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Notre Dame College Presents “Portraits of Improvisation,” Linoleum Block Prints by Shyvonne Coleman

Opening Public Reception for Renowned Cleveland Heights Artist Slated for September 19

9/16/2013, 12:35 p.m.

September 2013—Notre Dame College’s Clara Fritzsche Library will host “Portraits of Improvisation,” a showing of linoleum block prints by local artist, fashion designer and Notre Dame College alumna Shyvonne Coleman. An free, public opening reception will be held in the library on Thursday, September 19, from 6- 8 p.m.

The exhibit also is free and open to the public and will run from September 19 through October 19, 2013.

Although most of her experience has been as a ceramics sculptor, last summer Coleman created her first collection of linoleum prints inspired by photographs she took of jazz performers at clubs, festivals, jam sessions and concerts in the Midwest and on the East Coast.

Influenced by the styles of artists Elizabeth Catlett and Charles White, whose linoleum prints juxtapose positive and negative spaces in their work, she applies similar techniques in her prints to depict the rhythmic energy of the musicians caught in mid-motion. Coleman’s prints of jazz musicians combine dramatic composition with textured patterns; soft, delicate scored lines; and rough spaces carved into the linoleum to create a visual representation of the sounds of their music.

Collectively these prints reflect her observation of the passion, emotion and intelligence that drive these jazz performers.

Born in Royal Leamington Spa, England, Coleman’s family moved to associate and bachelor’s degrees in fashion design and product design at The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. After graduation, she worked for several years as a designer in Manhattan, travelling extensively to Hong Kong, Korea and Taiwan. She returned to Cleveland Heights in the early 1990s to teach at Kent State University’s Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising, while obtaining her master’s degree in art history from Kent State.

Upon graduation, she decided that she wanted to teach art to younger students and earned a teaching certificate in art and an endorsement in technology from Notre Dame while working in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. For the past 10 years, she has taught art to middle school students in Euclid, Ohio. Coleman has exhibited extensively and has received many awards for her work. She frequently shows her pieces at Cuyahoga Community College’s Gallery East and is a regular participant in its Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition, where she has won two Ceramic Awards and a Certificate of Merit for Exemplary Artwork. She was one of five artists featured at Gallery East’s “Personal Expressions 2012-13” show, where her jazz prints were first introduced. She has also had pieces on display in the Cleveland Public Library-Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch’s Annual African American Art Show and the Artists Archives of the Western Reserve Spring Members’ Show.

This year, Coleman was selected as Tri-C’s representative for the 27th Annual League for Innovation Student Art Competition and received a Certificate of National Merit for her entry entitled “Saxophone at Ortliebs.” The print captures a musician performing his solo at Ortliebs, a jazz club in Philadelphia, and is featured in the League’s catalog. This piece also will be on display in her solo show at Notre Dame.

The exhibit may be viewed during library hours: Monday-Thursday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Sunday 1-10 p.m. For further information about the show, contact Karen Zoller at 216.373.5267 or kzoller@ndc.edu.

Notre Dame College is located at 4545 College Road in South Euclid.