Library Art Exhibits Spark Thought and Conversation about Our City, Democracy, the People among Us and Food Insecurity

Cleveland Public Library is more than just books. It is a place for visitors to discover and explore art.  Five exhibits currently on display throughout the Library system will entertain, inspire, teach, challenge, and celebrate the beauty and greatness of our city.

“Cleveland Public Library’s art installations reflect democracy, the history of protest, Black culture, life in Cleveland, and power and strength. We want our visitors to look past what meets the eye and open their minds to other viewpoints,” said Dr. Sadie Winlock, Chief Equity, Education & Engagement Officer at Cleveland Public Library.


Reflect and Refract Democracy installation by Rose DeSiano in the Eastman Reading Garden – Photo © Bob Perkoski,

Two public art installations are inspiring Clevelanders to learn about democracy, how it works, and their duty to preserve it. “Reflect and Refract Democracy by Rose DeSiano is on display until November 30 in the Eastman Reading Garden outside Main Library. The interactive installation allows visitors to see themselves in the mirrors and prisms that showcase photographs representing three aspects of American democracy: protest, leisure, and labor.

Protest” is as colorful as the act itself. Permanently installed outside the Cleveland Public Library – Langston Hughes Branch, “Protest” by Olalekan “LEk” Jeyifous consists of four steel silhouettes showing images of people peacefully making a stand.

LAND Studio helped bring both artworks to the Library. “Our partnerships are important to us at Cleveland Public Library,” remarks Aaron Mason, Director of Outreach and Programming Services of Cleveland Public Library. “Our community partners have helped us bring to life a variety of perspectives about democracy, exposing Clevelanders to new experiences while enriching their lives through books, music, art and more.”   


group of older women sitting at a table looking off screen
Photographer: Billy Delfs

In partnership with the Cleveland Print Room, a photography exhibition at Main Library showcases the people, the places, and the true grit of Cleveland. There are now two ways to see Cleveland 20/20: A Photographic Exploration of Cleveland: online and in person. The Cleveland 20/20 Virtual Tour is now live on For those who prefer who want to see it in-person, the exhibition will be in Brett Hall until Spring 2021. Cleveland 20/20 consists of nearly 200 photographs with four central themes: intimate moments, geography, water, and leisure.  

A newly installed permanent exhibit at Cleveland Public Library honors African Americans and their contributions to the community. Curated by The Soul of Philanthropy, the Celebrate Those Who Give Black exhibit tells the story of Black philanthropic efforts through people, documents, and artifacts. It’s now on display in the Louis Stokes Wing of Cleveland Public Library.

Kryptonite won’t keep Clevelanders away from our Superman exhibit. Located on the second floor of Main Library, the permanent exhibit documents 70 years of Superman. Glenville natives, John Siegel and Joe Shuster created Superman in 1933. Our exhibit highlights over 1,000 items from our Mike Curtis Collection of Superman memorabilia and a larger-than-life Superman statue by David Deming.


Cleveland Public Library is growing. Our downtown location will soon be home to an indoor urban farm. Spring 2021, EvergreenCle will erect a 9-foot automated growing dome in the Louis Stokes Wing to empower communities to become food independent and learn about hydroponic farming.  

Our partnership with EvergreenCle is part of an initiative with the Lab @ Cuyahoga County which connects local entrepreneurs and businesses with the public sector to test new ideas, products, or services. For more information on our art installations, visit or drop by Cleveland Public Library Monday – Saturday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Got a question? ASK CPL to live chat with a Librarian.

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