A Love Letter to Cleveland
Artists Gary and Laura Dumm attended the installation today of a 58-foot “Love Letter to Cleveland”.
We're grateful to Gary and Laura for honoring us with this pair of beautifully remade murals depicting so many people, places, and events from recent Cleveland history, and we thank their many generous supporters and friends for contributing to the GoFundMe campaign that made it all possible. They're now in their new permanent home here, flanking the entrance to our Special Collections on the 3rd floor of the Michael Schwartz Library.
This makes a satisfying conclusion to a long and occasionally frustrating saga for the 58-foot public art project. Completed in 2013, “Love Letter to Cleveland” was originally installed on the side of the old Orange Blossom Press building in Ohio City, steps away from the West Side Market. When the mural succumbed after several years to Cleveland weather, Gary and Laura began a search for a new home for it, and started a GoFundMe campaign to finance a reprint. They reached their goal, and the installation of the beautifully remade murals, on July 17th, 2019, coincided with Gary and Laura’s 48th wedding anniversary!
Drawn by Gary and colored by Laura, the murals depict many of the same local landmarks and famous Clevelanders that feature prominently in Cleveland Memory: the West Side Market, the “Free Stamp”, the Guardians of Traffic Statues, The Hulett ore unloaders; as well as familiar Cleveland personalities ranging from John D. Rockefeller, Jesse Owens, Jane Scott, and Margaret Hamilton, to Harvey Pekar, Dorothy Fuldheim, Eliot Ness, and Ghoulardi.
Laura has produced a brochure outlining the significance of the people and places represented, but it's an absorbing exercise to try and figure them all out with only the crooked blue line (representing the Cuyahoga River) running through the entire length of the piece to provide hints. Drop in and see them in person - and watch for a news program on Channel 5 this week.
We can't imagine a more appropriate home for this stunning piece of work by lifelong Clevelanders, entirely funded by donations from Clevelanders, than framing the entryway to the home of the Cleveland Memory Project. Indoors.