How Artists See Northeast Ohio's Heart of Steel

Ronald Sims II ponders the remnants of Cleveland's steel-making past which is now a gallery for graffiti artists (PHOTO/Mary Fecteau)

by David C. Barnett

The Industrial Midwest is a key battleground in this year’s presidential campaign, as both major parties pledge to bring jobs back to a once prosperous region, now known as the Rust Belt.  Some area residents think that’s an embarrassing term, evoking decay and failure.  Others have embraced it as a description of grit and authenticity. 

Cleveland’s deep relationship with its industrial heritage can be seen in the work of artists, both local and national.  As part of a reporting series with The Plain Dealer, called "Heart of Steel", ideastream Senior Arts Reporter David C. Barnett reports that it’s a complicated connection.

(This piece contains historic images from the LTV Archives, Western Reserve Historical Society)

Find more reporting in our Heart of Steel series here


Industrial Arts from David C Barnett on Vimeo.

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