by Julia Jamrozik and Coryn Kempster

commissioned by LAND studio, Cleveland, OH

Photos by: Bob Perkoski, Coryn Kempster, John Theobald

In a time of political and social disunity, Dialogue, a temporary art installation in the Cleveland Public Library’s Eastman Reading Garden, brings together both friends and strangers. With their new public artwork, artists Julia Jamrozik and Coryn Kempster hope to spark conversation outside the boundaries of individual comfort zones.  Dialogue’s brightly colored interlaced sound tubes arranged in a circle encourage communication and moments of spontaneous interaction.

Public space has always offered opportunities to encounter strangers, and yet, individuals sharing public space usually remain unknown to each other, a situation compounded by the prevalent distraction of portable technologies. Between the current political climate and the echo chambers of our social media-driven worldviews, the need for communication is paramount and Dialogue offers a way to get it started. The 10-foot-tall and 50-foot-wide pink and red structure aims to create conversations ranging in length and seriousness. Through simple dialogue, the connection to others in public space can begin to take shape.

Besides providing a means to converse, Dialogue also offers garden visitors something to talk about. Those viewing it as an artwork may notice that, despite its role as a playful sculpture, it strikes an elegant, formal pose. The structure will prompt consideration into how it was constructed and threaded among the garden’s trees and furnishings.   

Dialogue was conceived by Jamrozik and Kempster (www.ck-jj.com), Canadian artists and designers based in Buffalo, New York. Working together in a broad range of media, they endeavor to create spaces, objects, and situations that interrupt the ordinary in a critically engaging and playful way.

Each summer, local Cleveland nonprofit LAND studio partners with the Cleveland Public Library to bring creative, innovative, and thought-provoking works of art to the library’s Eastman Reading Garden through a program named See Also. Dialogue is the eighth installation in this series. The term “see also” refers to an idea in library cataloging, which essentially means “look here, but also look for these related terms that cover similar topics.” Connecting a wide range of subjects and ideas to one another through artwork helps strengthen the Library’s dedication to providing information, programs, and materials that are interactive and engaging to the public. Using the term “see also” is a way of connecting people to the past in a forward-looking way.

See Also began in 2010 and is funded through an endowment established by the late Lockwood Thompson, a trustee of the Library and an avid art collector. The Lockwood Thompson Endowment Fund was created to improve access to contemporary art and culture for all Clevelanders. See Also was designed to engage with audiences in a new way by bringing temporary works of art to the reading garden every summer.
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Engage with Dialogue now through October in the garden, which is located at 325 Superior Avenue in downtown Cleveland. This project would not be possible without amazing partnerships. Thank you to the Cleveland Public Library, the Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation, and Republic Anode Fabricators. To learn more about this and other LAND studio projects visit www.land-studio.org

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