Posts Tagged ‘Spaces Gallery’


I’ve completed my piece for the Erie Prom Spaces Gallery benefit and I plan to drop her off on Friday. “Prop”, a piece from my Mechanical Bride series will be part of the gala, hanging on the wall, so please watch out the splashing punch while doing the Bartman or random airborne crab cakes. Hopefully it will be safe and not knocked around by a amorous make-out session. Jarred from the wall by two spontaneous and passionate prom goers.

I guess my biggest worry is less about food disasters but more of an ego disaster. I hope someone bids on it. Nothing like being the only person left hanging in the shadows against the wall during the last dance. So please bid, it’s a fine piece and as noted in previous post, lovingly framed.

I’m anxious to see the other artwork up for donation. Last year the roster was phenomenal. I am honored to be able to participate and to mark the occasion I will be cumber-bunned out and eagerly bumping elbows with fellow art homies.

Please bid, for my ego SPACES benefit. Its charity!


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Saturday was an eventful day in Cleveland art and it also was my first class as a newly enrolled student at the Plum Academy. I transferred from being homeschooled in the arts, generally practicing artistic visual and verbal witchcraft in my garage, to a film watching dialogue engaging cultural participant. It was the PA’s goal of course to transform passive observers into active participants at ole Plum U.  And tonight I was transformed.

I, after battling for a parking spot on the Superior Viaduct against hundreds of Bridge Project goers, made it to class on time and filed into my chair to hear Deborah Stratman an acclaimed multi-discipline artist who also teaches at the School of Art & Design at the University of Illinois at Chicago, discuss and screen 2 recent film projects. The first being an interesting abstract mix of black and white grainy shadowy ameoba and nihilistic quotes about how boring life is that took your mind to dark corners of wonder and contemplation of the meaning of life and whether there is more to it all. I was left with the thought “If that’s all there is….then lets keep dancing…” It was short and fast paced like those kind of thoughts that dash in and out of the mind. Like do we go somewhere after we die or is this really it? Are there ghosts? The dark is scary either physically or metaphorically, darkness is unknown.

Picture 1The second film titled O’er the Land is a methodical and perfectly curated collection of scenes that brought together the zeitgeist of America and the concept of Freedom in a poignant and awesome way.  A film that brought together the civil war, high school football, military training, machine gun festivals all marked with pensive quiet moments of nature, the awe of the quiet and sublime. Nature out does man every time in power and glory. Yet that wasn’t the punch line, there was no punchline rather a reflective rhetorical presentation that opened more questions that it does answer. The film was ironic and humourous in its sheer truth and obscurity, like the civil war reenactments that at first seem like it meant to be about the civil war itself but then when it cut to golf carts and an ambulance with civil war players standing idle off the battlefield the scene is clearly about the reenactment. The ambulance there to help just in case some one gets hurt while “playing war”.

The movie, slow at times and pensive with Ansel Adams or Joel Sternfeld like framing. The production was as much about photography and referenced  past greats artists who have equally tried to define it. Fox Talbot, Adams, Sternfeld all marked manifest destiny in their own way at their time. Stratman dips into that historic bag in her approach .Each shot was tripod-ed and chosen like the way a photographer would use a view camera. She then  let the drama play out in the frame like a Harry Potter painting, truly a moving picture. The pictures were enhanced with the sounds and quotes.  They added complexity to the story.

The piece was great, better than any linear narrative because it took you to so many places yet with an underlying cohesiveness. The cathartic nature of the film at times was absurd with the documentation of the machine gun festival in Knob Creek Kentucky showing a sign that exclaimed, Machine Gun Rentals here. But ultimately was enlightening without judgement.  The players in the film were real and honest.

What I took away most from the film was not my admitted disgust with weaponry because that was an internal judgment when seeing the footage of gun-toting and not the aim of the film, was the story of Lt Col William Rankin. It was what I thought to be the underpinning and vehicle for the film. His story, about ejecting from a plane at 47,000 feet and his ensuing 45 minute drop back down to earth and survival through extreme temperatures and a raging storm, was to me, the point.  It was the question of being. Of as Rankin explains, surviving because of training. It was a great juxtaposition of the awe of nature and of our minds and bodies and spirits. It was a culmination of age old questions about existence. The scene was moving and riveting.

O’er the Land really  was the finest in what art can do. It gives you feelings and challenges views and is poetic with a message, it presents everything and nothing at the same time.  It has a clear agenda but the funny thing is your left with only a feeling and your mind reeling with its own questions and thoughts. If you get a chance to see it, do it. It’s on par with Godfrey Reggio’s Koyaanisqatsi in its poetic probing of american culture and psyche.

It has made a prestigious run through many film festivals including Sundance and Cannes. Here are a few links for some more info and Stratmans other works.




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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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Contemporary human existence revolves around data.  Just watch a sports game and the statistical comparisons that are summoned to explain patterns and predictions are sometimes so absurd that its hilarious. We try and quantify everything these days in order to find some concrete ground work for understanding.  I remember the movie Pi where a genius mathematician was on the verge of an equation that could predict the stock market. Ha, wouldn’t that be great. Its like going back in time to 1932 and knew that if you bought 8 copies of Superman #1 you’d come back a rich man. Well, for someone who has worked many jobs one and most current being for a larger corporation, data rules the roost and often its pretty boring. But what if we took data and mapping and market research and applied it to the systems of art.  Like Matthew Ritchie or Julie Mehretu or Ingrid Calame, or DaVinci for that matter, there is a long tradition of mapping and data collection in art.  Its pattern and pattern is design element, why not layer in some social or political or personal element to creating patterns, turning data into marks. In essence, that what art really is. Even Pollack was collecting existential data, really.
In that vein, SPACES new show “Internal Compasses” opens tonight and seems to be a really good “read”.  Look for Sarah FitzSimons site specific  tents that are built to mimic the land around the place in which they are erected, they simultaneously use the environment and also become it.  Here mountainous tents have roots in contemporary architecture and the contemplation of how we as humans find both inspiration in the land and how we adapt and use the land.

Susken Rosenthals drawings are, at first glance,  like the scrawling of a mad man, like someone trying to get the ink to flow from a pen that hasn’t been used in months. But the rectangular bounded white sheets of paper represent the documentation of soccer matches.  An energetic representation of  time, movement, random-ness and energy. Each game finds area’s of the field being used more. I wonder if you can tell who won the game by which end of the field has more marks. The birds nest of marks remind me too of images of migration patterns, or a really bad hair day.

Also, check out Eric Sungs emotional and mystical photographs that seems to be about patterns and rituals. Rites that are historical and human.  A stark contrast to the rigid data depiction these photographs are a nice counter point yet the quietly elude to the patterns and rhythms of life, the ebb and flow of existence. Time is marked here by long exposure and movement.

The show looks great and it opens tonight from 6-9 and its free…FREE, I tell you.

SPACES-2220 Superior Viaduct-Cleveland, OH 44113


Oh one last note,  I just realized that there is a great show at  Shaheen Contemporary:  A solo show of Craig Kucia:  We Left with our Hearts Tied. It runs till June 5th and it is sure to be a great collection of paintings from another stand out product of CIA. Craigs paintings are bold, colorful day dream world paintings. Beautifully constructed these paintings exist in a juxtaposed world of fantasy, Saturday morning cartoon, storybook, weird wonderful rich, allegorical and history (  just totally fell of a descriptive cliff ) I like the look of the paintings, wish this one got more press, it is good contemporary painting.


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Friday night ( April 17th from 6-9 ) looks to be a hoot at Spaces with the opening of their ARTMart: SPACES Annual Members Show & Sale. It looks to be a hip version of the local gymnasium craft fair only without all the wicker. Instead it looks to contain hundreds of hand-made thoughtful art pieces made by SPACES Members. Looking to bulk up you art collection at bargain prices or just feel like getting your philanthropy on, proceeds benefit both Spaces and the artists. Sounds like its angling for rage-er status with music, free eats prepared by local culinariens and even games. So saddle up and for just 5 bucks for non-members and free for members take in some of the best fine art being a member at Spaces can provide. I guess if nothing less, the logo is great, and great logos almost always mean its going to be cool.

Here are the details:

Admission to the opening reception is free for members, $5 for guests at the door, or free with the purchase of a new membership. Become a member by 11 a.m. on April 15, and be eligible to show your work in this year’s Members’ Show & Sale (depending upon available space). Artists will be restocking their work throughout the run of the exhibition. Come as often as you like during gallery hours.

Admission during normal gallery hours is free.

2220 Superior Viaduct Cleveland, OH 44113 Gallery Hours Tues – Thu 11-5:30 Fri 11-7 Sat 11-5:30 Sun 1-5 http://www.SPACESgallery.org info@SPACESgallery.org 216.621.2314

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Lots to do this weekend, I’ll be brief.

Yoshiko Kanai “Listen to Utopia” @ SPACELAB  Spaces. Multi-media installation exploring the myth of the American Dream through the eye’s of an immigrant.

Lee Friedlander @ Cleveland Museum of Art.  Hello!? This is Lee Friedlander we’re talking about, do not miss this show.

4U Exhibition @ Zygote. Opening night Friday 13th 6-9.  Looks like fresh student work from 4 local Universities…see what the schools are teaching these kids. Maybe get hip to the next Dana Schutz.

Paula Rubinstein @ Bonfoey.  1 part Alice Neel’s spontaneity, 1 Part Matisse’s color, and 1 part Van Gogh’s perspective.

And on Sunday get brunch @ Touch.

Now, discuss.

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