Power of the Pieces
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Power of the Pieces June 01, 2011 - October 01, 2011


About the Work

For the second annual See Also installation in the Cleveland Public Library’s Eastman Reading Garden, Cleveland-based artist Donald Black, Jr. installed a series of hand-crafted chess boards throughout the garden. Celebrating the Library’s John G. White Chess and Checkers collection, the largest chess-related library collection in the world, this installation also encourages people to engage with each other over the game of chess in this beloved public space. A natural storyteller, Donald Black, Jr. has created anthropomorphic identities to accompany each of the six characters that are part of a chess set, which will be shared with chess players and other users in the garden.

This project was installed in the garden in June 2011 and in addition to the chess boards, will feature programming and conversations with the artist.

To read a review of Donald Black's work by Steven Litt of The Plain Dealer, click here.

Also, read about the project in Cleveland Magazine here.

How It Started

Black has been interested in the game of chess since he was a child and his father taught him how to play. As part of Black’s narrative when talking about this project, he described childhood dreams or memories of his father coming to visit in the middle of the night and playing chess with him. Because of the connection between chess and his father, Black started seeing the entire world as a possible chess board and began constructing strategies for how to deal with life through the ways that different chess pieces move on the board.


325 Superior Ave., N.E.
Cleveland, OH 44114

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