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June 30, 2014
'82 CIA grad directs show, '14 grad is scenic painter, other grads exhibit work in annual Cleveland Heights festival
By Carolyn Jack
It just kind of figures that the letters C, I and A would make up the bulk of Cain Park’s first name: Over the years, a slew of Cleveland Institute of Art alumni have been associated with the park’s summer arts events. When Cain Park’s 2014 Arts Festival opens Friday, July 11, for its annual long weekend of juried visual arts and crafts displayed under crisp white tents and cool green trees, at least eight CIA artists will be involved in the show, starting with George Kozmon ’82, the festival’s longtime director.
“We just want to show the audience the best of what is submitted,” Kozmon says of the jury process that resulted in the selection of a number of CIA graduates, including James Brown ’51, Carol Adams ’70, Patterson Petter ’91, Patti Fields ’90, Wayne Heim ’91, Pamela Pastoric ’77 and Yumiko Goto ’04.
They will join nearly 150 other artists of all kinds at the festival, which runs 3 pm-8 pm the first day; 10 am-8 pm Saturday, July 12; and noon-5 pm Sunday, July 13 at the park stretching between Taylor and Lee roads along Superior Road in Cleveland Heights. Admission is free to all on Friday; tickets for Saturday and Sunday are $5 for those 13 and older, with children 12 and under admitted free.
Kozmon has helped run the festival for over 20 years. He was only in high school when arts-festival founder Audrey Feinberg, mother of two of Kozmon’s Cleveland Heights schoolmates, invited him to show his work at the park’s art gallery, he recalls. Some years later, Audrey’s husband, Harvey Feinberg, took over the park’s visual-arts programming and asked Kozmon to serve as art coordinator; when Harvey died 12 years ago, “the directorship, in essence, fell into my lap,” Kozmon says.
For him, “every festival is different,’ with jury members chosen from among Northeast Ohio’s many outstanding individual artists and fine-arts institutions, and artists selected for the high quality, originality, and concepts of their work. “What I bring to the table is perspective as an artist,” which gives him insight into how other artists would want their work presented, Kozmon explains.
But CIA’s connections to Cain Park aren’t limited by the gallery walls: Alumni are also turning up on the performance side of the park’s summer-long events schedule, which features theater, dance and live music. At Cain, Sarah Siertle ’14 found the bridge she was looking for between graphic design and theatrical scenic design, becoming a sought-after scenic painter after a park internship allowed her to prove her skills to some of the area’s top theatrical designers and directors.
“By the end, they were fighting over who got to hire me,” she reports happily. Siertle likes doing set-up for the big art show, too. “The Arts Festival is so much fun to work. It’s really nice.”
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