Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse Introduces Public Art Program

Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse

When Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse opens next week after the massive two-year renovation, fans will see a completely transformed venue, featuring an elevated and reimagined dining and social experience, cutting-edge immersive technology, iconic architectural design, and a world-class art program showcasing over 100 pieces of artwork from 22 diverse local, national and internationally-recognized artists.  

The “Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse Public Art Program” features a diverse multimedia collection of contemporary artworks that add a strong cultural element to the updated venue.The program was entirely privately funded by Cleveland Cavaliers Chairman Dan Gilbert and his wife Jennifer. 

“Making art accessible to all has always been an important personal priority of ours and we are excited to incorporate these remarkable pieces into the extensive renovations at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse,” said Dan and Jennifer Gilbert. “Fans now have an opportunity to interact with the work of today’s most celebrated contemporary artists through a collection selected specifically for this space and this audience."

The art program was curated by renowned Detroit-based art gallery Library Street Collective in partnership with the Cavaliers and Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Library Street Collective specializes in cutting edge contemporary art with a specific focus on art in public spaces. Each piece in the program is either a commissioned, site-specific work, or acquired for the venue collection.  

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“We believe our art program is a great representation of who we are as a venue - a multi-purpose facility that is home to many different types of events that appeal to all walks of life,” said Tracy Marek, Cavs EVP and Chief Marketing Officer. “Just as there is something for everyone at the new Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, there is something for everyone with our art program. We are so excited about how diverse, interesting and locally-infused the collection turned out to be, and we thank Dan and Jennifer for their incredible support and investment to bring this to life.”

From unique hand-painted murals and works on paper, to lighting installations and towering sculptures, much of the art is displayed throughout the North Glass Atrium and Street Level concourse, social neighborhoods and gathering space. Works will also be featured on the Event Level, Everstream Founders Level and the Huntington Club Level.

This collection contains site-specific pieces from some of the most important contemporary artists working today. Signature installations and displays include:

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  • A monumental 20-foot sculpture by the iconic NY-based artist KAWS. This is the first-time work from KAWS has appeared in Cleveland. 
  • A large-scale mural from artist Shepard Fairey, widely-known for his President Barack Obama "Hope" poster. This is the first-time work from Shepard Fairey has appeared in Cleveland.
  • A unique basketball installation contained within the wall by Ohio-native Daniel Arsham.
  • 40 pastel drawings by emerging local artist Paul Verdell.
  • Large-scale mural by Nina Chanel Abney in the West Neighborhood.
  • Immersive works by Sam Friedman and Thrush Holmes that span four vertical stories on the escalators.
  • Whimsical text-based art by Adam Parker Smith. 
  • Basketball-based “found object” sculptures by Tyrell Winston.
  • Works by the late Julian Stanczak of Seven Hills, Ohio and Cleveland-based artist Ryan Jaenke.
  • In addition, the program features work commissioned for Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse by Beverly Fishman, Niall McClelland, Jordan Nickel aka POSE, Bradley Robert Ward, and Wendy White.

A piece by Jason REVOK featuring reclaimed items from Cleveland neighborhoods. 

An important part of the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse Public Art Program is a rotating exhibition that features local artists. The program will be inaugurated with work from Donald Black Jr., Erin Guido, Kasumi and Darius Steward, all artists with ties to Cleveland or Northern Ohio. Titled ‘Public Matter: Cleveland’ and located in the portals on the Street Level, these large-scale works are made of a variety of media, from painting and photography to wheat paste and collage materials. 

“The art program for Rocket Mortgage Field House includes works made especially for the new venue, its teams and community. From murals to light installations and sculptures,each piece was created to convey a spirit of sportsmanship and resilience. Artists from Ohio and beyond have come together with the goal of celebrating the camaraderie between Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse and its community of athletes, performers and supporters,” says Library Street Collective partner Anthony Curis.

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The new art program complements an impressive visual presentation of architectural design and signature activation at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. A work of art in its own right is a sprawling new glass atrium that reflects the downtown Cleveland skyline. The atrium is lined by a winding aluminum curtain wall with the ability to illuminate 1,500 color combinations, one of the signature features of the renovation project. The inside of the venue will also showcase five creative storytelling flex walls celebrating Cavs and Monsters legends and history, past and present concerts and events; a collection of imagery on the concourse soffits showcasing photography from around Northeast Ohio; and the first-of-its-kind PowerPortal, a fully-immersive 360-degree tunnel with 2,220 square feet of LED panels and a dynamic audio system complete with Soundscape technology. 

Art work photos courtesy of Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse

Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse photo by Ken Robinson / iHeartMedia

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