Robin VanLear, Artistic Director Community Arts
Robin VanLear is a sculptor and performance artist with her own company, Art Acts, which she founded in 1978. She has an MFA from the University of California Santa Barbara. Robin joined the education department of The Cleveland Museum of Art in 1989. In 1990 she designed the first Parade the Circle in preparation for the museum’s 75th anniversary. Robin has been the event’s artistic director throughout it’s 20 year history. In 1990 she also started the museum’s first “I Madonnari” Chalk Festival and in 1994 initiated the first “Winter Lights” Lantern Festival.
In 1995 the Ohio Arts Council awarded Robin a professional development grant to support her travel to Trinidad & Tobago. Further support for the Parade Circle international exchange program came from OAC in 1995, 1996, 1997,1998 and 2002.
In 2001 the Cleveland Arts Prize honored Robin with the Robert P. Bergman award. In the same year the Ohio Arts Council gave Parade the Governor’s Award for Arts Outreach. The first Joseph Piggott award for contributions to the University Circle community was presented to Robin in 2002. She received the Judson Smart Living award in 2007. Parade the Circle has twice been the Northern Ohio Live community event of the year.
During her 20 years in Cleveland Robin has designed performances, installations, masks, sets and costumes for The Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland Opera on Tour, Playhouse Square, Cleveland Public Theatre, Groundworks Dance Company, Lake View Cemetery and the annual Ingenuity Festival. Internationally Robin has designed prize winning carnival bands in Great Britain and Trinidad & Tobago.