2018. Because Rooms to Let always reminds me of the inequities of class in the United States, especially evident during the recent foreclosure crisis, I decided to make an installation in the kitchen of the house at 6720 Foreman Ave. that explores some of the ways we consume food, drink, and culture and what that reveals about our society. In recreating the kitchen I focused on the triangle of operation in an American kitchen: the refrigerator, sink, and stove. Then I created three videos, one for each appliance. For the refrigerator I chose to bring back a piece I originally made for the show "Frigidart" curated by Daiv Whaley at Dana Depew's long gone Asterisk Gallery in Tremont. The piece is called "Eat, Eat Eat the American Way" and explores our many problems of consumption as we relate to food. For the sink I thought about the quality of drinking water that comes through our pipes into our sinks. This piece I call "Water is Life." For the stove I have made a piece titled "Melting Pot." It shows the history of different cultures coming to our country and how, even though there is an initial period of distrust in the new stranger, we inevitably accept one another and how our foods bring us together. I also thought there should be art hanging on the kitchen wall, so I framed a collage that I made during high school titled "Heat and Serve Isn't the Best Part, Eating Is'nt the Best Part" and I created a digital needlepoint of "Eat the Rich" to go above the stove.
2017. A room installation for Rooms to Let, Slavic Village. In past Rooms to Let installations I have addressed the culture of the Slavic people who settled into this area (2014, 2015) and, last year (2016) the effects of the mortgage crisis which caused the great decimation of the neighborhood for its more current population. In each case I focused on the people of Slavic Village and what their lives were like. I thought I would address the same concerns this year. However, my installations are also site specific. I see a space and I respond. Although my past three installations have been responses to the inhabitants of these spaces, this year the space asked me to respond differently. I responded to the structure of the house itself. I saw the deterioration of the wall and I imagined what many days of water intrusion would be like for the house. I saw a wall of water flowing into the house and how lack of maintenance would destroy the wall, destroy the house, and turn it from a structure of shelter, to return it to an object of nature. A wall of water, a waterfall. Items included from the site were the roll of felt used to cover the window, some wood used on the shelf, and a mirror found in the front room.
2016. A room installation for Rooms to Let, Slavic Village. Initially I wanted to make a piece to honor the Slavic culture of the area, as I have in past Rooms to Let installations. However, when I chose my space, the room began to speak to me. It is so dark and cave-like. It began to conjure up ideas of Platoâï¿½ï¿½s cave, of nightmares, of entering the sub conscious. So I shifted. I thought of laying in bed at night as a child and fears in the dark and feeling that everywhere in the room eyes were watching me. That reminded me of the Salvador Daliâï¿½ï¿½ dream sequence in the 1945 Hitchcock movie Spellbound where Daliâï¿½ï¿½ created a film montage of scary eyeballs, clocks, scissors, etc. I decided to make an installation where the eyeballs would surround the viewer, on individual recycled tv sets around the room. This triggered the idea of the Zora Neale Hurston novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God and I realized I could make this nightmare a commentary on the foreclosure crisis that hit Slavic Village most harshly. But I didnâï¿½ï¿½t want to be too heavy handed in this. So I decided to add light narrative elements in the form of sound effects and ambient sounds to recall moments of life and crisis and the past in Slavic Village to create for the viewer an experience either as a personal nightmare or that would serve as a reminder and warning of what has been and what should never be ignored in the future. For the many eyes I elicited the participation of E. 54 St neighbors as well as artists and area students working on the artist site houses for this yearâï¿½ï¿½s Rooms to Let.
2015. A room installation for Slavic Village, Rooms to Let. I created a room of 5 women of Slavic descent- one Sebian, one Czech, one of Czech, Polish descent, one Polish, one Croatian. Each speaking her own native language. They were grouped as friends in conversation, as one woman ironed clothes. The room became a cacophony of voices blending as in music. Each woman was made from boxes and pedestals costumed in her mother dress, a TV set sideways became her head. The TV displayed a closeup of her face from a recorded interview. The TV was tied with a babushka. As in a round, every so often a woman would break into refrain from the Kate Bush song, "Babushka, Babushka, Babushka ya ya." The room was further decorated with flags of their nations and items of clothing hung on the walls. ...Babushka photo by Steve Wagner
2014. A room installation for Slavic Village, Rooms to Let. A living room is the space where families congregate. It is where many families hold the special moments in life. To celebrate the people who used to live here, I projected life size images of Bohemian people dancing in their ethnic costumes. The room contained three other video screens, one with the object mappings of Leigh Silverblatt, one with a slideshow of the Polish family who used to live there, the other with a slideshow of images of my ancestors, from the era when the area was their home. The room had other objects and a bit of furniture to bring to life a scenario of a family. The house was that of a Polish worker and his family. My own family lived further out on Union and also off Kinsman. I created my grandmother's living room. I dressed in the costume of a Bohemian woman of a century back, to honor my family roots. ...vimeo wall projection Rooms to Let
2014. A looping video recreation shot in 16 mm B&W film, then digitized, which told the story of a mother's loss. Created for the show, Hidden Mother at the Cleveland Print Room. "Hidden Mothers" were vernacular photo portraits created in the late 1800s through the early 1900s. During that time long exposures were required. Thus, mothers often had to hold young children for long times, as their portraits were made. Then the women were cropped out of the photo. To conceal them more, the mothers were often covered with a cloth. I chose to recreate the experience of a young mother whose baby died before a photo had been made - a very common experience then due to high childhood mortality. The mothers would have to go to a photographer's studio to make a memorial portrait while holding their dead baby. I hand processed the film to give it the look of old, found footage. Then I digitize it and put it in a photo frame on the wall, to create the look of a moving Hidden Mother. ...vimeo Hidden Mother
2013. Three screen triptych of my life. Dreams of My Past are excerpts of several films and videos I have produced over many years as related to personal history. Delusions I Have Encountered was an idea I had one day while brushing my teeth. The Future as I Have Seen It is a spiritual yet realistic look at what lies ahead. Boddhisatva. The remnants of recent loss. ...vimeo Pt.2 Delusions
2011/12. An 18 screen video installation made for a New Year's Eve event, Full Circle, at the West 78th St. Galleries, which was a sort of "Happening." Approx. 20 participating artists created installations and activities to celebrate the end of the Mayan calender and "the end of the world" as we know it. The exhibit continued through the month of January 2012. Prayer...on the Eve of Destruction was a meditation on the questions of our continuing existence on this planet. Text from the Heart Sutra. The Meditation Screens (9 of the monitors) displayed Ms. Penter's footage of the beauty and power of nature when we are in balance. The Activation Screens (9 more of the monitors) displayed a combination of Ms. Penter's footage and found footage showing life on this planet when we are not in balance and serve as a warning. The two opposing sets of "screens" work together as a puzzle and a call for action. Only we can determine the outcome....vimeo Prayer on the Eve: the Meditation screens
2011. A video installation combining Ephemere (the daughter), Etoilee (spinning light), and Eternelle (the mother). As part of 48 Hours of Making Art, Lake Erie College. ...vimeo Mother, Daughter Triptych
2011. Part of the exhibition, Video Fall-Out, curated by Ms Penter working with Independent Pictures and Arts Collinwood at the Bank on Waterloo Rd. Video Fall-Out featured 23 video installations by 22 artists. Homage to the Beachland honored the Beachland Ballroom, the neighborhood anchor and hot music spot down the street. It was comprised of a wall collage of the Beachland's iconic stage with three monitors in front displaying performances by bands who played the stage, recorded in various ways-- one animated from stills, one videotaped, and one recorded on a flip phone. This piece was also exhibited at Gallery Space Rock during its initial show. ...flickr pic Homage...
2011. An installation of videos by 12 area artists, curated and executed by Cynthia Penter for the Ingenuity Arts and Technology Festival, Cleveland, Ohio. Each artist was asked to make a video using local music and an area location to highlight. Ms Penter installed these under the Detroit Superior Bridge along with a kaliedescopic wall projection as part of the weekend long festival. A google map of the videos placed on location is also available at Rock That Spot....Ramblin the Flats prototype for Rock That Spot ...or Google map of Rock That Spot
2011. Cleveland Public Theatre, DanceWorks series. Produced 5 short video pieces in collaboration with the group, Antaeus Dance for installation with their dance performances at CPT DanceWorks series. This also exhibited at Allegheny College, Meadville, Pa....review Prospect and Refuge ...Prospect & Refuge excerpts
25 min. loop, 2001, revised 2011. An installation piece that humorously explores the relationship between what we perceive as the feminine and the divine. Created as an interactive video that references old- time arcade fortune telling machines and installed as a sort of kitsch altar, this piece features a nude earth goddess who can grant or deny your requests. Performed at Pandemonium, CPT 2011. Originally created for the show, The Divine Feminine, shown in Kent and later at Gallery U in Cleveland.
Video installation, 2010. From Referential : Homage.Montage.Sabotage. The exhibit was curated by Cynthia Penter at Asterisk Gallery....vimeo Hylas excerpt
Looping video, 2010. This tableau vivant is based on the 19th century photograph of Vera Fedorovna Komissarzhevskaya, a famous actress said to have inspired Boris Pasternak when he created Lara in Dr. Zhivago. The photo, author unknown, was used as a point of departure for the video which was created. We were inspired by the mother of a student who is quadrapalegic, therefore we chose to update the book in the photo to a laptop and to show the motorized wheelchair. This piece was designed and produced in collaboration with the Digital Arts class of Hiram College.: Linda Bourassa (professor), Kayla Burkett, Katie Engstrom, Shalimma Fadzl, Sydney Kispert-Bostick, Ian McGuire, and Velvet Wainwright. Also assisting were Debbie Burkett, Kris Grady, Alex Gill, Eric Klauptstein, and Nicholas Linko. Set design and procurement of props was aided by members of the Senior Studio class of Chris Ryan: Charley McQueary and Katie Engstrom. Made possible by a grant from Building Community Through the Arts, Hiram College Artist residency, February 2010. Also exhibited at Referential : Homage.Montage.Sabotage. ...vimeo Mother and Child
2009. Video installation created in a refrigerator door as part of the exhibition Frigidart, refrigerator doors altered by artists at Asterisk Gallery.
2009. A video installation of images of subway cars and riders from the past, installed as part of The Bridge Project under the Detroit Superior Bridge, Cleveland, Ohio. ...vimeo Illuminating the Past
Video Installation, 2009. From Temporality, Spirit of the World. Brandt Gallery one woman exhibition of video and photographs. Also installed at Annual Tri-C Faculty Art Show 2009. ...vimeo Altar
Video installation, 2009. From Temporality, Spirit of the World. Brandt Gallery one woman exhibition of video and photographs....vimeo Duality
Video installation, 2007. A life size projection with sound and glitter. Memories of my daughter, originally shot in 16mm B&W film, then transferred to digital format and manipulated in time. A moving photograph....youtube Ephemere
Video installation, 2005 Juliet appears on the balcony next to the stage at the architecturally beautiful Gordon Square Theater. She beckons, she calls out, she stamps her feet and leaves, only to reappear 30 seconds later, even more agitated. Juliet is a 20-minute video loop, back projected onto a mylar scrim concealed in and seen between black velvet draperies. ...vimeo excerpt Wherefore Art Thou?
Video installation 2005 A two-screen installation piece. Monitor one: Soldiers march towards the screen in an unendind loop as they invariably fall to their death. Monitor two: A collage of film excerpts which ask the question, "Why?" The two monitors face off. Made for the exhibit, Memento Mori, an anti-war group show at the Cleveland State University School of Art Gallery. ...Youtube A Hollywood Dialectic
Video installation, 2004 A life-size projection into another architectural gem, the arched and carved stage left niche at Gordon Square Theater. The video loop displays 10 minutes of my vision of Paradise after Dante's description in The Divine Comedy. Wouldn't you like to know?
10 min. video background, 2004 Created for dance piece of the same name, choreographed by Jenita McGowan for Food for Thought, a collaborative live dance performance. The video provides a backdrop that interacts with the dance.
25 min. loop video installation, 2002 Created for the show, Scouts at Newsense Enterprises, Lakewood, Ohio (November 2002 through January 2003), this piece is a commentary on the official Boy Scouts of America stance on the non-inclusion of people of homosexual orientation in their membership or as leaders. The video is part of an installation that includes a small tent, knotting examples, a noose, and lengths of rope which allow the viewer to follow along in an intimate environment. It displays images of an anonymous scout and leader demonstrating how to tie a series of knots while the soundtrack features three anonymous interviews withpeople of various sexual orientation on their views of the edict. ...vimeo Secrets excerpts