Art as a catalyst for change

“Art as a catalyst for change”
Published May 31, 2016 |

“What’s an up-and-coming contemporary art curator from Switzerland doing in the American Midwest Rust Belt? The answer lies in a city experiencing a rebirth.

Reto Thüring had to find Cleveland on a map when he was called for an interview with the city’s art museum in 2012, and he had no real expectations of what lay ahead.

Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) external linkhad just finished a major renovation, and a new gallery space was about to open. Thüring says he was impressed by the museum’s potential and eager for what was to come, even if some of the challenges of living in a rebounding American city – crime, poverty, blight – are very different from a life in Switzerland.

“Switzerland is extremely different from what’s going on in the United States. Switzerland is a very contained, small country, and it’s been a very successful and, one could say, maybe a very lucky country,” he says, adding how grateful he is to be able to live and experience something so different.

“There’s another kind of diversity here that just doesn’t exist in Switzerland and knowing that, I find it very enriching,” he says.

His wife Franziska and he had decided time in the United States would be a great experience for a young curator, seeing a very different museum history and tradition than in Europe…”

Find the full feature on Reto at


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