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(Cleveland, TN) Mainstreet Cleveland held a formal ribbon cutting to recognize the pilot launch of Muse Mind Studios' Elevate Art program today, Wednesday, Oct. 5, in the historic Craigmiles Hall Opera House in downtown Cleveland.

The goal of the Elevate Art program is to help bring awareness to, and grow, the art community in Cleveland, TN, by showcasing the contributions of local professionals and empowering aspiring artists to pursue their own artistic goals.

At launch, the program will consist of a rotating featured-art gallery as well as a series of community art classes.

"Our goal is simple - we want to Elevate Art," said Xavier Jasso, Muse Mind Creative Director. "By collaborating with other artists and professionals, and equipping aspiring artists or hobbyists with valuable skills and knowledge to help pursue their own artistic aspirations, we aim to bring awareness to, and help grow, the art community in and around Cleveland, TN. And as that art community grows, we hope the program will grow as well."

To kick off its community class offerings, Muse Mind Studios has partnered with local photographer Michael Miller to offer a free "Basics of Digital Photography" class. The free, bring-your-own-camera class is open to all ages and will cover digital photography fundamentals like aperture control, dialing in ISO settings for optimal exposure, and basic composition techniques gained over Michael's 18 years of professional experience.

"Our first photography class will be held from 6-7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20," said Hollie Jasso, Muse Mind CEO. "We'll use this first class to gauge community interest in classes moving forward, with hopes to offer a photography class the third Thursday of each month through the end of 2022. These classes are just another demonstration of how The Opera House can be used in addition to micro-weddings and private events - it's a very versatile space."

"Based on community response, we plan to launch a series of free community dance classes in 2023, as well as other photography related courses," added Xavier Jasso.

Individuals interested in the free photography class can register at the company website Limited seats are available and will be awarded on a first come, first-served basis. Muse Mind Studios anticipates offering advanced classes and workshops with participation fees in the future.

In addition to the upcoming class, Muse Mind Studios also unveiled the first contribution to their rotating featured-art gallery, "Dandelion Explosion", created by local artist Carie Varner with ReelFun Studios.

The abstract painting rests on a large 40x30 canvas, and features a blend of bright and warm tones intended to complement any space in which it occupies. Notably, the piece also incorporates the use of Black 3.0, a super-flat, ultra-matte black acrylic paint.

Described as a "black hole in a bottle," Black 3.0 is comprised of a specially formulated, high-load acrylic polymer that densely binds to a lab-created nano-pigment called "Black Magick." Nano-mattifiers are added to the mixture to help flatten out stray light. These elements result in a black acrylic paint that absorbs up to 99% of visible light. According the paint's creator and acclaimed British artist Stuart Semple, it's "the blackest black acrylic paint in the world" and one of the blackest black substances available for use by the general public.*

"Whenever art is embraced and encouraged, I feel a swell of hope for the world that is in so much turmoil - a wish being granted from nothingness. That's why I chose to use the Black 3.0 paint, as it absorbs light and pulls the viewer into the painting as the colors jump out, creating a playful tug of war, visually," said Carie Varner.

"We are incredibly excited to feature such a beautiful piece in our space," said Hollie Jasso. "It really shows Carie's skills - it's a painting that would look stunning in many different settings."

The gallery program aims to promote exposure of local artists while allowing potential collectors and customers the opportunity to appreciate the works up close - something Muse Mind Studios believes is important for driving art sales in a digital age.

More information on the rotating gallery program is available at

"We're a small team, but we have big dreams for our community," said Xavier. "And with the help of others, we believe those dreams can come to life. The Opera House has a lot to offer."

"We will also be offering Halloween-themed photos at this year's Mainstreet Block Party, giving community members another opportunity to see and experience the space for themselves," added Hollie. "Information about the Halloween Photos and costs to participate will be shared on our social channels and website."


*"The blackest black paint in the world! Black 3.0" ;; retrieved Sept. 23, 2022


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