Ever wanted to have an imaginary conversation with Robin VanLear? Join her when ever her house rolls up and see what world she is living in today. Puppets? Masks? Daydreams? Every show is different. You never know where she has been and she never knows who will show up.
VENUE & STAGE
US Bank Plaza
Thursday 8/3 @ 6:15PM
Friday 8/4 @ 7:00PM
Saturday 8/5 @ 5:30PM
Friday 8/4 @ 7:00PM
Saturday 8/5 @ 5:30PM
TYPE OF SHOW
Immersive/Interactive, Improvisation, One-Person Show, Performance Art, Physical Theatre
ADA Accessible, Outdoors
Welcome to My House is an interactive performance art conversation with Robin VanLear, creator of Parade the Circle. Meet her in her rolling house, a treasure trove of props, ideas and memories. Exchange stories. It may start in her world but it will invade yours. Some days are silly and others serene. Be ready to swing from laughter to sorrow. This soul baring experience will inspire you and leave you with plenty to contemplate after her house rolls away.
Robin and her house on wheels can perform in any setting that is not cramped yet allows the audience to feel private and comfortable. This house without walls carries an assortment of inspirational bric a brac of Robin's making and choosing. Each show she arrives as a different character who will warm you with her charm, her laughter and possibly her tears.
Visually quirky with thoughtful commentary on this world that we all share, Robin wants to weave a web that encourages your thoughts, ideas and experiences to intertwine with hers. The result is a piece of community magic.
For the past 30+ years, as founder and director of Parade the Circle, Robin’s job and her art were intertwined. As director of Parade the Circle, Robin’s work centered around artistic collaboration, innovation, community engagement and the challenge of raising the bar when it came to community based art.
Even before creating the Department of Community Arts for the Cleveland Museum of Art, interaction was an essential component of all aspects of her art. Her research process necessitates interaction with a wide range of technicians, scholars, trades and business people. The creation of the work is most often collaborative, integrating artists from a variety of media; and, interaction is vital to the final presentation of her work.
Her earlier sculptures frequently involved viewer manipulation. As she moved into designing masks, costumes, puppets and installations for performance-based work, her goal has been not just to present a piece but to draw the audience into the piece through the staging, the location and frequently a hands-on interactive component.
Her wish is for beautiful, stimulating and thought provoking work to be presented in the public sphere in venues accessible to all our citizenry regardless of age, education, economics or mobility.
Robin makes art of the highest quality that appears at times and in places we least expect it. She wants her art to haunt the viewer and for challenging ideas and top craftsmanship to appear in the “commonest” of situations.
Robin VanLear is a visual artist, performance artist and designer. She is the creator and co-director of Art Acts performance art company, which created the opening parade for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. In 2003 Art Acts premiered Chevay – Enter Without Feathers at Cleveland Public Theater. Robin has designed and created costumes, sets and performances for the Cleveland Orchestra, Playhouse Square Foundation, Cleveland Opera on Tour, Carousel Dinner Theater, and Groundworks Dance company. Art Acts community based performances have appeared in Public Square, Rockefeller Park, Lake View Cemetery, MOCA Cleveland and the Fine Arts Garden at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
From 1993 through 2019, Robin was director of Community Arts at the Cleveland Museum of Art, the department she founded under the auspices of former CMA director, the late Robert Bergman. Besides Parade the Circle, Robin is the founder of the I Madonnari Chalk Festival and the Winter Lights Lantern Festival. Parade the Circle, which celebrated its 30th season in 2019, annually employed over 50 artists from greater Cleveland and around the globe and drew a crowd of 70,000+ spectators to the University Circle area. The CMA Fine Arts Garden is the site of the annual Chalk Festival, which also turned 30 in 2019.
The recipient of multiple Ohio Arts Council grants and the Governor’s Award for Arts Outreach, Robin was honored with the first Joseph Piggott Award, the Judson Smart Living Award and twice by Northern Ohio Live for Event of the Year. In 2001 she was the recipient of the Cleveland Arts Prize Robert P. Bergman award. Robin was selected as a CPAC Creative Workforce Fellow in 2010 and again in 2014.
Robin’s performance/installation piece Seeking Radiance was one of the three Cleveland Arts Prize Goes Live collaborations celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Arts Prize. The installation with performance was presented at Spaces Gallery the end of September 2010. That fall Robin was awarded a Playhouse Square Foundation Launch fellowship for the creation of a new work. In April 2011, Marigold Wars was featured at FusionFest 2011 at the Cleveland Playhouse. A performance art piece, Marigold Wars, was conceived, written and directed by VanLear and created in collaboration with 2 composers, 2 choreographers, and 30 musicians, dancers and actors.
Currently Robin has a new studio in the Coventry PEACE Campus, site of the former Coventry Elementary School in Cleveland Heights. Since opening her studio in early 2020, she has weathered the Pandemic during which she joined ARTFUL, created an installation for Holden Arboretum, engaged in 3 residencies for Hopewell Therapeutic Farm and as part of ARTFUL and the PEACE campus created a new Lantern Festival for Coventry Village. In 2022 Robin was awarded a Room in the House residency from Karamu House. In the summer of 2023, she is collaborating with a group of Cleveland area artists to present a new Community Arts project in the Coventry PEACE Park, “This Art is for the Birds”.
Robin lives in Cleveland Heights, OH with her artist husband, Jesse Rhinehart, and their rescue cat, Shibori.