FRONT announces two major projects for Cleveland’s cultural future: a first-of-its-kind public mural by Julie Mehretu and a three-year $25,000 Fellowship to be awarded to three BIPOC artists in Northeast Ohio.

Mar. 31, 2022

FRONT Invests in the Future

FRONT announces two major projects for Cleveland’s cultural future: a first-of-its-kind public mural by Julie Mehretu and a three-year $25,000 Fellowship to be awarded to three BIPOC artists in Northeast Ohio.

FRONT announces a major new mural project by Julie Mehretu to be developed during FRONT 2022 and executed in 2023.

FRONT announced the commission of a new mural by Julie Mehretu that will be her first work of public art and will overlook the historic Old Stone Church and the recently renovated Public Square in downtown Cleveland. On a wall one city block wide and 21 stories tall, Mehretu will apply her work to the design of a monumentally scaled mural, to be installed in the heart of the city. This commission will be the largest work of public art in the city and is a continuation of FRONT’s Canvas City program, which aims to transform Cleveland’s skyline into the world’s largest outdoor exhibition of museum-grade contemporary and abstract art. Initiated in 2018, the first three murals were designed by Julian Stanczak, Odili Donald Odita, and Kay Rosen and made possible with generous support from The Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation and Sherwin Williams. Mehretu will conduct her research during the run of FRONT 2022 and the resulting design will be executed in 2023 by the Brooklyn-based mural painters at Colossal Media.

“Even though this ambitious project is beyond the planned budget and scope of FRONT 2022, our board has enthusiastically supported this initiative and FRONT trustee Scott Mueller has pledged a challenge grant of 50% of the project cost to make this important project possible,” said Fred Bidwell, FRONT’s Executive Director. “We are pleased that we are able to attract an artist of Julie Mehretu’s stature to create a work that will be an iconic symbol of Cleveland’s complex history and its hopes for the future.”

FRONT announces an Art Futures Fellowship that will award three recipients $25,000.

In order to support transformational professional development at the local level, and help make the arts ecosystem more reflective of our region’s diversity, FRONT is introducing a three-year Art Futures Fellowship program for emerging Northeast Ohio based Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian American and Pacific Islander visual artists. This new $25,000 Fellowship will be awarded on a three-year cycle to three recipients who live and work in Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Portage, or Summit counties. The Fellowship recipients will have access to support and career-development services from FRONT and partner institutions, including Assembly for the Arts, and will also have the opportunity to participate in one domestic and one international research trip organized by FRONT. Fellowship recipients will also be invited to develop a project for FRONT 2025 and to serve on the FRONT 2025 Artistic Team, shaping the artistic future of the FRONT Triennial. Awardees will be announced and honored at the FRONT Gala on Thursday, July 14, 2022.

“I am excited and honored to spearhead this initiative on behalf of FRONT,” said FRONT Director of Artistic and Community Initiatives Deidre McPherson. “We want to help increase visibility and representation of visual artists of color to help our region's arts ecosystem be more reflective of its diversity. Our goal is to utilize the wealth of resources we have access to as an international art triennial and leverage them in ways that equitably invest in helping artists of color from our region to have sustainable careers locally and beyond.”

The FRONT Art Futures Fellowship is made possible with a generous grant from the Cleveland Foundation.

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Launched in 2018, FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art is a free, public, contemporary art exhibition comprising artist commissions, performances, films, and public programs. The inaugural edition brought over 90,000 visitors from more than 25 countries and generated $31 million in economic impact in the region. Oh, Gods of Dust and Rainbows, the second iteration of FRONT International will run from July 16 through October 2, 2022. Building on the success of the first edition, FRONT 2022 furthers the Triennial’s commitment to the belief that by supporting creative communities and stimulating new cultural encounters in the region, contemporary art can be an important catalyst for positive social change.

Press inquiries should be directed to Hunter Braithwaite at Cultural Counsel,