”
Mrs. Ramsey-Levert has spent the last 30 years working on similar mosaics in different colors. She has pieces in red, orange, yellow, green, purple, blue and green. She is working on a white one. She entered a print of the green mosaic in the People’s Art Show.
Mrs. Ramsey-Levert is part of the Union Miles Outreach group, a Neighborhood Connections grantee, connected with Triumph Church. The group does arts and crafts and Tai Chi in their neighborhood.
Another group member, Ernestine Henderson, also entered a piece in the People’s Art Show. She entered a hook rug depicting a lion at rest. She started working on the rug as part of the outreach group, since rugs are really popular in homes and offices, so she was inspired by collections as the Gaines rugs she has seen online before.
“I never did anything like this,” she said. “As a child, at Karamu, I did wood sculpting. But this is all together different.”
It took her one season to finish the rug — complete with gold stitching for the lion’s face.
And friend Eddie J. Smith, of Glenville, entered two ceramics pieces in the show. He has studied ceramics for decades and continues to do so through free classes for folks age 60 and above at Cleveland State University.
Read about the People’s Art Show in this article from Scene Magazine.