Figure / Ground
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Figure / Ground May 18, 2012 - October 15, 2012

Figure/Ground Eastman Reading Garden

About the Work

Figure / Ground was the Summer 2012 art installation in the Cleveland Public Library, LAND studio collaboration See Also. Local artist, Scott Stibich created the urban space project to explore how people engage with a space when nothing is changed but the addition of a bold color. By drawing viewers into the project in a subtle but unavoidable way, a sense of both playfulness and awareness of the space is added to the everyday experience. 
The concept triggered the human brain to interpret its environment by creating contrasts. Figure / Ground was based fully on the viewer’s perceptions and not on the objects themselves, reinforcing interactivity with ones surroundings.

Inspired by the Eastman Reading Garden as a place for contemplation, solace, and reflection within its downtown location, Figure / Ground called attention to the details of the space through the simple infusion of color.

Stibich further connected the garden’s users with his piece through the 100 movable chairs located within. Each chair was painted the same color as the reflective windows.

Just by rearranging the chairs, creating the perfect lunch spot or joining an impromptu meeting of friends, you became part of the project.

Creative Team

Scott Stibich -
Scott Stibich is a Cleveland based sculptor with a BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art. His work currently explores the displacement of objects, animate or inanimate. This forceful removal provides a new context for objects to be viewed and understood. Stibich has shown work at the Sculpture Center and the Cleveland Museum of Art. His most recent endeavor, the bike rack, is a collaboration with artist Mark Reigelman which is a permanent installation transforming a downtown parking garage and surrounding area at the center of Cleveland’s first public Bike Station. Stibich has also worked on two nationally honored public art projects.

Other Facts

Figure / Ground was the third installation of the annual program called See Also, which brings new temporary works of art to the Eastman Reading Garden each summer. See Also has been developed as a collaborative effort between the Cleveland Public Library and LAND studio. The See Also program is funded through an endowment set up through the late Lockwood Thompson, who was a trustee of the library and an avid art collector.

The Lockwood Thompson Endowment Fund at the Cleveland Public Library was established by the late Lockwood Thompson to improve access to contemporary art and culture for all Clevelanders. See Also was created as an opportunity to bring artwork to the library’s Eastman Reading Garden to engage with audiences in a new way. In addition to See Also, this endowment also supports the Lockwood Thompson Dialogues, which is an annual program dedicated to conversations that bring new ideas about culture and the arts to the city.

Map to Event location pin


325 Superior Ave. East
Cleveland, OH 44114

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