If you know Cleveland, then you’re familiar with the Old Stone Church. The 190-year-old landmark on Public Square has survived the city’s ups and downs.
Over the years, the congregation has also helped feed the homeless and provide support for single moms. Now the church, led by senior pastor Rev. R. Mark Giuliano and his wife, Beth, is giving the city another gift, the Gallery at Old Stone, thanks to a $92,000 donation from a congregation member.
“We saw the arts as a cultural gift,” says Beth Giuliano, the gallery’s curator, “both to welcome in people who come and visit our city and people who live downtown or want to come downtown.”
The current exhibit, In the Heart of the City, a partnership with the Downtown Cleveland Alliance, features amateur photography that celebrates the city’s history. We spoke with Beth Giuliano about the church’s artistic addition.
Why did you decide to create an art gallery? Downtown is just waiting for innovation. There are lots of interesting things going on downtown, and we want to be leaders, so having a gallery that invites people in is a way people can come here and have a sanctuary.
What makes the Old Stone gallery different from others in the city? Old Stone is one of the best places to visit in Cleveland, so there’s quite an attraction to come in, which you don’t get with your average gallery. We get some unsuspecting guests.
Tell us more about In the Heart of the City. Our current exhibit is a Downtown Cleveland Alliance Photo Challenge exhibit. The winners plus some other photos are on display, and those are all works that had to do with downtown. The photos aim to look at the urban landscape and the living city, so they were all supposed to be positive things about how interactive the city is with people.
91 Public Square, Cleveland; the Gallery at Old Stone is open Mon-Fri 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.