November 24, 2014
Video artist made productive use of her residency sponsored by the Cleveland Foundation
By Alyssa F. Brown
From trips to Presti’s Bakery and the thrift store, to a quick weekend visit to Chicago, CIA’s artist-in-residence Chi-Yu Liao didn’t waste a moment of her three-month stay in Cleveland. As one of the Cleveland Foundation’s fall cohort of Creative Fusion artists, Liao traveled from Taiwan in September to immerse herself in American culture.
She found a warm welcome here.
“I really appreciate CIA because they support me a lot,” Liao said during a panel discussion involving four of her six fellow Creative Fusion artists. “I really enjoyed the time and the experience to work with people here. It’s the first time I could work with other people and invite people to be my actors and my actresses.”
With her BFA in fine art, and MFA in media art, Liao brought a diverse artistic background and appreciated CIA’s artistic diversity, spending time in the painting studios, at lectures, events, sitting in on classes, and making video art with students.
On November 12, she presented several of her videos at a luncheon, open to students and faculty. “I work a lot with real-life experiences in my videos; that’s where I get most of my ideas from,” Liao told the gathering. Three of her videos, comprising "The Twinkle Series," are on display on monitors in the first floor of the Joseph McCullough Center for the Visual Arts through December 20.
While in Cleveland, Liao stayed in CIA’s brand new Uptown Residence Hall, where she took the time to get to know the students. “I always really enjoy meeting new people and having friends from different places,” she said, adding that she feels a close connection to the students at CIA. “Because I just graduated from college two years ago, I remember what that time was like. I am really familiar with the place these students are in their lives.”
Upon her return to Taiwan, Liao will be editing the footage she gathered here. “I have a solo exhibition in a Taipai fine art museum, so I will be preparing for that. I also have a little company that sells homemade peanut butter, so I will be working with that to bring in some extra money.”
Her parting advice to CIA students: stay very focused on your art, and spend a lot of time outside of class working on your craft. “You can definitely learn a lot from your classes, but spending time outside of class – a lot of time outside of class – is so important.”
The Cleveland Foundation’s Creative Fusion program brings up to six international artists to Northeast Ohio for three-month residencies each spring and fall. Invited artists come from cultures that are not well represented in Cleveland’s art community as a means of promoting cultural exchange.
“The opportunity of the program is to bring into a community artists, creative people, who come from cultural experiences that we may never have encountered,” said Kathleen Cerveny, director of institutional learning and arts initiatives for the Cleveland Foundation and a 1969 CIA graduate. These visiting artists give us “a chance to look at ourselves from a different perspective. And we think it’s a very valuable thing.”
Above: The Cleveland Foundation’s Creative Fusion artists gathered at CIA for a panel discussion during a snowstorm on Nov. 14. From left are: Meena Kayastha, a sculptor from Nepal in residence at Negative Space gallery; Chi-Yu Liao, a video artist from Taiwan in residence at CIA for the entire fall semester; Kathleen Cerveny ’69, director of institutional learning and arts initiatives for the Cleveland Foundation; Dale Yudelman, a photographer from South Africa in residence at Waterloo Arts; Pablo Serra, a visual artist from Chile in residence at Cleveland Print Room; and Nichole Woods ’12, CIA’s visiting artist coordinator. On the screen behind them are stills from Liao's video work. Missing from this photograph are Anele Mhlahlo, a violinist from South Africa in residence at Rainey Institute; and Mi-Chen Chiu, a puppeteer from Taiwan in residence at the Center for Arts Inspired Learning.
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