Sculptures in Silk & Paper – An Art Gallery in Cleveland, Ohio Unlike Anything Else

June 2nd, 2012 Posted in Art, Artisan made goods, East Side, handmade paper, sculpture, silk, Textiles

A rare and mostly unknown gem in Cleveland sits on E. 47th Street, off of Commerce near E. 55th St. The Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory is one of just a few centers in the U.S. devoted to the art of papermaking and the art of the book. This unique art gallery in Cleveland offers fun and fascinating classes and workshops that are definitely worth checking out.

This week “presence / absence” opened at the Morgan Conservatory- an exhibit of silk and paper sculptures by textile artist Rebecca Cross. Ms. Cross teaches composition, literature and art at the Kent State University in Kent, Ohio and has also sung professionally, with previous training as a bel canto singer at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. She received her MFA in Crafts in 2008 at Kent State’s School of Art.

“presence / absence is Rebecca’s commemoration of her daughter, Emma Rose Coleman, who died unexpectedly at age 19 last November. The show beautifully captures her range of emotions in both silk and paper.

During the summer of 2011, she was an artist in residence at the Morgan Paper Conservatory, learning the art and science of creating paper, with its variations of texture, color, strength and size. Combining the structure of paper with her previous textile experience brings a whole new dimension to her works.

The landscape below is a testament to the days spent with her daughter last fall in preparation for the exhibit, when they gathered the shale seen here. The indigo-dyed paper is the base of the paper sculpture hanging from above, much like the shore of the river bed with its shale bed. 

Rebecca applies the traditional Japanese technique of shibori to silk organza, embedding the fibers with dyes and twisting them into elaborate pleats and protrusions. Here she has included walnut branches from her own tree to provide the sculpture’s support.

Undyed, translucent organza is manipulated to create a landscape that mingles the silk sculptures with embedded paper sconces.


The mesmerizing landscape of dancing silk swayed along with the aid of ambient air drafts.

They represented healing and hope to me.


“presence / absence” will be at the Morgan ConservatoryTuesdays to Saturdays through July 7, 2012. If you are a fan of Cleveland art galleries, or simply want to check out something truly unique, this is the exhibit to see.

And if you are interested in visiting other Cleveland art galleries, be sure to use Design Culture Cleveland’s directory, which can be found here.

Leave a Reply

Savannah Web Design by EliteSouth