The executive director for Waterloo Arts previews the 2019 Waterloo Arts Juried Exhibition, which opens June 7 with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m.

What can visitors look forward to from the 2019 Waterloo Arts Juried Exhibition?

Waterloo Arts has been fortunate to have excellent jurors and really good artists applying for this exhibit each year, so the flavor of the show changes with each juror’s interests but the work is consistently good. And since most of the shows we do throughout the year are solo or small group shows, the Juried Exhibition is an opportunity to see a large variety of work in many different styles.

While we do have repeat artists who have been selected for multiple shows, it is exciting to see work come in from artists we are unfamiliar with. The majority of artists are from Ohio but we do a national call, so this year there is work from 16 other states as well.

For visitors who have never been to the Waterloo Arts District, this opening is a nice one to start with because it is shown in three galleries within walking distance during our monthly art walk and marks the first night of live music on the Tower Stage outside of Waterloo Arts gallery.

This is a single exhibition but it’s on view at three galleries: Waterloo Arts, BRICK Ceramic + Design Studio and Praxis Fiber Workshop. How did expanding its footprint a few years ago improve what it offers artists and viewers?

Expanding the show into the galleries of Praxis and BRICK allowed us to accept more than twice the number of artists as in previous years. Also, partnering with BRICK and Praxis raised awareness of the show with fiber and ceramic artists, so our submissions now include a more diverse media mix. And finally, this show draws many new visitors to the neighborhood, and because BRICK and Praxis bookend the arts district and Waterloo Arts is in the center, displaying in all three galleries helps visitors get to know our walkable neighborhood.

Pieces on display at BRICK during the 2018 Waterloo Arts Juried Exhibition. | Photos by Amber N. Ford.

What can you tell us about this year’s juror, artist Anthony Mastromatteo?

Mastromatteo is a professional artist living in Akron who was trained using the methodology of the French Academy and the French atelier system of the 18th and 19th centuries. He studied at Water Street Atelier in New York, and after completing his studies in 2002, began his career as a full-time painter.

Prior to his art practice, Mastromatteo received a bachelor of arts degree in art history from Princeton and had a position at Christie’s auction house in New York City in the American Paintings, 19th Century Paintings and Maritime Paintings and Objects departments. He brings to the juried show both the perspective of a painter and an understanding of the history and context of art.

Anthony enjoys discussing art, philosophy, science, literature, economics and many other topics, so readers should not miss the opportunity to engage him in conversation during the opening reception. As a result of the many conversations I have had with Mastromatteo in preparation for this exhibit, we are exploring ways to partner in arts education in the future.

Visitors examine a piece at Waterloo Arts Gallery during the 2018 Waterloo Arts Juried Exhibition.

The exhibition opens during Walk All Over Waterloo, the district’s monthly first Friday art walk. After visitors have taken in the exhibition, where else can they visit and what else can they explore?

Some of the other galleries on Waterloo that visitors might want to check out are Matt Shiffler Photography, Six Shooter Coffee, Voss/Edwards Studio, Framed Gallery, Article and the Phone Gallery. This summer’s Tower Stage Concert Series, sponsored by Cleveland Rocks: Past, Present and Future, will launch during June’s Walk All Over Waterloo, with John McGrail and Friends playing at 6 p.m. and the David Smeltz Trio at 7 p.m. 

If you arrive hungry, Citizen Pie offers the best pizza in Cleveland, and Callaloo Café has great grilled chicken and vegetarian options. Wind down the evening by gathering in one of the pubs to enjoy more live music or catch a show at the Beachland Ballroom and Tavern. 

Those who can’t attend the opening of the Waterloo Arts Juried Exhibition can see the show if they attend the Waterloo Arts Fest on June 29. Will you provide details about the festival and describe its artistic, musical and family-friendly offerings?

The Waterloo Arts Fest is our neighborhood’s annual summer arts bash featuring seven hours of music, food and engaging art activities for all ages. Waterloo Road is closed from Praxis Fiber Workshop down to BRICK Ceramic to accommodate seven stages of music, art and food vendors, street performers and lots of hands-on art making. You can try weaving, ceramics, painting and many other activities designed to get those creative juices flowing for both adults and kids.

The Waterloo Arts Fest takes place from noon to 7 p.m., and for easy access, if traveling by car, catch our free shuttle from the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. Bicyclers will find ample parking throughout the event. CV

Lead image taken in the Waterloo Arts Gallery during the 2018 Waterloo Arts Juried Exhibition.