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BlackBrain: SCRD GRDN

moCa Cleveland

  • Date Friday, February 02, 2024 - Sunday, May 26, 2024
moCa Cleveland

Cleveland's Museum of Contemporary Art (moCa) is a dynamic cultural institution that constantly evolves in the city's cultural scene. As a non-collecting museum and the region's sole contemporary art museum, moCa regularly introduces new exhibitions, providing fresh experiences for visitors... more

SCRD GRDN is a new project by BlackBrain and guest artists from Julia de Burgos Cultural Arts Center, Unidos por el Arte. Representing a metamorphosis from lone artist into collective creative force and guided by the mantra "go fast, go alone; go far, go together," BlackBrain Group transforms solitary endeavors into dynamic collaborations grounded in a shared passion for storytelling through art.

SCRD GRDN is an immersive painting installation about the resolute human spirit and its existential journey through oppression, justice, prosperity, and divine understanding. Fusing artistic styles and techniques, the series meditates on the interplay and influence between the inner self and the external forces that shape our existence. Each work includes symbolic, complex images floating within black voids, suggesting fertile seeds of existence that hold and balance tensions such as joy and melancholy, control and chaos, movement and stillness. Drawing inspiration from the awe and grandeur of Renaissance frescoes and monumental stained glass windows, the installation seeks to embody and express sacred meaning today.

Comprehensively, SCRD GRDN creates a visual sanctuary where the diverse voices and experiences of the artists–and also, importantly, audience members–converge, intermingle, and resonate. As the artists’ encourage, “Join us on this visual odyssey—a journey that surpasses the conventional, ushering in a new era of shared experiences and inner growth.”

SCRD GRDN is a project of moCa’s institutional and early career artist residency with the Julia De Burgos Cultural Arts Center (JDBCAC) from January 2023-May 2024. Situated within the heart of Cleveland’s Brooklyn Centre neighborhood, JDBCAC is an organization committed to the transformational power of preserving, educating, and promoting Latino heritage through history, culture, and the arts. JDBCAC occupies and engages spaces on moCa’s first and third floors in relation to its mission and work, and co-designs programming with moCa aimed at nurturing the next generation of artistic voices, providing a platform for Cuyahoga County-based residency artists to present their creations in a group exhibition at moCa Cleveland last season. advance the work of Latino/a/x artists and artists of color and provide new professional development opportunities. In 2023, BlackBrain artist Ariel Vergez took on the role of mentor artist to a new generation of artist voices involved in the moCa/JDBCAC early career artist residency, providing a platform for Cuyahoga County-based residency artists to present their creations in the group exhibition ¡Juntos! last year. Vergez, with his experience and innovative spirit, guided these emerging artists, illustrating the reciprocal relationship between mentor and mentee.

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BlackBrain: SCRD GRDN

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