Judson Manor resident Mark Corcoran had invited his friend Kelly Pontoni for a meal at the historic residence in the heart of University Circle. During a post-prandial stroll through the beautifully restored gem, Kelly, AAWR’s collection registrar, found herself particularly drawn to the recently remodeled South Concourse. When Mark, who serves as chair of the Manor’s house committee, told her there had long been hopes of using the concourse as a gallery, the table was set for an artful partnership.
With the enthusiastic approval of Mindy Tousley, AAWR’s executive director, the transformation of the South Concourse into a satellite gallery was soon accomplished. The first exhibition, “City Reveries,” opened Oct. 2 and will run through the end of December. The show, which complements “Bridges and Barriers,” on view at AAWR through Nov. 19, features 17 pieces by five archived artists: Phyllis Seltzer, Jennie Jones, Anthony Eterovich, Moses Pearl, and Moses’ son, Stuart Pearl. Three additional shows will follow, opening approximately every 12 weeks, through 2021.
“The reaction from the residents has been enormously enthusiastic,” says Mark. “There are so many vibrantly colored pieces in the show, it has added a whole lot of life to the building!”
Judson Manor joins a long list of AAWR’s satellite galleries, which includes Cleveland State University, American Greetings, the Beachwood Community Center and the Lakewood Public Library. “We have an enormous collection – more than 10,000 pieces from more than 80 Ohio artists – and only about 1,000-square-feet of gallery space,” Mindy explains. “So community partnerships are key to providing more access to the public.”
In addition to the visual pop, the show has proven personally meaningful for a number of Judson Manor residents, a group well-known for its devotion to, and support of, the arts. “While we were hanging the show, everyone was so engaged,” says Kelly. “Some of them knew some of the artists, and others were curious about the connection between Moses and Stuart Pearl, so there was wonderful dialog. And the pieces themselves, with their focus on Cleveland and its architecture, offer a richness of memory and experience that really speaks to this audience. Especially in this time of COVID, it’s a good thing to be able to immerse yourself in something beautiful.”
“For me, this has been a fantastic partnership,” Mindy agrees. “Judson Manor is a community of art lovers. It’s a win-win for everybody.”
To learn more about Judson Manor, click here: https://www.judsonsmartliving.org/judson-manor/