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Parade History

2013—Sol de Luna Nueva (Sunshine of the New Moon)

Throughout time humans have been looking around and appropriating both raw materials and "ready mades" to help create the world they want to live in. Enterprising individuals in contemporary times weave plastic grocery bags into rugs and sew juice boxes into market bags. We are no longer surprised when artists turn discarded items into sculpture or utilize newspaper print and magazine imagery in collages. More surprising is how far back in art history artists have found creative inspiration from unlikely sources. An annotated guide introduced works in the CMA collection that illuminate this practice.

2012—Branches Become Roots Cycles: Coming Back/Going Forward

A sense of place—an artist’s response to a familiar landscape or an exotic new locale—is a recurring theme throughout art history and in the galleries of the Cleveland Museum of Art.

As Greater Clevelanders, we are acutely aware of changes in our communities. Even decline becomes an opportunity for rebirth.

As plants, and organizations too, branch out, the branches themselves sometimes grow roots, becoming self-sustaining in a new environment while maintaining ties to their original source. In this way we support ourselves and each other and enable our community to flourish.

2011—Voices among Voices

Twenty-first-century artists create from within a global village. Whether we travel physically or connect electronically, our environment has expanded, allowing us to experience cultures, customs, and traditions that we previously could only imagine. Each new encounter may amaze us, challenge us, and stimulate us to respond with our own song.

The Cleveland Museum of Art stands as a metaphor for this wider world. Each gallery offers new cultures, new techniques, and new points of view to inspire us.

In spring 2011 we will have opportunities to enjoy South African art from the past century in the museum’s east wing and to meet contemporary South African artists. Parade the Circle will welcome three artists from Les Grandes Personnes d’Afrique of Johannesburg, South Africa, who will work in tandem with two artists from the parent company Les Grandes Personnes of Aubervilliers, France. We invite you to add your voice to this artistic chorus.

2010—Zounou Younou Hèrè, Une Porte S’Ouvre, A Door Opens

A door, a portal, a port—a marker of coming and going, welcoming and saying good-bye.

A beginning of sharing culture and tradition, creativity and innovation.

In late June 2010, the Cleveland Museum of Art opens its newest door, unveiling reinstalled galleries on the lower level of the original 1916 building. These galleries showcase the museum’s collections of the ancient art of Egypt, the Near East, Greece, and Rome; the arts of late antiquity, the Byzantine Empire, and the European Middle Ages; as well as the collection of African art.

The art objects in these collections were once integral to living cultures, and many were used actively in daily life, ceremonies, rituals, and festivals. What a perfect opportunity for Parade the Circle, a Cleveland tradition of ritual and celebration, to recognize this portal of cultural exchange. African mask makers, musicians, and dancers from Burkina Faso will share the living traditions of the Bwa people with Cleveland and enliven Parade 2010.

2009—Chiaroscuro: Beguiling the Penumbra

The 20th Parade the Circle precedes by two weeks the public opening of the museum's East Wing. This year's Parade theme highlights both the exterior and the collections of the East Wing.

One of the most evocative terms in the art lexicon, chiaroscuro illuminates the myriad ways artists render contrasts of light and shadow in a creative work. Whether exploring light and shadow, the interplay of dissimilar elements or what exists in partial shadow, within chiaroscuro lies the penumbra, the area between light and shadow.

In literature or art the penumbra also refers to that which cannot be defined as either real or fantasy; it is the area where dreams, daydreams, our muses and inspirations reside. One of the most difficult challenges an artist faces is to draw out the essence of an inspiration and develop it into a sculpture, painting, poem, dance or parade ensemble. Each creative individual must "beguile the penumbra" in their own unique way.

As the Cleveland Museum of Art prepared to open its new East Wing galleries, the chiaroscuro of the East Wing's exterior, its dark and light stripes, led us to the penumbra within, and helped us mine these artistic treasures for inspiration. As we realized our personal artistic visions, we shared them with all Greater Clevelanders in the 20th annual Parade the Circle.

2008—Skipping the Muse: Running the Fiddle

Artist> Muse> Ruminate> Create> a parade... a museum

The creative process begins with the Muse, the vision, frequently something on the periphery of our conscious awareness; then comes the fiddling with the idea, sifting its many parts like grains of sand, arranging them until everything finds its proper relationship and weight; finally committed to the statement, the artist "runs with it,” putting paint to canvas.

With its renovation and expansion project, the museum, literally “temple of the muses,” followed this same process. Now with the vision and the deliberating essentially complete, the commitment has been made, the skipping has picked up steam, and the running is underway.

2007—Symbiosis

A lyrical discord of harmonius contradictions

2006—Seny/Rauxa

natural wisdom supporting an exuberant spirit

In Catalonia, Spain, two components form the Catalan personality: seny, an instinctive and reliable sense of order, couples with rauxa, an ebullient spirit and love of almost excessive gaiety and frivolity both in life and in the arts. These complementary elements formed the basis for Modernism, the art movement centered in Barcelona, which brought us Gaudí as well as Dalí, Miro, and Picasso. The Cleveland Museum of Art reopened with the special exhibition Barcelona & Modernity, October 15, 2006-January 7, 2007.

2005—Inside Out

Inside out and upside down,
The pimply faced boy is wearing the crown.
It sounds like a verb, but it's really a noun.
Outside in and upside down

Inside out and upside down
Only the mystic is wearing a gown.
It feels like it's pink, but is actually brown.
Outside in and upside down