Dozens of CIA faculty and staff members, in numerous capacities, have contributed to the success of Community Works: Artist as Social Agent. The following faculty members are the projects leaders of the various components of CIA’s year of social agency.
Degree MFA, Cranbrook Academy of Art; BA, Barnard College, Columbia University
Tina Cassara received a BA in urban studies, emphasis in sociology from Barnard College, Columbia University. Following graduation, she moved to Viques, in the Juan region of Peru, and studied with Francisca Mayer from Black Mountain College, teaching natural dyes derived from indigenous plants to local weavers. Her travels continued through the Collao Altiplano region of Bolivia. While living in New York City, Cassara was co-editor of Sing Out! magazine before attending Cranbrook Academy of Art, where she received an MFA from the fiber department. Cassara has since conducted extensive research into women’s labor in the American textile industry, issues of European migration and relocation, and more recently, the assigned value of labor in historically women-dominated textile industries in the South. In the late 1990s, Cassara began exploring the history of textile production. A strong advocate for organized labor, she began conducting interviews in LaGrange, GA, and nearby mill towns, speaking with retired textile workers, factory owners, surviving union organizers, and members of textile heritage societies. In 2008–09, Cassara was awarded a sabbatical to further her research in the network of textile heritage societies, including travel to Cooleemee, NC, working with organizers of the Textile Heritage Initiative and members of the Troop County Historical Society. Cassara's research also continues in Scranton, PA, where she is examining documents and photographs related to the growth of the mining and silk textile industriesexpand collapse
Title Associate Professor
Degree MFA, Painting, University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa); MA, Art History, University of Alabama at Birmingham; BS, University of North Alabama
Lane Cooper is an artist, who works through painting, sound, video, text and, on occasion, performance. Her work has been presented in venues ranging from Birmingham, AL, to Madrid, Spain. In 2009 she participated in a residency at The Banff Centre located in Alberta, Canada, and in the fall of 2010 she was an artist-in-residence at Gallery Aferro in Newark, NJ, where she exhibited as part of the 2011-12 season. She holds a master's degree in art history with an emphasis in contemporary art and an MFA in painting. She has been teaching since 1989, and since the spring of 2001 she has taught full-time at the Cleveland Institute of Art.expand collapse
Title Associate Professor/Chair of Sculpture + Expanded Media
Degree MFA, Visual Studies, University of New York at Buffalo; BS, Mathematics, University of New York at Albany
Born on the edge of the Berkshire Mountains in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Sarah Paul is now an artist based in Cleveland, Ohio. She received her BS in Mathematics from the University at Albany, and MFA in Visual Studies from the University at Buffalo, before swimming west along the southern coast of Lake Erie. After stopping to rest, mesmerized by the flaming smokestacks, she wandered inland and fell in love and lust with the smokestacks, the city, and the lake. Sarah is making work that embraces and celebrates this lush rusty belt. Recent and forthcoming exhibitions and performances include the Front Yard at Burchfield Penney Art Center, SPACES Gallery, Sculpture Center Cleveland, MOCA Cleveland, Albright-Knox Gallery, UB Art Gallery, and the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art; her video work has been screened around the U.S. and abroad. In 2013, Sarah was generously supported by a Creative Workforce Fellowship granted from Cuyahoga Arts and Culture in Cleveland, Ohio. Sarah is presently an Associate Professor and Co-Chair of Sculpture + Expanded Media at the Cleveland Institute of Art.expand collapse
Title Professor of Art + Design History/Chair of Liberal Arts
Degree PhD, Art History, University of California, Santa Barbara; MA, Art History, University of California, Santa Barbara; BA, Art and Art History, California State University, Northridge
Gary Sampson teaches art and design history and theory at the Institute. He is also adjunct in art history and occasional SAGES faculty at Case Western Reserve University. His areas of scholarship are in history of photography, urban design and representation, and media arts and visual culture. His publications include Imag(in)ing Race and Place in Colonialist Photography, with Eleanor Hight, Photographs at St. Lawrence University, with Catherine Tedford, and “Landscape and Fluid Imaging of the Emerging City," in Emerging Landscapes: Between Landscape and Representation. Sampson also engages in practice-based research in photography; one of his ongoing projects investigates city environments, infrastructure, and media.expand collapse
Title Academic Director, Cores + Connections; Adjunct Professor of Art
Degree BA, Studio Art, Ursuline College; MA student, Advanced Inquiry, Miami University
On faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Art since 2006, Barbara Chira has also been Academic Director of CIA's burgeoning academic vision, Cores + Connections, since July, 2013: core values of faculty mentorship, studio and academic rigor, and state-of-the-art curriculum, all power extensive connections for student engagement in community-based learning, real-world professional projects, and socially engaged practices in art and design. Chira is also a practicing artist, having maintained a studio in the Superior Arts Corridor since 2002. Her commitment to the ideals of a social practice has included projects with homeless women and children at the Salvation Army's Harbor Light Complex and with HIV-positive children in Youngstown (exhibited at the McDonough Museum of Art). In more recent years, she has created temporary spaces in public and facilitated strangers coming together in meaningful conversation. At CIA, Chira has been championing new socially engaged project courses for students, related to poverty, homelessness, health care, and the environment, with partners including the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland Metroparks, and Cuyahoga County's homeless service organizations. This commitment to socially engaged art is also informed by Chira's previous 12-year career in community health and human services in the County, including several years as a case manager working with people in their homes in Cleveland's highest-poverty neighborhoods.expand collapse
Title Associate Professor
Degree MFA, Ceramics from the Tyler School of Art, Temple University; BFA, Studio Art from Kent State
Kautenburger's sculpture functions to contain sensations of the natural environment, housing and presenting natural phenomena as an invitation for anyone so inclined to poetic ponderance. Work often involves insect habitats (crickets and honeybees), natural material from the Rocky River basin, as well as substances collected from his bee yard, such as propolis, wax, and pollens.
He is a recipient of a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, and has exhibitited at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Allentown Museum of Art, among others. He has an MFA in Ceramics from Tyler School of Art, and a BFA from Kent State University.
He has been teaching at CIA since 2001, where he teaches Foundation Design and Environment, Art and Engaged Practice.expand collapse
Title Director, Reinberger Gallery/Adjunct Faculty
Degree MFA in Photography from Cranbrook Academy of Art and a BA of Science from Kutztown University.
As curator for Reinberger Galleries for more than 20 years, Checefsky has been responsible for developing distinct exhibitions for CIA. He oversees the cultivation of new and unique shows for the galleries’ fall and spring shows, as well as the coordination of annual shows including the Faculty Exhibition, Student Independent Exhibition and the Student Summer Show. He has curated over 80 national and international exhibitions of contemporary art, film and design, and he has published articles, reviews and essays on contemporary photography and film. He is an adjunct professor in the Liberal Arts department, teaching courses in film and museum studies.expand collapse