Cleveland Dean

Friday, Feb 18 – Apr 9, 2022

1957 Sheridan Rd.
Highland Park, IL 60035

Artist Cleveland Dean returns to The Art Center Highland Park. 

Cleveland Dean may not be a household name like Jackson Pollock or Willem de Kooning, but Art Center curator Caren Helene Rudman is sure that will change, in part because it is already happening. “Cleveland is one of those artists whose work people stop in front of and say ‘Wow’. His work stands out in any show. Add to that how dynamic he is as a person, and you’ve got a superstar in the making”. His upcoming solo exhibit, February 18 through April 9, at The Art Center Highland Park, is an opportunity to be among the first gallery goers to see works specifically created for this exhibit alongside works from his stellar career to date. 

Born and raised in the Chicago area, Cleveland is a multi-disciplined, self-taught visual artist. Eclectic and interested in everything from science to psychology, his often large scale work is awe inspiring. His active mind is reflected in his abstract work that includes painting, mixed media, sculpture, and installations. Using unusual methods and techniques including a wide variety of materials like salt, wood, fire, cardboard, metal, and ‘anything he can get his hands on’, he experiments with the materials, literally lighting the work on fire (seen on his Instagram). His passion for philosophy, psychology and religion add to his approach which all comes together presenting the viewer with a visual experience, a connection to the work that is accessible to them on several levels, intellectually, spiritually, and/or emotionally, but always as a ‘wow’, as Rudman describes.  

“I have no interest in easy, recognizable, non-challenging work. I want to challenge as well as be challenged. I need to be able to exercise my duality.” Cleveland Dean 

“We are more than thrilled to have Cleveland in our gallery again”, adds James Lynch, TAC Executive Director. “Not only is he a fabulous artist, but he’s become a frequent visitor and a good friend to TAC. I think this is a rare opportunity for us: not a lot of people realize that the late Ed Paschke taught at TAC or that Nick Cave exhibited here before ‘making it big’. I firmly believe that one day soon we’ll be bragging ‘Remember when Cleveland Dean exhibited here?’.” 

Dean’s work has been featured in scores of important national and international galleries and is currently featured at Pagoda Red, a high-end furniture, art and design store based in Chicago. In his spring exhibit, nearly one year after he exhibited several pieces for TAC’s popular ‘Ephemera Exhibit’ last spring. Collectors: mark your calendars! 

For more information follow Dean on Instagram, @clevelanddean, or keep up with the exhibit information at, or by joining their website. Members of TAC will be eligible for a  small, private preview with Dean on the same night as the public artist reception event.