A series of murals with images of soup cans were attached to a vacant building on the corner of Noble and Glenwood roads a few weeks back.
But the owner of the building isn't sure who created the poster-sized, aluminum cans, which have political and social commentary on the label instead of a specific stew. And the artist didn't get permission from building management or the city.
Each panel has the signature "Art Maffia" in the right corner.
So the question remains, who is Art Maffia, and why did it install the paintings?
Four of the poster-sized murals depict three red-and-white Campbell-like soup cans with the word "Cleveland" written in place of the recognizable brand, and soup flavors like "Keep on Keepin' On," "Justice Jumbalaya" and "Split P.C."
The fifth panel simply says "Suburban Soup" and has two bowls of what look like piping hot tomato soup.
Efforts to locate the artist for an interview have been unsuccessful for a few reasons.
Cleveland Heights Law Director John Gibbon said he “wasn’t aware of any records that have anything to do with those murals.”
City Planning Director Richard Wong also said Art Maffia didn't get permission from Cleveland Heights to install the murals.
"I am in contact with the owner’s son, who is considering removal of the panels or requesting permission from the Planning Commission and Architectural Board of Review," Wong said in an email.
Keith Hamulak, a senior associate at CB Richard Ellis, which represents the owners of the property, said he was quite surprised to learn that someone set up artwork on the building. He could not be reached for comment to confirm whether management would keep or remove the panels.
Cleveland Heights Patch spoke with people involved in the local artist community — and Peggy Spaeth, executive director of Heights Arts — but they didn’t know about them, either.
There are many stunning murals in the business districts of Cleveland Heights, and . But the artists obtained permission from the city and building owners. So, who is this mysterious Art Maffia?
Editor's Note: In an earlier edition of this article, it was unclear that CB Richard Ellis represented the owners of the property.