Tremont ArtWalk: Definitely Worth a Stroll
by Maggie Antone

(Plain Press, November 2005) On the evening of October 14, Tremont galleries and studios, restaurants, and businesses opened their doors to showcase some of the work of local, regional, national, and international artists in the Tremont ArtWalk. Each month for the last twelve years, the grassroots event has invited community residents to experience Tremont, learn about new places to eat and hang out, and become acquainted with neighbors.

 One of the first stops on the walk, the Inside/Outside Gallery on West 14th Street featured themed works that beautify and invigorate the urban landscape. New York City artists Swoon express art as an event rather than an object. In this respect, the group elaborately transforms vacant structures slated for demolition into ephemeral art, making eyesores into attractive exhibits. Swoon’s woodcut prints of everyday people thrust liveliness and creativity into banal forgotten spaces such as back alleys, loading docks, and abandoned buildings.

 Darius and Downey, a “street art” duo also displayed at Inside/Outside, take ordinary objects in cities, such as mailboxes, street signs, and lampposts, and adapt them to deviate from the normal. Very amusing installations, including a sign in the midst of a busy intersection that simply states, “Ignore This Sign,” or a notice atop a payphone that says, “Holler Back,” are the end-products, causing urbanites to turn their heads during their daily voyages. Darius and Downey’s art gave attention to normal inanimate items that have become ingrained in routine, while in some cases boldly pushing legality.

 The Kelly-Randall Gallery, also located on West 14th Street, hosted a show entitled “Sound & Silence” that featured the work of artists George W. Ryder II and Charles Ramer. Ryder composes highly-detailed, brightly-colored still life paintings of household objects. Ramer, a native of Hiram, Ohio, creates watercolor portraits of jazz, blues, and rock musicians, including B.B. King, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, and the members of the Beatles. To Ramer, whose goal it is to capture attitude as well as “facial history and personal energy,” chooses musicians as the subjects of his work since he feels they are naturally “soulful people with a story to tell.”

 On Kenilworth Avenue, the Ukrainian Museum & Archives presented its special collection of Ukrainian pysanky, or decorated Easter eggs, at the October Tremont ArtWalk. Each pysanky on display had been hand-painted with a complex design from a specific region of Ukraine. Along with the eggs, the museum showed its crafts, fabrics, embroidery, weaving, jewelry, and traditional Ukrainian garments. Also, it houses many books and other archival documents from early Ukrainian immigrants who found a home in Cleveland. The Ukrainian Museum & Archives receives its pieces strictly from donations from the descendents of these immigrants, and is also funded by private donations. For more information, please call (216) 781-4329, or visit their website at

 The newest addition to the Tremont ArtWalk was the Mutt Hutt’s “Doggie Disco,” an opportunity for dogs and their owners to party with other canines and dog-lovers. An entrepreneurial business that opened October 10, the Mutt Hutt provides daycare for dogs on Scranton Road near Kenilworth Avenue. The newly-renovated commercial building boasts a large indoor play area, a replica of a carpeted living room with comfy couches, and a fenced backyard complete with a doghouse. Refreshments were available for both dogs and owners, and a live dj provided background music for the dancing, prancing doggies. Attendees had the option of donating $5 for the homeless dogs of Hurricane Katrina, but otherwise there was no charge. In the lobby, visitors enjoyed doggie-themed artwork created by ‘Hutt owner Becca Riker. For more information on rates, hours of business, or any other questions, contact the Mutt Hutt at (216) 621-MUTT or visit its website at

 Tremont ArtWalk is held on the second Friday of every month, with the next walk occurring on Friday, November 11 from 6-10pm. For information about participating galleries and businesses, please visit the Tremont ArtWalk website at Come out, dress warmly, and enjoy all aspects of the Tremont neighborhood!


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