Exhibit will focus on "Vision of Cleveland"
by Rory Doyle
Sep 10, 2012 | 1535 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
About a year ago local artist Cetin Oguz began shaping ideas for a project known as Flight 2020: The Vision of Cleveland.

On Tuesday, Sept. 11 the Delta Arts Alliance will feature an exhibition of artwork representative of the community's futuristic visions hosted inside the Ellis Theatre.

For the past few weeks five local restaurants have hosted boxes where patrons filled out cards to describe changes they hope to see by the year 2020. Suggestions have included improvements to city parks and playgrounds, adding bike lanes to streets, solar panels on houses, a recycling program, increased tourism, more public art and a greater appreciation for diversity.

These ideas will be represented in the artwork displayed at the exhibit.

"These responses are very valuable because they really speak the mind of a lot of people," said Oguz.

For Oguz, the show is the beginning of a progressive movement.

"To me this exhibition is just the start. The whole intention is to begin talking and planning our future. It's extremely important the community gets involved."

The concept for the project began when Oguz, also an art professor at Delta State University, started questioning his role as an artist and member of the local society.

"I've always questioned the role of an artist — whether it's producing paintings, drawings sculpture or any form of art," he said. "But then I started questioning my role as a citizen too. I would ask myself, 'How can I be productive as an artist and at the same time promote social change?'

"When I started doing that is when I came up with the idea for this project. Flight 2020 is basically asking people what they want to see for our town."

Oguz, event curator, said the gallery is a creative way to combine the communal visions.

"What I've realized is we have great thinkers in this community and this project pretty much brings everyone together," he added. "It goes beyond art for art's sake and it leads to action."

Artists on display will include local architect Ross Barkley; New York artist Luba Lukova; Peter Jenkins, photographer and author of "Walk Across America;" James Moss, painter; and others. Work from local students will also be on display.

For more information visit the movement's Facebook page under the listing "Flight 2020: The Vision of Cleveland."

"It's very important that people share and like the Facebook page because it signifies approval of this project," said Oguz.

The exhibit will open at 6 p.m. on Tuesday and will be on display until Oct. 26.

Following the exhibit Oguz will help form a group to keep the aspirations of Flight 2020 active.

"We're planning to bring people together and set up a committee that will help pursue these ideas," he said. "The greater the participation from the community the more promising this project can be. It seems like the dots are connecting and coming together. My hope is that we can really unite and act as a proud community."