By Michael C. Butz
Art is essential to society’s ability to progress. No other medium, no other manner of communication so effectively or powerfully prompts critical reflection while also envisioning what could be. Art can both protest power structures and lower barriers of entry to the marginalized. It can question authority and call for action. Certain art doesn’t just grab your attention, it sends a message, resonates and instills a sense of possibility. It compels viewers beyond knowing and understanding something to feeling and experiencing it.
Northeast Ohio is home to several artists whose practices take on matters of both local and global importance. These artists grapple with racial and gender equality, attempt to reframe issues of immigration and sound the alarm regarding the environment. These artists’ work is varied but shares potency and purpose. They’re on the front line of the debate. They’re educating viewers and evoking a response.
They are agents of change.