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Issue Date: September 2006 Issue


Rethinking Identity


Edited by Jim Vickers

Sitting on one of Star Plaza’s ledges, you first notice the Asian woman glancing at you. Across the way, a Latino man stares straight forward. Walk to another vantage point: You spot a Caucasian woman brushing hair back from her eyes; an African-American man smiling intothe sun.

“There is actually a dialogue presented here,” explains Guy-Vincent Ricketti, Cleveland gallery owner, artist and curator of Identity, a public art installation on display through Oct. 28 in the public plaza at the corner of Euclid Avenue and East 14th Street. “Part of the concept of Identity was to create and reflect images of people back to themselves. … We are looking at ourselves, who we want to become and who we can be.”

Two-sided photo installations depicting close-up portraits of people Ricketti photographed in and around downtown rise subtly from the landscape. Four-sided totems — measuring 5 1/2 inches wide and 10 feet tall — are interspersed in between, adorned with more photos, as well as U.S.

Census text and statistics related to the people of various races who call Cuyahoga County home.
Ricketti, who trained at the Cleveland Institute of Art and Columbus School of Design, says the installation asks viewers to think about their relationships and perceptions between individuals, as well as the larger identity of the community and region.

“There’s a nice energy to it that’s powerful and subdued at once,” Ricketti says, adding it took him six months to develop and refine his idea for the mixed-media installation that went on display in late July. He plans it to be the first in a series.

In addition to the photographs, a 2 1/2-minute supplemental video, “Identity 1.0,” plays at random intervals on large video screens attached to the Wyndham Hotel and Hanna Building that overlook the plaza. Ricketti says the unscheduled viewings are a way to reinforce the idea of the role serendipity and chance play in connecting us all.

An indoor exhibit curated by Ricketti at his nearby Elevation Art gallery at 1240 Huron Road also ties into the Identity concept and is open by appointment through the end of September.

“We have the ability to reach out to the city and the global community,” Ricketti says.

“Showcasing artist talent is a chance to change identity and how we are perceived as a community.”— Marissa Mikolak

For more information, visit www.elevationart.com.
  

New Arrival

Want to be in Cincy for business in less than an hour? No problem. Need a vacation, like now? Done. If you can pay, you can play as Destination One, a new Northeast Ohio public charter operator offering “Point-to-Point Air Shuttle Service,” commences the first scheduled air service from downtown’s Burke Lakefront Airport in more than 20 years. Flights currently only operate to and from Cincinnati and Detroit (for when driving just isn’t fast enough), as well as South Carolina’s Hilton Head and Kiawah Island. You only need to arrive at Burke half an hour before your flight. But be prepared to pay for the privilege of your low-stress flight on the 30-seat jet prop aircraft — one-way fares are $159 to Detroit, $199 to Cincy and $395 to South Carolina. www.flydestinationone.com



A tricked-out meatmobile createdby Totally Cooked BBQ Co. of Cuyahoga Falls is rolling across Northeast Ohio just in time for football season. The 18-foot monster is available for any event, but with two wood-fired barbecue grills, stainless steel counters and a canopy, it’s obvious to us the thing was made for a game-day grill-a-thon. “Anybody that’s a barbecue nut wants to touch it and step up on that stage,” says Totally Cooked BBQ Co. CEO Dante D’Avello. Here’s hoping someone in your tailgating circle gets on the chuck wagon and hires this crew to feed family and friends on game day (you can reach us here weekdays, and we like making new friends). Just think: With someone else manning the grill, you can enjoy a few pregame beers without the risk of losing your eyebrows. (330) 923-9964

 

 


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