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Applause and The Sound of Applause

Artist Tom Balbo; ‘Closure’, The Quay Brothers

Thursday, January 17, 2013

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Most artists focus on one medium: sculpting… painting… music… you get the idea. But not Clevelander Tom Balbo. He’s mastered three disciplines: print making, ceramics and cast paper making. It’s the art of making paper with a mold. The finished product is a sculpture or relief made from textured paper. Tom not only makes great art in his studio, he makes the paper too!

When it comes to the foreclosure crisis, raw data doesn’t always tell the complete story - at least not for playwright, Dr. Mary Weems of John Carroll University. In her new play, Closure, the objects that families leave behind fill in the blanks about what it really means to lose your home, family, and purpose in the world.

Success in the arts often comes through collaborations between organizations and artists who share the same vision. Now imagine how much deeper the connection gets when those artists share the same DNA - and face! Identical twins the Quay Brothers have become internationally known for their dark and artsy stop-motion animated films.

Designer Mort Epstein never met a problem that he didn’t like. He’s been in the field for over seven decades. In 1962 he founded Mort Epstein Design, and in 2009 he received the Cleveland Arts Prize Lifetime Achievement award.


Artist Tom Balbo
Playwright, Dr. Mary Weems
The Quay Brothers
Designer Mort Epstein

Additional Information

Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory and Educational Foundation
Closure, written by Dr. Mary Weems
The Quay Brothers
Cleveland Arts Prize winner, Mort Epstein


Arts and Culture, Motion Pictures (Film, Video), Sculpture, Theatre, Economy

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Special Thanks

Special thanks to the Oberlin Conservatory of Music at Oberlin College for the use of their Steinway Piano.

ideastream Arts Funding

Production of arts and culture programming on ideastream is made possible by grants from:


By residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

The Cleveland Foundation; The Dominion Foundation; Eaton; The George Gund Foundation; The George W. Codrington Charitable Foundation; The Kulas Foundation; The John P. Murphy Foundation; Stroud Family Exempt Trust; The Robert O. and Annamae Orr Family Foundation; and The Nord Family Foundation.


The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this program with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.

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Applause is an Emmy award-winning locally produced TV show that celebrates artists and cultural groups around Cleveland and Northeast Ohio.

The Sound of Applause, ideastream’s weekday radio magazine, celebrates the visual and performing arts, explores cultural trends, and examines current events through an artistic lens.

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Dee Perry image courtesy Chris Stephens, The Plain Dealer