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SPACES is the resource and public forum for artists who explore and experiment.

A LITTLE ABOUT US (what we do)

SPACES commissions artists from around the world—at all stages of their careers—to make new work that is responsive to timely issues. We use these projects as a jumping off point to create educational initiatives that help develop a more informed citizenry. We also distribute grants to artists outside of our residency and exhibition programs.

Read more about our programs and their impact in the following annual reports: 2018201720162015, and 2014.

At the end of 2018 SPACES completed a 5-year strategic plan, which you can read here.

Photograph of SPACES building exterior at night time.


SPACES has been challenging the status quo since its initial gathering of artists on May 25, 1978, initiated by founder James Rosenberger. The typewritten invitation that brought together 35 artists appealed to those “with an interest in creating and presenting new art” and who needed “outlets for their creative energies.” It laid the groundwork for an organization that would support artists with unwavering dedication for the next 4 decades.

Early directors Rob Mihaly and Jane Farver codified SPACES’ artist-driven nature by developing an interconnected community through barrier-free access to—and production of—contemporary culture.During Susan Channing’s 21 year-long tenure as Executive Director, SPACES purchased our first building and expanded programming, including the signature SWAP Artist-in-Residenc program.

From 2008 - 2013, Christopher Lynn carried out a strategic plan, renovated the gallery, redesigned visual identities, and debuted a new website and experimental video art screening program. Christina Vassallo led SPACES from 2014 to 2019, including a $3.5M comprehensive capital & endowment campaign and 2016 relocation, addition of a new residency for art writers, and some of our most ambitious exhibitions to date.

2020 is underway with Megan Young at the helm as Interim Director, overseeing the second year of SPACES regranting initiatives providing project based funds to local artists, and leading a full roster of inspiring exhibitions. 

Spaces cleveland old documents and storefront

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