NEO Knows one of my favorite artists: Dana Paterson

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 03/17/2006 - 01:40.


You can't hide your affection for artist Dana Paterson's art, as it lights wherever it hangs. Today, most people would know his art work from the "sustain neo" words shining from the REALNEO office at 812 Huron Road. Having known Dana for many years, I've had the opportunity to see more of his art than probably anyone else, and more and more this guy blows me away.


For one thing, Dana is Dana. I'll let you learn about that for yourself. But already you've seen Dana's work 1,000s of times, all over Cleveland, from exhibits at bars and restaurants throughout the region to a massive devil head installation at 252 tatoo.. Dana is the top independent neon sign guy in town, and has been for ages, and it shows across our urban landscape - he lights Cleveland. 
The thing about being the top neon guy around is that means you're the best tube bender in town. And the thing about being Dana is his mind can bend lights and color in entirely unique ways, which he can turn into sculpture, and I don't know anything else like it in the world.

For a few years Dana had his studio at the Hodge School, but he recently moved to Detroit Road, on the West Side, and I understand he is moving again at the end of the month. He has discussed the idea of setting up a neon training program for vocational students coming out of Max Hayes, and we are working together on a few projects to get more neon art in public places - you will see and hear lots more about Dana throughout this year.

I'd like to see Dana get traction as quickly as possible, so if you are interested in having any work done in neon, or you would like a neon work of art, let me know and I'll connect you with Dana... norm [at] realinks [dot] us. I think restaurants, bars, galleries, lobbies and public offices would be great spaces for large works, but the 18" long piece you see here is designed to hang or sit on a table and it fits in great in my small apartment.
One interesting observation about this piece in particular, which is all made with traditional glass, is there is an equal balance in the amount of each of the primary and other colors that the actual light emitted, as seen indirectly, is a soft white... the colors cancel each other out. Fantastic. More on Dana at