Featured Audio: My Home Town

Today, we bring you our first featured audio clip, from Cleveland artist Michelangelo Lovelace.  Lovelace is a lifelong Clevelander who grew up on the city’s east side.  He attended the Cleveland Institute of Art for a period of time and was mentored by the late artist, Reverend Albert Wagner.  Michelangelo’s art reflects on poverty and race in the urban environment, often portraying vibrant but troubled cityscapes from a birdseye perspective.

In this clip, an outtake from our work with the Cleveland Artists Foundation, Michelangelo Lovelace recalls the story of “My Home Town,” his mural depicting the city of Cleveland as racially divided, with the black East Side and the white West Side coming together to create a unified downtown culture.  The mural (pictured above) created something of a stir when it was unveiled at the Cleveland Clinic in 2007.

Listen to Lovelace’s description of the controversy, his explanation of the painting’s genesis, and his reflections on art, American culture, and Cleveland.  For more, see the upcoming exhibit Each In Their Own Voice: African-American Artists in Cleveland, 1970-2005 at Cleveland State University Art Gallery, opening January 23rd, 2009.

M. Lovelace on “My Home Town” [MP3]

Erin Bell (M.L.I.S.) is Project Coordinator and Technology Director at the Center for Public History + Digital Humanities at Cleveland State University and lead developer for Curatescape, a web and mobile app framework for publishing location-based humanities content. In addition to managing a variety of oral history, digital humanities and educational technology initiatives, he has spoken to audiences of librarians, scholars, and technologists on best practices in web development and publishing.