Robert Banks is a local film maker and photographer who lives and works in the Campus District and has for over a decade. Since 2003, he’s occupied a live-work studio in the Tower Press Building and defines what an artist space is in Cleveland—"20% live and 80% work.” Today, he is one of the 16 artists of the Tower Press Artists Group. Uniquely, Robert grew up along Superior Avenue and has strong roots within the Campus District. In fact, Superior Avenue was a central part of his childhood, so once he saw the renovation of the Tower Press Building into artist spaces, he could not help but apply for a studio. Since acquiring studio 102, his first choice, he has brought welcoming and charismatic energy to this neighborhood.
In short, he explains his space as, “an input for all the work that goes into this neighborhood.” Connecting the community to artists is a primary goal in Robert’s eyes and one can tell of his passion simply by witnessing his daily routine. CDI specifically knows him for hosting biweekly film nights (using traditional celluloid film) and welcoming the public into his studio during special events, both free of cost. These events unite local artists to tenants and neighbors who, otherwise, may not cross paths. Banks believes that an artist’s lifestyle revolves around lifting their neighborhood to a place of creativity, safety, and expression, which is often overlooked in Cleveland.
For the film nights, Robert welcomes the whole community to the courtyard of Tower Press (his backyard). He spearheads the connection between artists and non-artists by hosting unique movie nights in the way that he knows best—only showing movies from old school film reels! He shares a brief history of the movie before it starts, and believe me, it’s so captivating that it makes one believe that they are about to watch their new favorite movie. In the best way, he’ll spark your interest in film-making within a half of a conversation! Robert's talents and passions are unique, and we cannot wait for him to be spotlighted at SPARX City Hop this year on August 17th. During this event, Tower Press artists open their studios to the public from 11am-6pm!
Follow Robert’s Facebook page for details about the next film night, Dracula Has Risen from the Grave, showing on August 24th, weather permitting!