Art of the Day: Houghs Angel, by Harry Bell

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 08/19/2008 - 23:14.

 Hough's Angel, by Harry Bell

Harry Bell is a powerful urban artist, well appreciated in Cleveland and beyond. His most famous work I know is the Wall of Sorrows, recently dismantled, under controversy, and now in storage... scheduled for future re-installation. You may know his current work from cruising through Cedar and E.55th, where he is commissioned by a gas station and car dealership to create urban art on their walls, now including the work-in-progress shown above... a memorial tribute to "Houghs Angel", Fannie Lewis, rest in peace.

Being a sponsor of Bell and his very authentic, timely and alive urban art clearly thrills the owner of the gas station. He has commissioned many works from Bell, including this memorial to Councilwoman Lewis by his front door. Not just a casual patron of the artist, the gas station owner gushes about Bell and was proud to show me a 1996 painting by Bell that is prominently displayed inside the station's convenient store. It is about my town of East Cleveland, and I just love it.

Once we got acquainted, Bell was very enthusiastic to talk about his work, of which he is clearly proud. He is about to start work on the new Wall of Sorrows, now being prepared for painting, at 11300 Superior, below. CHeck out the radically painted van there, which must be by Bell.

New Wall of Sorrows site

I met Bell to discuss him painting on the walls of Brown's Market, in transformation to the Star Market. Bell says there are many great urban artists he knows looking for good places to "exhibit" their work for viewing by the public. Considering the Wall of Sorrows nightmare and that it is just now being recreated, on a donated wall, I appreciate his concerns.

But the Cleveland-area has plenty of good blank walls we may spare.

I look forward to seeing what Bell will come up with for the Star Market... a fitting place for a long overdue memorial to the Glenville Shootout, which happened across and down the street.

FannieMemorial650.JPG164.63 KB
BellEastCleveland650.JPG351.95 KB
Bell650.JPG337.46 KB
FannieLewisPanLogo.jpg36.73 KB
Van650.JPG191.84 KB
FannieLewisPan650.jpg17.19 KB
WallOfSarrowsSite650.JPG148.59 KB

Bracing for the fallout

  The Plain Dealer has announced the death of Stephanie Tubbs Jones
First announced shortly after noon on August 20th, the media finally confinally confirmed the death of Stephanie Tubbs Jones later the same day in the evening.
There is not more that anyone can add to the sorrow that must be felt in northeast Ohio for a strong woman with a big heart. I met Stephanie Tubbs Jones one time in 1994.  We both showed up for a career day at Forest Hills Elementary.  I watched her speak to the children at the school and I saw a generous, caring soul.  I am very sad today for our children.

Stephanie Tubbs Jones

  I just want to join the chorus of sadness on the death of Stephanie Tubbs Jones.  This week's Crain's Cleveland Business heralds her efforts on behalf of historic preservation. 

The Cleveland Restoration released this bulletin:
Stephanie Tubbs Jones

1949 - 2008

Stephanie Tubbs Jones Cleveland, OH
August 22, 2008

The Cleveland Restoration Society, along with its national partner, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, grieves the loss of Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, who represented Ohio's 11th District. She was a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, the Historic Preservation Caucus, the Ways and Means Committee, and the House of Representatives' tax committee and was Ohio's first black female representative.

The Congresswoman was fast becoming a key leader in Washington on historic preservation legislation. Cleveland Restoration Society's Executive Director, Kathleen H. Crowther, and Honorary Life Trustee Bracy E. Lewis, called on the Congresswoman annually to discuss historic preservation's financial tools and grassroots strategies that are effective in Cleveland and across the country. She routinely supported historic preservation by voting in favor of increasing the Historic Preservation Fund, voting against efforts to eviscerate the protections of the so-called 4-f provision of the Federal Transportation Act, and various housing matters.

Mr. Lewis said, "Stephanie had an immediate appreciation of how historic preservation is valuable not just in her home town, but across the country. Particularly when she joined the House Ways and Means Committee, she carefully deliberated proposed legislation crafted by the National Trust that would make these financial tools more effective. She sent her staff on a road trip to see in action how these tools combine with other incentives to bring important reinvestment to communities like Cleveland. And then she became the lead champion in getting those provisions made law as part of the new housing stimulus bill."

According to Richard Moe, President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, "Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones was one of our country's most tireless advocates for historic preservation on Capitol Hill. Just this year, she sponsored the Community Restoration and Revitalization Act, a critical piece of legislation that makes the historic tax credit work better for community revitalization. I remember how she told me, "I really want to get this bill passed because harnessing greater...potential in underutilized historic and older buildings and focusing more...investment in... 'main street' commercial structures makes so much sense. [It] has already transformed so many [Cleveland] communities."

As the sponsor of preservation's primary tax bill, Tubbs Jones and her staff worked diligently over the last several years to increase bipartisan support for the bill and to get in the measure three important changes to the historic tax credit - the first changes to the incentive in over two decades. These included an exemption from the Alternative Minimum Tax for the historic tax credit. As a result of her work, "historic nature" is now taken into account when state housing finance agencies allocate tax credits among projects. She also saw through an improvement to the historic credit supporting tax exempt use in tax credit properties. Prior to Tubbs Jones' work, projects with more than 35% tax exempt use had not been eligible for the full credit. All of these enhancements were a result of her tireless efforts to pass HR1043. She fought through the summer during the conference process with the Senate and it became law on July 23.

The Congresswoman attended the Cleveland Restoration Society's events on occasion, and often sent a staff person. She was always a welcomed sight with a big smile and opened arms to greet friends, old and new. And her staffers were on-the-ball in representing her effectively. "I remember vividly one meeting we had regarding the then-endangered historic Cozad Bates House. We were really the underdogs in the conversation about this dilapidated but historically significant structure. When the representatives from the Congresswoman's office arrived to support our case, everyone sat up a little straighter, and listened more intently. It made the difference in saving the building," said Ms. Crowther.

Stephanie Tubbs Jones understood the power of preservation. She will be greatly missed for her strength of personality and hard work to enable historic preservation efforts. To learn more about the Congresswoman's greatest preservation feat, see an article in this week's issue of Crain's Cleveland Business entitled "Tubbs Jones wins battle to ease rehab tax credit use, measures should help spur developers' efforts to restore historic sites" by Stan Bullard.

The Cleveland Restoration Society extends its deepest sympathies to the Congresswoman's family on this sad occasion.

Cleveland Restoration Society
Kerri Broome
Associate Director,
Development & Publications

That doesn't leave me feeling good

I know Stephanie Tubbs Jones was much loved by many, but to me her legacy is an ambitious leader in a time of dismal failure at the global, national, regional and local level. That doesn't leave me feeling good.

She had a significant role in the VA demolition of many historic structures and trees, down Wade Park from her home, which is part of the Doan Pyramid scheme that is one subject of the significant FBI/IRS investigation into corruption in HER DEMOCATIC PARTY IN NEO.

I recall one of the write-ups in the PD since her death that said there wasn't a local democratic candidate who didn't have her blessing, so she has significant responsibility for a party that is a disgrace.

And, of course, there was her support of Clinton over Obama, which was harmful to Obama and the effort to drive change in the Democratic party.

So I did not see her in touch with my people or the needs of my community.

Whether her legacy will end up being good or bad will depend on how her master works turn out... the VA, the Democratic Party, the Presidential Election all have her fingerprints all over them to the end.

I'm certainly sad for her and her friends and family. Death is tragic.

Disrupt IT

A very different legacy for Fannie Lewis

I didn't know Fannie Lewis until I saw "No Umbrella – An Election Day In The City", by Laura Paglin, documenting her heroic efforts to help her constitutents vote, during a catastrophic election. She was a person of her people, and a fighter for their country - Hough - and civil liberties, all from the trenches. There is no douby she was in touch with her people and community to the end, and they were better for her being there. Her lagacy is secure and well documented as heroic.

Disrupt IT

Good outweighs bad

I think Norm that your perceived "bad" efforts of Stephanie Tubbs Jones are far outweighed by the "goods' measured by her constituents.  None of us our perfect and I think you would find that Stephanie Tubbs Jones understood imperfection. 

Overall, I find it especially admirable that when she made a promise, she kept her word.  That alone canonizes her in my book.

Sad for all of us, and real

I praise Stephanie Tubbs Jones for always opposing the Iraq invasion. But none of our current leaders have been firm enough about that, or the state of America and the world, for me to praise them... and that includes Obama. But he lives on, so he still has a chance to change. If he died today, I would not be impressed by him, either.

But then, I'm not impressed by JFK, and he is treated like a god for dying young. Nixon is forgiven, but he was a monster. Reagan and Clinton get libraries. We love to celebrate our failures as our ultimate victory, rather than accept the consequences of human weakness, learn and change.

Cleveland is not doing well, the people of Cleveland are not doing well, the people of America and the world are not doing well, and the world is not doing well.

I realize many people loved Stephanie Tubbs Jones, and others forgive and forget at death, but I just don't see what there is to feel good about in any of this... and I see the replacement process and all the replacements mentioned for Stephanie Tubbs Jones as more of the same. Now is the time to explore the weaknesses of all our leadership, past and present, and to do far better in the future.

Stephanie Tubbs Jones lived in a beautiful home overloking the new, anti-community Case campus, where she was an alumna... she lived on Case. She saw beauty and promise before her, and radiated that - she was a good and loving person at the core, no doubt, and did much to enhance regional establishment, Case and University Circle interests. But behind her home are slums, and she was surrounded by a neighborhood dismantled during her lifetime by the system she participated in. I don't see signs it was being rebuilt for a better future and I have issues with the directions she took the community, under her leadership.

Worst, her term in office and life ended with her on one side of a barbed wire fence, and 90% of her constituents on the other side of the fence, and the nation at risk of falling into the hands of Republicans for another four years, because supporting her "girlfriend" Clinton felt right to her, or was to her personal advantage. That I cannot overlook, ever.

So what are we doing about controlling the procees for choosing a replacement to take Stephanie Tubbs Jones place?... and reorganizing the disgraceful Democratic Party Stephanie Tubbs Jones led?

Who is working on overcoming the harm caused to Obama and America by her campaigning for Clinton, as the world must address the upcoming need to replace the current failure who is our President of the United States of America?

What are we doing about ending the war Stephanie opposed at heart, but supported by association and outcome?

Ending the war would be the only fitting tribute to this fallen soldier, who failed to shoot straight and strong enough while she was still at battle.

Let's be real here.

Sad for all of us, and real.

Disrupt IT

our are

  Grammarians out there--I meant to say "are perfect," but I guess I illustrate the point better with "our." 

Our problems are too real.  The death of Stephanie Tubbs Jones will literally cost us millions as Ohio taxpayers.