Daniel Arsham to be Cleveland Cavaliers’ next creative director


Contemporary artist, architect and Snarkitecture co-founder, fashion designer, basketball fan, and native of Clevelander Daniel Arsham come home. Yesterday the Cleveland Cavaliers, formerly the home of Akron-hailed Lebron James (though that’s a sore spot), announced that Arsham would be the final creative director of the NBA squad and take a minority stake in the franchise.

Arsham broke the news himself yesterday morning on Instagram, calling the chance to shape the team’s visual identity as a “dream”. A third-generation Clevelander and sports fan who continually incorporates credentials into his own and Snarkitecture’s work, Arsham has worked with the Cavaliers before – in 2019 he installed kinetics Basketball in motion wall sculpture at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, the home arena for the team, as part of the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse Public Art Program hosted by the Detroit-based Library Street Collective. Anthony Curis, co-founder and partner of the gallery, was, according to the Cavs, instrumental in starting the connection.

Arsham is the first artist to take the role in the NBA and the very first period, for the Cavaliers. The partnership was reportedly initiated by the team’s director of branding, Grant Gilbert, the son of the co-founder and current president of Quicken Loans, as well as team owner Dan Gilbert. Other than running everything from the NBA team’s social media presence to their uniforms, according to the the Wall Street newspaper, Arsham will also be responsible for working with the Cleveland Monsters of the NHL, the Cavaliers minor league affiliate team, the Canton Charge, and the Cavs Legion, an electronic sports team; all belong to the elder Gilbert.

Daniel Arsham (James Law / courtesy Cleveland Cavaliers)

“Basketball, as a worldwide phenomenon, is a recurring theme in my work and I’m a longtime Cavs fan,” Arsham wrote in the team announcement. “However, most people don’t know that I have a close personal connection to Cleveland. My family’s roots in Cleveland go back to 1908 when my great-grandfather moved to The Land. My grandfather, father and I were all born in Cleveland. Cleveland is an iconic American city and the people of Cleveland are very proud of their hometown. Joining the Cavaliers as Creative Director and having the opportunity to help shape and lead the team’s visual identity as we look to the future is an incredible honor that I look forward to. to share with the entire community of Cavs fans and partners here. and all over the world. I want to thank the Gilberts and the entire organization for having this vision and inviting me to join the Cavs family.

More information on what Arsham’s role will involve will be released in the coming weeks.

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