Beachwood Arts Council brings art in every form to the masses

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Art exhibits, workshops and concerts are hosted by Beachwood Arts Council at the Beachwood Community Center.

By Mary Malik

Exposure to world-class art is closer than you think. Beachwood Arts Council has dedicated itself to promoting the visual and performing arts since the council’s inception in 1964. And they’re getting better at it all the time.

“Beachwood Arts Council serves all of Northeast Ohio, and all ages,” says council president Paula Rollins.

“The non-profit council focuses on visual arts, performance arts, music, museum and garden tours and more. We offer programs and workshops for every age.”

Let’s start with the kids. Every year the council sponsors the Beachwood K-12 Art Show and Music Program and the Ileen Kelner Juried High School Art Show.

“The Beachwood K-12 show features the artwork of Beachwood students, and the Ileen Kelner Juried High School Art Show includes artwork from students representing over 25 area high schools,” says Leah Gilbert, chair of the art exhibition committee.

“Works include paintings, sculpture, photography and fiber art and are judged by professionals in the Cleveland art world.”

Over three years ago, Marty Flowerman, along with his wife Barbara, joined the board of Beachwood Arts Council after more than 40 years as a bassist with the Cleveland Orchestra. The board wanted to add live music performances to their offerings.

“I was asked about starting a music committee and Music & Motion was born,” says Marty. “We get musicians playing all different styles of music to appeal to a wide audience.”

The live performances have included the Cleveland Youth Ballet, classical musicians from the Cleveland Orchestra, bluegrass musicians, jazz and classical pianists and more.

“We work hard to make these programs not just popular but also educational,” says Sharon Schlesinger, Marty’s co-chair. “And, we pack the house.”

Taking advantage of all that Beachwood Arts Council has to offer involves more than looking and listening. There’s a lot of doing going on.

“Artists in various mediums give lectures before leading a workshop where you try your hand at your own project,” says Paula. “Fiber artist Gunter Schwegler conducted a silk scarf painting workshop that was extremely popular.”

That’s the goal of Beachwood Arts Council, to promote and celebrate the arts and just maybe help you discover the artist in you. Exhibits, workshops and concerts take place at the Beachwood Community Center.

“We have a great partnership with the City of Beachwood,” says Paula. “We share the gallery space and use of the community center building allowing us to offer so much more.”

Tobi Mattes, sponsorship chair, works hard reaching out to the community to raise money for projects.

“None of what we do could be possible without corporate and individual sponsors, as well as grants from Ohio Arts Council and Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, which support our music and dance performances,” says Tobi. “It’s a wonderful way to show you are responsive to the arts in your community.”

And getting the word out about Beachwood Arts Council is a busy job for the chair of the public relations committee.

“We work hard to attract a diverse population from all over Northeast Ohio,” says Paula. “Cleveland is an arts town. And you don’t have to go downtown to experience world-class art and music. We are proud to offer it here every day.”

Beachwood Arts Council is located at 25225 Fairmount Blvd. in Beachwood. For more information on sponsorships, volunteering and events, call 216-595-3400, check the website, or check out Beachwood Arts Council on Facebook.