Posts Tagged ‘Cleveland Art Scene’


Did I fall asleep for like 2 months?  Not only is it October already but I feel like I just wrote about the opening of the fall season of art. And here we are posting yet again about another exciting weekend of art going. This is great I feel it as much as the 40 mile and hour winds blowing over my garbage cans. The Cleveland art scene is really whipping. This is the 3rd weekend in like 5 that there has been lots of art to see.  We are no longer a mosquito breeding stagnant pool of culture waiting for months for the next cycle of openings to begin, we have become a fresh flowing stream of rejuvenating visual pleasures. Clean and running. Always changing and challenging, gurgling and tinkling. Yes I said tinkling and I mean it. Lets run down some of my favorites:

78th Street Studios, the old American Greetings creative studios and former 1300 gallery home is back in full swing. This place is happening and quite possibly a model for artistic survival. Strength in numbers and symbiotic relationships. I love everything about this model. 78th street is a conglomerate of galleries, publishers, musicians/recording studios all functioning in one easy access building.  Every so often they hold openings where each gallery has a show. It’s like an art mall or our very own Chelsea, a concentrated area of art that benefits all who participate. This weekend is one of those open houses. On Friday October 9th and Saturday October 10th go check out the Studios from 5:30-9:00 and 1:00-5:00pm respectively.  Some of the Galleries included are Kenneth Paul Lesko Gallery, Kokoon arts, Tregoning & Company, Legation and the new and improved 1300/Third Gallery. Ton of art all in one place. The only thing I think missing is a small buffet line provided by Sokolowskis. A boy can dream….

One stand out at 78th street is a joint venture opening on Friday between Front Room Gallery and Legation is a show called Terra Non Firma that brings together 15 contemporary landscape artists. It seems the theme of landscape is broad here and can range from literal to emotional and metaphoric.  This show looks to be a hit with some great and well known local talent. I’ll throw out a few names here…umm, Amy Casey…..bam…how about another…..Doug Max Utter….Pow….and how about Kristin Bly and Matt Kolodziej to name a few more.  I think this show that bookends the city with two galleries one on the near west side and one on the near eastside will challenge our position and future in the world.

Also Spaces Plum Academy is now in its second semester with some cool programs this weekend:
Try taking the Graffiti Field Trip with the artist Peter Tabor on Saturday, October 10 from 12:00–2:00 p.m.
from Spaces:

Participants will discuss the rules and conventions of the graffiti community as well as graffiti’s impact on the residents of Cleveland. We will visit multiple sites of concentrated graffiti work and create their own chalk graffiti.

Its 5 buck you can pre register online at SpacesGallery.org.

The same goes for

The Electric Intonarumori: DIY Noize Instruments and Performance. On Saturday, October 10, 2:00–5:00 p.m you can make your own 808 or Sh-101 or DX-7. Not really but I wanted to flex my vintage synth knowledge. But you can make a cool electronic sound machine.
Here is from Spaces:
This is a hands-on exploration of building electronic circuits as playable noize instruments. This is not primarily “circuit bending” (modifying existing musical toys), but creating new circuitry from scratch. No electronics experience required.
Materials fee: $15.00
Cost: $20 for members; $23 for non-members; material fees included in total; pre-registration is required.

Plus the museums are featuring some great stuff. I love University Circle in the fall. Gauguin at CMA, Julian Stanczak and MOCA …oh my! Then get some pizza at Mama Santa’s and collect some leaves. Have fun.


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This weekend is again jamming with visual to-do’s. I am excited to see consecutive weekends with so many happenings.  Lets run down a few.

The “Ingenuity” fall season spawn is happening Friday and Saturday. The Bridge Project is upon us and looks to be a post boom trend of transforming un-used utilitarian spaces into creative venues. This time the lower level of the Detroit Superior Bridge, once the through way for trolleys, now a hollow echo chamber. The Bridge project will change all that with a Charles Bridge in Prague like make over of artists, performers, food and cool shopping. What a great way to celebrate our historic city and its great architecture. I bet the views alone will rekindle quite a few love affairs with ones city.

Also if we want to keep the Cleveland free love and urban reconciliation going, there will be an official ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the rejuvenation of the Detroit Shoreway, west 58th to 73rd street Gordan Square arts district. Frank Jackson, Councilman Matt Zone and all those responsible for the initiative will be there along with a street fair of music, dance, food, artwork and a chance to see all the great shops and restaurants in the neighborhood. The cutting is at 11 am on Saturday Sept 26th. Check out so many cool places like coffee at Gypsy Bean, awesome stuff a plenty at Room Service and just a breath taking renovation at the Stone Mad Pub and Restaurant.

Also, Spaces Plum Academy is still in session with lots of classes to take this weekend. I will be attending the screening and artist talk of Deborah Stratman on Saturday night. Stratman looks to present a cornucopia of themes in her films. I read also she works in just about every medium except voodoo. Spaces mentions she explores landscape, paranormal ideas in the information age, and existence in general. It looks to be an exciting night. That’s Saturday at 7:30. Tickets should be bought at Spacesgallery.org.

Oh also and a reason why we need a rail system in Ohio, at the Wexner Center in Columbus is an exhibition of one of the arguably most important painters working today, Belgian painter Luc Tuymans.  Tuymans quick cinematic loose monochromatic renderings border on dreamy but the banal subjects hint at  essence and effermal nature of media representation in the contemporary world.

Then I think I am going to a party at Kristin and Grants house.

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clockwise from left:  Megan Herwig/Front Room, Michelle Muldrow/Heights Arts, Tim Callaghan/WBG, Lori Ott/WBG

clockwise from left: Megan Herwig/Front Room, Michelle Muldrow/Heights Arts, Lori Ott/WBG, Tim Callaghan/WBG,

Dust off your eyeballs and pull your brain out of that hat box on the top shelf of your closet because Friday  night is bloated with art openings. I mean seriously there are so many openings tomorrow that I even got a press release from the Marathon Station up the street exclaiming their group show that deals with the problem of dependence on foreign oil. So if you’re looking to see some art on Friday or anytime after < check the galleries websites for hours and or appointments > here is a list of some of the shows opening on Friday September 11th:

William Busta
is offering up 2 fine shows, Lori Ott (A brief classmate of mine during my short stay at Kent State, if I am remembering right, it was 7 years ago now, geez), in the main gallery, very tactile constructed mixed medium pieces. And in the drawing and print room, small works on paper by HMNA favorite Timothy Callaghan. The show titled Saint Clair En Plein Air referring to on site drawings and painting  from one of Cleveland most bucolic and serene streets >wink<.  Should be interesting to see some spontaneous paint application and artistic reaction to place.
The show opens Friday from 5-9

Than on the east-side at Heights Arts is a new friend and fantastic artist addition to Cleveland, from west coast to the north coast Michelle Muldrow will be presenting her first solo show of paintings opening on Friday from 6-9pm.  Michelle’s paintings are a subtle contemplation on environment. By implementing traditional landscape painting as a starting point she applies the photographers eye and burden of the great New Topographers and mixes it with the beauty and tradition of the sublime in landscape paintings of the 19th century. The mix creates an odd balance. An unresolved place of nature and man and of tension between two worlds and two traditions.
Heights Arts is located at 2163 Lee Road #104 in Cleveland Heights.

Come back to the westside and find a great group show at the Front Room gallery, 3615 Superior #4203A. Missed Calculations is a collection of works from national artists ranging from painting to drawing to sculpture. The common theme being the popular exploration of the strange and tension filled struggle of nature and man or organic and rigid of human interaction in a complex and strong yet delicate earth. Front Room always brings together great ideas and cutting edge artists. Check it out, the opening is Friday the 11th from 7-11 pm.

Huff—huff–huff, sorry I’m out of breath. I feel like the micro machines guy on the ads talking a mile a minute. Okay…as you can see there is plenty to do and see tomorrow and for the next month or so. Plan wisely and try to take it all in. If you have time too don’t forget about Spaces own opening extravagance: they are trumping everyone with a huge art buffet. Opening tomorrow are  2 great SpaceLAB artists, Jiri Suruvka Spaces SWAP artist and the Plum Academy an extremely cool and innovative hands on viewer participating barrier breaking month or two long exhibition that tackles many idea’s and challenges the common and historically dense ideal of what art should be. Check out their website for details and sign-ups for participating in some enlightening workshops. Graduate with honors and enroll now.

I have to take a nap. I’m out.

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Mark Slankard @ CSU Art Gallery Aug 28th 5-8pm

School buses, crickets, dark mornings all signal one thing: summer is in the September of its years…sob.  The days will still be warm and in theory summer is still raging on, but we all know its a downward slope.  Plastic surgery couldn’t rejuvenate the wrinkled droopy skin of the always fleeting season of humid sweltering weather and long hours of light. The clock just can’t be turned back on this season.  No looking back. Summer group shows and gallery sabbaticals are gone and other than breaking out my favorite grandpa sweater and fleece slippers, the regular art season is a nice distraction to the looming grey  Alaskan cold darkness that is floating on the horizon. Okay enough of the melancholy, move to Phoenix right? Alright then on with the itinerary.

This weekend is jammed. Like a bunch of dogs at the track, the gates are open and we are chasing the rabbit.  So lets run down some of the points of interest.

090828_spiceydames_600The newly re-branded William Rupnik Gallery is presenting Mallorie Freeman: Spicy Dames and Tales of Mystery. Gritty works that are rooted in photography, mystery, myth and fiction. Mallorie’s work seems to occupy the space of kitche yet hints at the perpetuation of female myths through media and history. Fiction and non-fiction are interchangeable as we constantly balance identity with myth and expectation.  All life is drama and fiction I suppose. Located at 1667 East 40th St MF is opening Friday from 7-10 with a after party to boot. Lava Lounge is the perfect place to star in your own pulp novel.

E 40th isn’t too far from Cleveland State so why not hit up the Art Gallery on Friday too and take in  CSU’s provocative photography exhibition from its esteemed faculty member, Mark Slankard. Slankard is a well established photographer with a serious vision. I recommend checking out all of his bodies of work. The one that is being shown proves to pursued and provoke a plethora of presumptions. Too many P’s I know I was on roll. Anyways, Slankard is exploring Turkey and the extreme growth of its urban cities and suburban sprawl.  Western whiffs hang in the air with modern high rises and suffocatingly clone stamped developments rising up from the countryside. What is to be considered is  the implications of the most extreme of gentrification.  Ancient history in an all out over the top arm wrestle with the increasingly unpopular throw away press-board eyesores of sprawl.  Slankard’s works will no doubt be visually stunning. Large, and I’m talking HUGE, color photographs rendered with 8×10 large format camera precision.  The work seems to play out with the staged drama of Gregory Crewdsen only these are pulled and selected from the real world which offers to the viewer a wink as to allude to the surreal scenes of such real life tension and drama. Hot air masses mix with cold air and that can only mean one thing. For Slankard, its a culture storm or old and new. And with the ever changing world, it is a storm that almost all cultures can relate to these days.

On Friday you can hear the artist talk at 4 with the opening reception from 5-8.

More info:
CSU Art Gallery
East 23rd Street and Chester Avenue (2307 Chester Avenue).

William Rupnik Gallery is proud to present:
An exhibition by Mallorie Freeman
Spicy Dames and Tales of Mystery
August 28 – September 13, 2009
Opening reception 7-10 pm Friday, August 28, 2009

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Picture 1

Hey, wow, shameless self promotion here. I was awarded best of show in the annual juried American Greetings “Spring” Fine Arts Show. I am honored to be chosen by the impressive jurors: Marcia Hall:  the Director of the Bonfoey Gallery,  Barbara Tannenbaum: Director of Curatorial Affairs @ Akron Museum of Art, and Matthew Kolodziej:  noted national painter and Professor of Painting at the Myers School of Art.

The show opens tomorrow Friday July 24th from 5:30-8:30 pm.  I think it is a rather short running show ending on August 8th so check it out if you can or come to the opening, should be well attended.

Bonfoey Gallery

1710 euclid avenue
cleveland ohio 44115,
ph 216.621.0178  fx 216.621.7033

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Friday night was hopping in Tremont. It was such a gorgeous evening walking around the neighborhood from Lava Lounge to Scoops to Asterisk for the opening of the curated 19 show. A show that brought together 19 local artists who have never shown with the gallery before. A mash-up of different aesthetics and aims as diverse as sculpture, graphic neo-pop, post-contemporary painting, video, installation. Good and bad, successful or unsuccessful it was a survey of the exciting and diverse practices happening in the metro area.  Perhaps it was one too many pre-show beers bought for me by some old room-mates I haven’t seen in a while or just the awe struck daze I was in from the beauty of the night but, naughty reviewer I forgot or lost a pen to jot down some notes and since I forget every name ever even my own mother, I have no names to accompany my fav’s list. But, we move on.

astersk19-2Stand outs where the latex tumor-esque or microscopic platelet’s blood cell inspired sculptures in the glass case, lined up like specimens in a medical museum. The tactile nature of the material and the color choices created a feeling with out even having to hold them.  I imagine the glass case was to thwart an art looker with less than first grade restraint? I know I wanted to squeeze one and hold it.  They had a feeling of the body and of corporeality. Interesting inspiration. I also suppose they leaned on the side of orifice but I am sticking toward cellular.

Also the painting that just exploded with stuff shackled to and glued and wedged together on the surface of the support was awesome.  There was so much energy, like neo-expressionism meets sculpture meets consumer culture meets chaos in modern life.  It was junkie and exciting and resonated with color, texture, clutter: contemporary life.  I love the fact that the existential  brush strokes of Pollack and such that symbolized the inner being is now replaced with the energy of stuff. I could of looked at that piece all night.asterisk19-1

Generally I am luke warm on video because I think it is really really really hard to pull off. But the piece in the basement with the wheat fields and the county line map super imposed on the arid cracked landscape that segwayed into a race down 71  I found captivating. I stood in a trance watching. The pace was good and the imagery and raw sound transported you away and made the viewer sort of go quiet inside. Or maybe it was the smell of basement that sent me into a hypnotic peyote trance. I’m still going with the video though.


All in all, throw in 3 great Dana Oldfather explosions of color and line and…was that a skull? with that cool Nightmare on Elm Street transformation of the fist or bosom or rubbery protrusion seamlessly extending from the white wall as if in a moment it will pop and deflate and the 19 show seems to instill the notion of great art happening in Cleveland.

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Want to get inspired about your city and the incredible talent and wonderfully innovative and creative tinkering that is bubbling up underneath the decrepit whispers and echoes of “old” Cleveland”?  Is there a band of shaman performing an exorcism on the ghosts of Cleveland. Yelling out “The power of Christ compels you!”,  or more like “ The power of creatives compels you!”  Well look no further than Room Service, the nifty cutting edge boutique located in the transforming Gordon Square District of the near westside. Open daily you can find unique and well designed items made from all points chic on the map. Cleveland designers mix seamlessly, rubbing shoulders with the greats of New York, L.A. and London. But for one day the Clevelanders get to take center stage, during Made in the 216, a gala event that will expand the normally 600 sq. ft store front into a 3 shop showcase of the fine and diverse talent of makers here in CLE.  This go-around it seems Made in the 216 is going to be more of a block party with bands and food and shopping.  I am really excited about the elite group of folks setting up to sell their goods.  Some of my favorites are the threads made by Wrath Arcane, an ultra hip clothing design team that can hold their own on the international runways with the likes of APC, G-Star and Junya Watanabe. Amazing high fashion being made right here in Cleveland. Also I am excited to see Cleveland’s own Pinnafirina of the fixie set, Cicli Polito: Dan Polito. These bikes will blow you away, truly works of art, hand made with incredible care over as much as 3 months per bike to make, the only thing Dan doesn’t do from the ground up is formulate the molecules of aluminum in a petri dish.
Throw in a ton of great local artists and designers and furniture makers, jewelers and many many others and you have a fantastic exercise of creative military muscle. Danielle DeBoe, the owner of Room Service, is taking on the role of Jim Jong Ill and launching an artistic missile to show the world that Cleveland has the guts and power to be a serious art/creative power house. So go check it out. Here are the details:

Room Service
6505 Detroit Ave

Friday June 26 from 4-9pm
Saturday June 27 from 11-9

bands will play at the Happy Dog starting at 9 both days.


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