Lorain: Portrait of a City Project
The Lorain: Portrait of a City project is a two-year program that features both traditional and non-traditional “portraits” of Lorain, with multiple components. The program emphasizes arts-based storytelling related to the history of Lorain, its’ people, and the community with a public art component that celebrates the community and work of the project and its participants.
An arts education/enrichment project, the focus is on working with local artists that teach and mentor high school and college artists apprentices in the creation of a work of art that tells the story of Lorain. The “portraits” created as part of Lorain: Portrait of a City will utilize traditional and experimental media, including painting, photography, video, murals, gallery installations, projection, fashion, and puppet making. Throughout the creative process, we will challenge what constitutes a portrait and how we honor and express the essence of Lorain. Apprentice participants will also create related independent art projects under the guidance of the mentor/teaching artists.
“Broadway in Bloom” Pollinator Sculpture Garden Pots
Flowerpots filled with pollinator and seasonal plants created by Joshua Biber are enhanced with painted butterflies, birds, and bees to create a seasonal public art project in downtown Lorain. identifying locations where FireFish artists create and where FireFish Arts programming takes place, these “art pots” connect to this year’s FireFish Festival theme of celebrating nature and also feature design elements from the “Broadway in Bloom” mural designed by Ryan Craycraft, located at 858 Broadway Avenue.
- Rock Town Studio – 387 Broadway
- Jevon Terance Boutique – 625 Broadway
- LCCC City Center – 300 Broadway
- Jason Shaffer Studio – 633 Broadway
- Speak of the Devil Alley – 201 W 5th Street
- The BRIAR – 668 Broadway / Shane Furniture (Fire It Up! Block Party) – 668 Broadway
- Broadway Mary’s next to FireFish’ s Broadway in Bloom Mural – 939 Broadway
- Broadway in Bloom Paintings – 858 Broadway
- Juice Me – 712 Broadway
Fire It Up! Broadway Block Parties
Located at the corner of 7th Street and Broadway Ave on the first Friday of every month during the summer. Main Street Lorain host the Broadway Block Parties on First Fridays and provides live music and vendors and the businesses downtown offer specials for people walking up and down Broadway Ave in downtown Lorain. The Fire It Up! booth has fire performers, a cash bar, and a special art experience at each event.
See pictures from this year’s block parties here.
Jason Molina Songs: Ohia Mural
In collaboration with local artists and businesses, FireFish Arts pays tribute to the late Lorain musician Jason Molina with the creation of a mural that will include painted lyrics and imagery by an array of artists along the walls and alley of Speak of the Devil Lounge at 201 W 5th St.
Celebrating Jason Molina’s voice, notoriety, and musical contributions connecting back to his time in Lorain and Lorain County, the mural features an inaugural design by Tommy Nickoloff, one of Molina’s childhood friends, in a project that is intended to evolve to include other artists as part of the upcoming FireFish “Portrait of a City” Project. As a Lorain native, Molina had what has been described at times as a tempestuous relationship with the city. However, friends and family agree that what he took from Lorain was a tireless work ethic as well as the imagery of nature and blue-collar life used in his lyricism. Nickoloff, who is also filming a documentary about Molina, states that in the nine years since his passing “ It is exciting to see the way Lorain has blossomed into a musical and artistic city, a city that wants to honor and showcase the arts and Lorain artists, and a place where we believe Molina would be proud to be remembered.”
The in-process mural will be highlighted during the Fire It Up! Broadway Block Party on Friday, September 2nd as part of the FireFish Festival Preview. This project is part of the “Portrait of a City” project and is coordinated by Daisy Goddard, FireFish Artist Board Member, and BRIAR Board Secretary and Treasurer.
David Morales Alley Show
FREE Comedy! FireFish Artist Board Member David Morales hosts a free comedy show during the monthly Fire It Up! Broadway Block Party downtown Lorain on Friday, August 5th in the alley by Speak of the Devil (201 W. 5th St.). The show is from 8 – 11 pm. Music will be provided by DJ Ray and Anthony Scrofano, with comedy performances by Bryan Sternik, Tim Wolfe, and Anthony Mayo.
City Symphony Cinema Photography
FireFish Artist Board Member Hiatt Hernon’s debut of his short black and white “City Symphony Cinema Photography” video focuses on a day in the life of Lorain. The video premieres on Friday, September 2nd during the Fire It Up! Festival Preview at the Broadway Block Party and will stay open through the festival. This program is a part of the “Lorain: Portrait of a City” project.
FireFish Artist Board Member Jeff Pye and the Start W/Art program focus on creating painted portraits of notable people from Lorain. Local student artists will collaborate with Lorain artists to create these portraits. The exhibit will open on Friday, September 2nd during the Fire It Up! Festival Preview at the Broadway Block Party and stay open through the festival. This program is a part of the “Lorain: Portrait of a City” project.
Learn more here about Jeff Pye and the Start W/Art program.
Movie Night at Elmwood Cemetery
FireFish Arts will host a Halloween movie night at Elmwood cemetery Friday, October 28th. A fun family-friendly movie will show first followed by an adult-themed Halloween movie. Costumes are encouraged and fun art activities will be going on during the movies.
Carida Cira Diaz Gallery Exhibit
FireFish Artist Board Member Carida Cira Diaz presents a curated body of paintings depicting her connection to Lorain and the reinvention of the city as well as herself. This program is a part of the “Lorain: Portrait of a City” project.
Patterns of Time
FireFish Arts “Patterns of Time” quilts together Lorain’s culture in a large-scale kaleidoscopic art projection in downtown Lorain from February 12th through the 26th. A visually exciting interactive outdoor digital projection by Visionary and New Media Artist Ross Bochnek. Inspired by the garments featured annually in Lorain’s International Festival, this large-scale public kaleidoscopic event visually “quilts” together the many cultural and ethnic groups of Lorain in a large-scale art projection on the corner of Broadway Avenue and 7th Street.
Using visuals inspired by both textiles and the contributions of diversity to the community, “Patterns of Time” creates a dancing digital fabric stitched and woven together into a geometric transformation. Creating an almost dizzying incandescence, “Patterns of Time” reflects on both the past and the future of Lorain’s International City. The projection includes 1970’s era photos of the parade’s traditional clothing, people, and downtown Lorain, all scanned from the archives of the Lorain Historical Society.
PULP: Fold, Rip, Draw, Print
FireFish Arts is pleased to announce a group exhibition exploring the creative possibilities of paper as the primary means of artistic expression held in downtown Lorain from March 18th through the 25th. This will include origami, printmaking, installation, drawing as well as new and inventive ways of working with paper. The show is co-curated by Jason Shaffer and Ryan Craycraft who will both be participating in the exhibition.
Participating artists include Gregory Little, Nancy Halbrooks, Stevie Tanner, Jan Zorman, Sarah Nolan, James Ward Peak, Charlie Shaffer, Jason Shaffer, and Ryan Craycraft.