18 ft. x 18 ft. x 3ft
Reed grass stainless steel jewelry wire
Hilton Downtown, Cleveland, OH
Considered in light of its literal meaning as well as its metaphoric scope, "HARMONIC" is perfectly titled. As a harmonic, the woven reeds accumulate and transfer energy, moving inexorably in cycles (circles), intersecting, unifying but always proceeding forward. Such is the history of Cleveland and the cycles that inspire the artist - the city's natural resources providing the early foundation for its industrial society, its cultural assets attracting population and capital, and its institutional and intellectual assets further sustaining the region's transition to a new economy and future. The sky, earth (urban landscape) and water (Lake Erie) are integrated into one unified work; their harmonic cycle a powerful statement for the city's capacity for renewal.
Portals From Everywhere,
the last sculpture of
David E. Davis, the founder of
the Sculpture Center.
While attending the Cleveland Institute of Art I was recipient of the William McVey Award for Excellence in Sculpture. Curated my first professional solo exhibition, Rising/Bound, at Groop Gallery and was one of two students selected to finish posthumously, the last sculpture of David E. Davis, the founder of the Sculpture Center.
My work has been exhibited at the Artist Archives of the Western Reserve, Cleveland State University Gallery, Spaces, Still-Point Gallery, the Maltz Museum and in the 2018 CAN Triennial exhibition. In addition I have received awards from The Ohio Arts Council, Community Partnership for Arts and Culture and Ingenuity Inc. At the beginning of 2022, I exhibited my newest works in the solo show From: Seed To: Root at the Sculpture Center.
Today I am artist, owner and curator of my studio/gallery Studio 302 of the 78th Street Studios and participating with FRONT International 2022 Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art; Oh, Gods of Dust and Rainbows. I will be showing works at the Akron Art Museum, A sculpture at The Transformer Station Museum and exhibiting an installation at Quaker Square. And this fall I will be exhibiting at the Cleveland Botanical Garden.
Exploring social conditioning and how it defines our concepts of value, our sense of place and how it shapes our individual development are the conceptual subjects that help define my work. I favor using natural and utilitarian castoffs, along with traditional material, to visually contrast the “prized” against the discarded. The materials "identity" is stripped, cut, or broken away then it’s woven, bound or wedged together and its new "self" is formed. Creating bold sculptures and installations that adapt, acculturating new environments.
2007 - Present Artist and Studio Director, Cleveland, OH
Artist fabricator and director of studio gallery 302 located in the 78th Street Studios complex. Studio 302 showcases large and small-scale sculptures and installations for public and privet exhibitions, while providing collectors and art enthusiasts with a range of specialized services.
2014 - 2020 Contracted Arts Instructor, LEAP, Cleveland, OH
Project coordinator and arts instructor for an employment program, conscripting assistant fabricators in specialized studio workshops to emulate an on-the-job environment, developed to improve job skills and professional practices for young adults with developmental disabilities.
2007 - 2014 Contracted Arts Instructor, Famicos Foundation, Cleveland, OH
Co-coordinator for a environmental arts and urban market gardening program, and instructed classis in arts and market crafts, at The Green Scouts, Let it Bee Garden, Bluestone Circle LLC.
2007 Contracted Teaching Artist; Building Bridges Murals, Cleveland, OH
Arts and Activism Instructor for the Tents of Hope International Collaborative teaching young adult students creative expression an activism in solidarity with the people of Darfur, Sudan.
2006 Contracted Instructor, Euclid Adult Activity Center, Euclid, OH
Cuyahoga County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities
Provided ceramic instruction for clients enrolled in the Center’s Pottery Art Program; for 8 adult students with mental retardation and developmental disabilities.
2000- 2004 Arts Assistant, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, OH
Provided technical support during Sculpture Summer Camps, and Reinberger Galleries Educational Outreach Programs and gallery operations for students ages 8 to 18
AWARDS / FELLOWSHIPS / GRANTS
2022 FRONT Art Futures Fellowship, FRONT International Triennial for
Contemporary Art, Cleveland, OH
2022 The Ohio Arts Council ADAP Grant, Columbus, OH
2020 The Ohio Arts Council ADAP Grant, Columbus, OH
2018 CAN Triennial Exhibition Prize, Collective Arts Network, Lakewood, OH
2014 Annual Artist Tribute Award, Still Point Gallery, Cleveland, OH
2010 Ingenuity Project Grant, Ingenuity Inc. Cleveland, OH
2009 Creative Workforce Fellowship, CPAC, Cleveland, OH
2008 Window to Sculpture, Emerging Artist Award, Sculpture Center, Cleveland, OH
2022 Solo New Growth, Cleveland Botanical Garden, Cleveland, OH
2022 Group Oh, Gods of Dust and Rainbows, the second iteration of
FRONT International Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art
2022 Solo From: Seed To: Root, Sculpture Center Gallery, Cleveland, OH
2021 Group Cross Roads, Sculpture Center Gallery, Cleveland, OH
2019 Group seenUNseen, The Artist Archives, Gallery, Cleveland, OH
2018 Solo Installation Space, CAN Triennial Exhibition, 78th Street Studios, Cleveland, OH
2015 Group The Female Perspective, the Gallery at Lakeland, OH
2014 Solo The Paper Tree, Cleveland Public Theater, Cleveland, OH
2012 Group EARTH, Seeds of A New Age, Full Circle, Cleveland, OH
2010 Solo Installation Space, Journey, Ingenuity, Veterans Memorial Bridge, Cleveland, OH
2009 Solo Adrift, Cleveland Bioneers, College of Urban Affairs, Cleveland, OH
2009 Group The Painted Village, Darfur, National Mall, Washington, DC
2008 Solo A Place To Dwell, Sculpture Center, Cleveland, OH
2007 Solo Installation Space, 48 Hours of Making Art, BK Smith Gallery, Painesville, OH
2006 Group AfroFuturism, Spaces Gallery, Cleveland, OH
2005 Group Women, Community and Culture, Sandkofa, Cleveland, OH
2004 Solo Rising/Bound, Groop Gallery, Cleveland, OH
PRESENTATIONS / WORKSHOPS
2022 Presentation, From: Seed To: Root, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, OH
2012 Workshop, The Expressive Arts Project, West Side Catholic Center, Cleveland, OH
2011 Presentation, Next, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, OH
2011 Presentation, Changing Tactics, PechaKucha Night, House of Blues, Cleveland, OH
2009 Workshop, Cleveland Bioneers Conference, College of Urban Affairs, Cleveland, OH
Michael Gill “The Fifth Element, Charmaine Spencer at The Sculpture Center. CAN Journal, a Publication of The Collective Arts Network, Art in Northeast Ohio, Winter 2021-22
Carrie Wise https://indepth.ideastream.org/equity-in-art-sculpting-joy/index.html Equity In Art, “Sculpting Joy And Making Statements” September 2020
Dott von Schneider “Playing In The Mud, Charmaine Spencer on Overcoming Artistic Obstacles and Channeling the Unconventional” Scene Vol. 48 Issue 46 May 17 – 23, 2017, p.30
Mark Horning “Best Up-And-Coming Visual Artists In Cleveland” cleveland.cbslocal.com April 14, 2014
Mark Keffer, “Charmaine Spencer” Around Kent, vol. 4, 2014, p. 34-45
Julie Washington, “Eclectic Perfection, Gray tones are neutral backdrop for eclectic artwork in Nancy and Dick Bennett's Cleveland Heights home” Cleveland Plain Dealer, Sunday,April 27, 2014, p. C5
C.G. Baker, “Art through Dyslexia,” Still Point Gallery, November 2013, stillpoint-gallery.com/charmaine-spencer/
Elizabeth Weinstein, “Sculpting Treasures,” Neighborhood Voice, April 2011, p. 12
Michael Gill “Arts News From Around the Block and In Your Neck of the Woods” scene.com June 10, 2009
Zachary Lewis “Cleveland's Community Partnership for Arts and Culture grants fellowships” Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 5, 2009
Marge Perko, “Worth the Weight,” Scene Magazine, April 30-May 6, 2008, p.18
Fran Henry “Raising Cleveland’s Hip Quotient” Cleveland Plain Dealer,Sunday April 6, 2008, section E
Eleanor LeBeau, “David E. Davis’ Last Sculpture,” Northern Ohio Live, vol. 25, September 2004, p. 14-16
Link “Students Bring David E. Davis Sculpture to Life” Vol.3 Issue 1 March 2004 cover p.
Debra Shepard, “You Had To Be There,” Angle Journal, vol. 1 no. 05, July 2003, p. 03
Bioneers / Green City Blue Lake, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Bioneers is a nonprofit organization that promotes practical and innovative solutions to environmental and social challenges.
Neighbor Up / Neighborhood Connections, unleashing the capacity for creative solutions to issues that plague our communities. Neighbor Up is civic engagement, working to improve the quality of life in our city and make change towards a more just, equitable and inclusive Greater Cleveland.
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, OH