In early 2013, while scavenging through trash dumped along Train Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio looking for items to repurpose into art, artist Sean Jason Kelly makes a gruesome discovery of a dead dog found in a garbage bag discarded along this forgotten road that runs along railroad tracks on the westside of town.
After finding more and more, Sean began to get them cremated out of respect so they didn’t get picked up by the city and tossed in a landfill with the trash. Using his art, what he does next to memorialize and tell their stories is hauntingly beautiful.
This documentary film follows Sean as he makes these discoveries, displaying his heartfelt acts of empathy and compassion towards the departed while creating purposeful art that inspires others to #RespectLife.
Like most societal problems, there’s always the issue visibly seen at the surface, but the more you dig begins to shed light and uncover adjacent layers bonded together at the root. Historically, the neighborhoods Train Avenue passes through (portions of the Stockyards, Clark-Fulton, Tremont and Detroit Shoreway) have a history of many challenges related to human social issues prevalent in underserved areas, including (but not limited to) extreme poverty, high crime, as well as limited resources made available to low-income families.
Additionally, Train Avenue itself has been a known illegal dumping ground for decades. On November 7, 1980, located on the front page of the now defunct Cleveland Press, an article [see below] was written dubbing Train Avenue – Trash Avenue. And, after nearly four decades, not much has changed. It begs the question – If dead dogs in garbage bags were found in an affluent part of town, how long would it take before the problem is fixed?
The “Dogs Of Train Ave” Art Gallery Showing:
Sunday, August 26, 2018 from 1-3PM
Derek Hess Gallery
1300 West 78th Street, 2nd Floor
Cleveland, Ohio 44102
On “National Dog Day” in the Chinese zodiac “Year of the Dog”, artist Sean Jason Kelly will be displaying his work – specifically those pieces of the Dogs of Train Ave, at the famous Derek Hess Gallery in the 78th Street Studio in Cleveland’s westside neighborhood of Detroit Shoreway.
There, event goers will be able to view the heartfelt and incredibly touching artwork inspired by the deceased dogs Sean found that give them a permanent home off the street and out of the city’s landfill. Also, the official trailer of the documentary film – “Train Ave” will premier before going public online.
To read the Derek Hess Gallery Press Release, click here:
The event is free of charge and open to the public. Additional details can be found in the Facebook Event Page:
The Dignity Endowment:
Concept Teaser Trailer to “Train Ave” – released: