Artist Spotlight-Kiah Rogers

Sometimes art takes you right back to where you started – just ask Kiah Rogers.

Rogers, a Collinwood native, left Cleveland to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. There she focused on fiber arts, a passion she discovered while still in high school. The discipline of fiber challenged Rogers to push herself as an artist, honing her skills in drawing, sculpture, design and a slew of other techniques in addition to the direct manipulation of fiber.

Following graduation three years ago, Rogers moved back to her hometown (and childhood neighborhood). The recent grad was fascinated with the amount of art and community engagement happening in the place she grew up.

Her journey as an artist came full circle when she met Jessica Pinsky, executive director of Praxis Fiber Workshop at the Waterloo Arts Fest in June 2015. The member-based fiber studio had just launched a handful of days prior.

Praxis had everything Rogers needed as a fiber artist: access to looms, dyes, workspace and a community of artists sharing resources and ideas. The studio also allows her 24-hour access to the equipment she needs, so while she’s not a full time artist, Rogers can head to Praxis after work and continue making her art.

What’s even more convenient? Rogers now lives in an apartment directly above Praxis.

Ultimately, it’s the process of making art that drives Rogers. A process-heavy medium like fiber is a natural fit. With fiber, Rogers can explore colors, patterns and textures in every piece she creates. The end result is important, but what matters the most to her is the time spent creating.

And Rogers isn’t alone. Praxis is home to numerous fiber artists who use the space in myriad ways – maybe working in a dedicated studio space, as a Cleveland Institute of Art intern experiencing fiber firsthand or as a visiting international gallery exhibitor. The studio celebrated its first year of providing this vital service to artists just last month.

On Saturday, May 28, Praxis celebrated with a first birthday celebration. Studio artists like Kiah Rogers and numerous others were there with local musicians, t-shirt dying and the launch of Underground Classical – a new chamber music series in Collinwood featuring world-renowned musicians.

This first Underground Classical event brought Oblivion Project to Collinwood. Oblivion Project is a group dedicated to the Nuevo Tango works of Argentine tango master Astor Piazzolla.

Keep an eye out for additional Underground Classical performances this year at Praxis and the rest of the neighborhood. For more information about classes or membership at Praxis, check out their website or stop by some time.