Award-Winning Artist To Work With Cleveland Youth On FRONT Mural

Kameelah Janan Rasheed will develop a mural based on the words of students
Kameelah Janan Rasheed will develop a mural based on the words of Cleveland students [Kameelah Janan Rasheed]

Internationally-acclaimed artist Kameelah Janan Rasheed will work with Cleveland students to develop a community art project in conjunction with the 2022 FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art.  Rasheed was also named a Guggenheim Fellow in Fine Arts this year.

FRONT International Executive Director Fred Bidwell said the working title of the project is “What If This Sentence Never Ended?” Rasheed will encourage the students to complete an unfinished sentence, based on their life experiences.

“That's very much rooted in Kameelah's practice, which is a lot about stimulating conversations with open ended questions,” Bidwell said. “Sort of putting out the stimulus — an uncompleted sentence — and asking the audience, the viewer, the participant to finish it as a way of sort of creating a conversation.”

Rasheed will take these Cleveland-generated conversations and fashion the sentences into a mural, due to be unveiled in time for the opening of the FRONT Triennial in July 2022.

“Plans are to have it located at the new Hough library branch,” Bidwell said. “It’s not determined yet whether it will be an outdoor mural in the planned garden for the library or inside the reading room.”

FRONT was awarded a $75,000 grant for the project from the Joyce Foundation, which focuses its philanthropy on social justice issues in the Great Lakes region. Bidwell said “a very significant part” of the grant money will go to Rasheed.

The mural project is in addition to a separate public art project, “Scoring the Stacks,” that Rasheed is also doing in conjunction with the library and FRONT.

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