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Sankofa invites local artists to create, install Ruby Dee Mural at Karamu House

7/18/2013, 6:25 a.m.
Karamu House will be forever changed once a beloved alumnus returns to the historic theater for a final encore.

Cleveland, OH – Karamu House will be forever changed once a beloved alumnus returns to the historic theater for a final encore.

Sankofa Fine Art Plus has commissioned nationally renowned muralist, Kent Twitchell, to work with select local artists and community members to honor one of Karamu House’s most successful alumni, Ruby Dee.

As part of Sankofa’s mural project, titled “Artovation,” the legendary stage and screen actress will be immortalized on the west-facing wall of the historic African-American playhouse in Cleveland’s Fairfax neighborhood.

Twitchell will lead the artist apprentices in the creation and installation of the 40-foot by 36-foot mural of Ruby Dee from July 8 to 21 on the outside of the theater, located at 2355 E. 89th St. The apprentices will learn Twitchell’s unique “Grid System” mural-painting method. He has used the method to create life-like monuments to such American cultural heroes as Michael Jackson, Julius “Dr. J” Irving and the late screen legend, Steve McQueen. Non-artists from the community are also invited to participate in painting smaller portions of the mural.

The Artovation project is supported by Presenting Sponsor, J. P. Morgan Chase, as well as The George Gund Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, PNC Bank, Deaconess Community Foundation, Charter One Bank, United Black Fund, Dominion Foundation, Parker Hannifin, The Cobalt Group, the Adcom Group Inc., Sherwin-Williams, the Ohio Arts Council and Excellence Management Group.

Twitchell is a faculty member at the Fresco School in Los Angeles, the only art school offering curriculum in true fresco techniques and mural painting. His monumental murals have become tourist attractions in Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

For apprenticeship registration information, or to learn how to support this major effort, call Sankofa at (216) 200-6737 or e-mail Sankofa at info@sankofafineartplus.org.

Founded in 1999, Sankofa Fine Art Plus is a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing, educating and advocating for African American and other underrepresented visual artists through community collaboration. Sankofa receives public support with local tax dollars from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture to preserve and enrich our region's artistic and cultural heritage.