Cleveland’s art enclave

Tremont offers galleries, restaurants and culture galore

Credit: Beth Rankin

Stepping out of the car, you can feel the forces of creativity at work all around you. You can see it in the flower gardens and the shop signs. Culture and history cling to the tiny streets as they fill with the rich aromas from nearby restaurants.

There’s no question about whether you’re in Kansas anymore. Everything from the iron sculptures in front of the Atmosphere Gallery to the tiki torches guiding you into the Pavanna Gallery tells you this.

Though at times it may feel like you’re walking through a seaside New England town, the only body of water you’ll come upon in the historic neighborhood of Tremont is the mighty Cuyahoga River.

The emerging Cleveland art community of Tremont is home to nearly 30 galleries and boutiques, each boasting a unique artistic expression. The spectrum of galleries and boutiques ranges from the leather couches and fireplaces of Piccadilly’s Fine Art Gallery to the converted apartment building of the avant-garde Doubting Thomas Gallery.

“Tremont reminds me of Soho in New York,” P. J. Campbell, owner of Piccadilly’s Fine Art Gallery, said.

After 18 years of operation at locations across Cleveland, Campbell moved his gallery, featuring national and international artists, to Tremont eight months ago. The area’s close proximity to downtown and its eclectic style were the main factors in Campbell’s decision to move.

But being so close to downtown with a bursting art scene hasn’t adversely affected the distinctiveness that hangs over Tremont.

“It’s an enclave neighborhood,” said Bob Telaak, who co-owns Eye Candy Gallery with his wife Rita. Their space is one of the community’s most recognized galleries. They display an eclectic mix of paintings, furniture, glass works and handmade hats from nearly 70 different local artists.

“Everything in here is one-of-a-kind,” Telaak said.

The diversity that you’ll find in the Telaaks’ gallery echoes the community’s eclectic mix of people and artistic expression.

Kent State graduates Dana Depew and Jason Dewar made their way up to Tremont to open the Asterisk Gallery “because it’s the new, up-and-coming scene in Cleveland,” Dewar said.

Theresa Boyd, owner of Doubting Thomas Gallery, said she provides guests with a different approach than the area’s more traditional galleries.

“We’re definitely an outsider movement,” Boyd said.

Art isn’t restricted to the galleries in Tremont, however. Many local businesses actively support the art movement taking place.

“There’s just an openness to creativity here,” Tremont resident Noel Maitland, 25, said.

Establishments like Edison’s Pub, Scoops Ice Cream Shop and Lucky’s Coffee Shop are using their wall space to showcase the work of local artists.

“The nice thing is that it’s a small town three minutes from downtown,” Kent graduate and Tremont resident Brin Metzendorf, 30, said.

But the spirit of Tremont isn’t only being nurtured by the artistic movement taking place.

The influx of dining establishments both unique and elegant has aided Tremont’s quiet but swift rise as a cultural center in Cleveland.

The Taste of Tremont, to be held July 17 from 1 to 8 p.m., allows culinary artists of the area an opportunity to showcase their individual styles. The event features local upscale restaurants like Lolita, Fahrenheit and Parallax. Local bars, like the Tree House, which has a tree sprouting from the middle of the bar, and Edison’s, a more traditional pub, will also take part in the event.

Events like the Tremont Art Hop, the Tremont Art Walk and the Taste of Tremont have caught the public’s attention, Ginkgo boutique owner and Tremont resident Melanie Matty, 29, said. The Art Hop, held the first Friday of every month, and the Art Walk, held the second Friday of every month, are united efforts toward exposing the art culture of the area.

For more information on events, gallery listings and for directions go to

Contact performing arts and entertainment reporter William L. Teckmyer III at [email protected].