Kaiser Gallery set to bring interdisciplinary art and education to Tremont

Tanya Kaiser, an artist, educator, and newly minted gallerist, is bringing international and interdisciplinary art to Clevelanders through the newly established Kaiser Gallery.

Photo courtesy Tanya Kaiser.

Photo courtesy Tanya Kaiser.

Tanya Kaiser, an artist, educator, and newly minted gallerist, is bringing international and interdisciplinary art to Clevelanders through the newly established Kaiser Gallery. The rented space in a building on Professor Avenue in Tremont will bring “a piece of Chelsea to Cleveland, a level of professionalism and interdisciplinarity, and international artists,” said Kaiser.

The artist previously lived in Long Island, New York but frequented New York City through her sculpting and ceramics practice, which addressed feminist conceptions of reproductive health. Inspired by her time in New York, Kaiser first envisioned someday opening a “hybrid gallery” model before moving to Cleveland. Kaiser found Cleveland to be a welcoming city with low barriers to opening a hybrid gallery—one that combines a traditional gallery, artworks for sale, and a nonprofit arm that provides public programming. 

Kaiser’s space in Tremont includes the Kaiser Gallery, as well as Kaiser Studios, which will feature artist panels, educational lectures related to exhibit topics, and arts workshops. She appreciates Tremont’s “eccentric quality,” finding it to be a neighborhood reminiscent of Brooklyn and supportive of art and collaboration.

Kaiser cites the slowed-down pace of life under the pandemic as conducive to realizing her long-held vision of starting her own gallery. “It’s definitely personally motivating because this is something I wanted for so long, and there’s never going to be the right time,” she said. “It’s easier to get investors, it’s easier to connect with people.”

Kaiser Gallery interior. Photo courtesy Tanya Kaiser.

Kaiser Gallery interior. Photo courtesy Tanya Kaiser.

Thanks to her vision and persistence, Clevelanders will soon be able to enjoy the new arts institution with its signature trendy twist—Kaiser Gallery will serve cocktails with flavors and ingredients curated to match the themes of the space’s interdisciplinary exhibits. Kaiser Gallery’s public programming will also invite Clevelanders to consider art through interdisciplinary perspectives related to contemporary issues, such as technology and gender. 

Kaiser hopes her innovative gallery will be open to the public before the end of January. She has already received approval from the Board of Zoning Appeals and is now waiting on inspection approval. When Kaiser Gallery opens, the first exhibit hosted will be SWITCH, a fusion of arts and technology using light as inspiration. For the foreseeable future, guests will need to make reservations in order to adhere to social distancing protocols necessitated by the ongoing pandemic.

After a hopeful opening later this month, Kaiser hopes that long-term success will allow her to expand the nonprofit educational offerings for all ages. She will incorporate STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) programming for school-aged youth, and aims to one day have an artist-in-residence as an integral part of this public programming.

Kaiser hopes that these interdisciplinary conversations and exhibit foci, combined with the expertly curated drinks by Kaiser Gallery’s staff mixologist, will attract visitors that might not typically be drawn to the arts. The mixologist has an arts background, and Kaiser says drinks will be designed to evoke themes expressed in exhibited work. Kaiser Gallery will also feature cheese platters and meat trays sourced from Slavic Village vendors, giving guests the chance to support multiple Cleveland businesses while they enjoy food, drinks, and the arts. 

In addition, Kaiser Gallery supports existing and emerging artists through its open calls for submissions, without any fees to submit. Exhibit materials are chosen through a blind selection process, which will help facilitate greater diversity in the racial and gender makeup of featured artists. 

Removing barriers to access and fostering inclusivity is a hallmark of Kaiser Gallery’s approach overall. The gallery features a statement of accountability on the home page of its website, which describes data collection practices that will be shared as a public record of racial and gender diversity of exhibits. Kaiser describes this as “a way to be accountable for our own actions, using statistics that will make us aware of how we are doing and allowing us to strive to be better.”

While “caution is the name of the game” at this point, she has high hopes for success and expansion going forward. Once the space is open after final inspection approval, the SWITCH exhibit will run through February 7th, 2021 and will be followed by “Coveted,” which explores “relationships, love, and desires” through the perspectives of “women, non-binary people, and marginalized members of all racial and cultural backgrounds.”

“Coveted” runs from February 13, 2021 through April 4, 2021. “DomesticLands,” which was originally set to open this year, will now open on April 9, 2021 and run through June 6, 2021. “DomesticLands” examines memories of the home as a place of simultaneous “joy and trauma.”

Kaiser Gallery is located at 2418 Professor Ave. and can be contacted here or by phone at 216/282-3826.

Natalie Ziegler recently completed the Cleveland Foundation’s Public Service Fellowship and is an aspiring researcher, writer, and community organizer passionate about community development, public health, and equity.

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