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Jacolby Satterwhite Public Art Commission at Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic’s BioRepository collections are stored in a 22,000-square-foot facility, two-story building located on Cedar Avenue in Cleveland’s Fairfax neighborhood. The facility is managed by Azenta Life Sciences, a provider of sample exploration and management solutions with secure sample and material storage facilities across the United States and around the world. The building will serve as a community resource beyond Fairfax to improve awareness of ongoing research and opportunities for careers in the medical field. The BioRepository is the first building to open in the recently announced Cleveland Innovation District, a public-private partnership aimed at transforming Northeast Ohio into an economic engine for biomedicine. The initiative brings the State of Ohio, JobsOhio and Ohio Development Services Agency together with Cleveland’s healthcare and higher education institutions to create jobs, accelerate research and educate the workforce of the future.

Inspired by the solace found in video game fantasy worlds during his childhood hospitalization with osteogenic sarcoma, internationally renowned artist Jacolby Satterwhite is creating a public artwork to be situated on the site of Cleveland Clinic’s BioRepository. Developed in collaboration with residents of the immediate surrounding Fairfax neighborhood, the powerful video installation will amplify local voices, explore art as a form of healing and serve as a lasting link to the community.

Titled Dawn, the artwork is an outdoor 3D animated virtual reality video that will be displayed on a screen embedded in a freestanding wall that is clad with artist-designed wallpaper. In addition to the screen outside the BioRepository, the public can view the video on smartphone devices. 

The source material for Satterwhite’s animation comes from Fairfax residents and Cleveland Clinic caregivers. With the assistance of a community facilitator, participants were asked to create a sketch or brief text describing a utopic future for the neighborhood. Those contributions have been transformed by Satterwhite and woven into his video to create a tribute to residents’ observations, hopes and dreams.

Karamu House President and CEO Tony Sias observes, “The project provides broad access for community involvement.” Satterwhite is excited by the opportunity to create a video that in his words “delivers optimism, mindfulness and prospects for a positive future.”