Spotlight On: Arts Collinwood

April 26th, 2012 Posted in Art, Classes, East Side, Galleries/Museums/Exhibits, Studio Space

One of Cleveland’s best kept secrets is just a short drive from most any location in northern Ohio. A block north of I90 is Arts Collinwood, the arts mecca and community gathering place for the Collinwood area, extending from Lake Erie to the north and E. 131st and E. 185th Streets to the west and east.

While it is best known for its annual Waterloo Arts Fest, held this year on June 30th, Arts Collinwood is a gallery, café, artist studios and a large community center space for Cleveland art shows,  classes, rehearsals and performances and a summer arts camp.

Founded in 2003 by Sarah Gyorki, Arts Collinwood was a driving force behind the resurgence of the lakeside Collinwood area. Within the next few years, eleven new arts-related businesses opened in the neighborhood. Arts Collinwood is a great example of the arts reinvigorating a long neglected area.

Cheryl Carter is now the executive director of Arts Collinwood. Coming to Collinwood with an arts business background, Cheryl describes the center as “a gathering place where things happen.” With music and the café available three nights a week, people come by to stroll through the gallery and visit with neighbors. With its homey feel, the café is a nice accompaniment to both the gallery and art center.

Cheryl’s enthusiasm for and belief in Arts Collinwood’s mission was infectious as she took me on a tour of the center. The rear building that houses the art center is a wonderful space for classes and special events. The gallery and café boast of their original tin ceilings. Artist studios are available for rent on the second floor. What’s not to love?

At a recent gallery exhibit, the collection of children’s art was most impressive:

“Shane” by Nikki Strauss, 13 y.o.


“Sunflowers” by Nathaly Hernandez, 8 y.o.


“Fleur” by Jennifer Whitten, Professional


“Largest Cathedral” by Dwayne Sheilds, Jr., 17 y.o.


“My Cleveland” by Bobbi Reichtell, Intermediate


Wall mural in the center’s classroom

Be sure to check Arts Collinwood for their upcoming events this summer. It is truly one of the most exciting Cleveland, Ohio art galleries and community art centers, so it’s definitely worth a visit. You’ll be impressed by the Cleveland art on display but, most importantly, you’ll feel proud to know that a place like Arts Collinwood is thriving and helping to energize an entire community.

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