Photographer Amber Ford Launches Residency with Gordon Square Arts District

Artist residency kicks off July 30 with free open mic event at Happy Dog

July 15, 2019 CLEVELAND, OHIO Gordon Square Arts District (GSAD) selected photographer Amber Ford as its third quarter artist-in-residence with her project This Story is Mine and Ours. Ford kicks off her time as GSAD’s artist-in-residence with a free open mic event at Happy Dog (1501 Detroit Ave.) on July 30 from 6-10 p.m. Poets, musicians, storytellers and performance artists are invited to the open mic night to present an original piece inspired by the topic BLACK: the intersection where color meets identity.

Ford will spend much of her residency photographing a portrait series that celebrates the unique contributions of people of color in Gordon Square. These portraits will be installed as a public mural in Gordon Square at the culmination of Ford’s residency. There will be free and open portrait hours at the Gordon Square office space located on the first floor at 78th Street Studios (1305 W. 80th St.) on the following days:

  • Tuesday, Aug. 6 6-8:30 p.m. 
  • Tuesday, Aug. 20 6-8:30 p.m.

“Often people think of a photographic image as a way to flatten our world into a single frame, but I use my lens to search for depth,” said Ford, “The base of my work is the exploration of the word black which, although it is seen as a single color, comes in many shades, hues, and tones. It is the intersection where a color meets an identity because it is also a way to describe my people, our history, and our unique challenges. Through photography and installation, I create work that connects with, resonates among, and gives opportunity to a people looking to call some corner of the world their own.”

Gordon Square Arts District launched its quarterly artists-in-residence program in 2017 to support the city’s artist workforce and bring free and engaging arts activity to the neighborhood. GSAD supports the selected artist for each residency with a $5,000 stipend and project costs up to $2,000. The residencies are funded by a grant from The Cleveland Foundation. 

For more information on Ford’s residency and to get involved, please email McKenzie Merriman at

The Gordon Square Arts District leverages vibrant arts and culture to foster economic growth and livability in Cleveland’s Gordon Square neighborhood. Its vision is to create an exciting lakefront neighborhood with vibrant theatres and enhanced art activity that is a regional destination for arts and culture.