Hai-ku(noun). Andy Curlowe and Janet Bruhn display works that examine humanity's relationship with nature. Bruhn uses an unflinching realism to render scenes like half-eaten food and overgrown lots, demonstrating how the world goes on without our attention or consent. In pieces like "I Can't Wait for Winter," left, Curlowe meshes together natural landscapes and geometric figures meant to invoke schematics, contrasting nature's aimless patterns with human systemization. An opening reception will be held Friday, August 17, from 6 to 11 p.m. Through September 9 at 3910 Lorain Ave. Call 216-407-9558 or go to buckbuckcle.com.
Arts Collinwood: Nomads. Chicago-based William M. Newhouse, a 1999 CIA grad, crafts playful scenes of male-male romantic affection. He draws upon both contemporary and classical Renaissance techniques to lend softness to his subjects and subvert technical expectations. Through September 2 at 15605 Waterloo Rd. Call 216-692-9500 or go to artscollinwood.org.
Brandt Gallery: Sirens and Other Wonders of the Sea. Meredith Hahn illuminates the mythological creatures of the deep. Delicate lines paired with neon fill and metallic backgrounds create visual surprises. Through September 1 at 1028 Kenilworth Ave. Call 216-621-1610 or go to brandtgallery.org.
Gallery Wolfy Part II: Enjoy Your Life. Musician and artist Jad Fair displays drawings and paper cutouts that invoke the same combination of whimsy and monstrosity that fans discovered in his band Half Japanese. Through September 1 at 2676 West 14th St. Go to wolfypartii.blogspot.com.
Heights Arts: Living Room. This show assembles top regional talent to help make the entirety of the living room (not just the walls) a showcase for fine art. Contributors include furniture artist Doug Meyer, and ironworker and Creative Workforce fellow Stephen Yusko. Through September 1 at 2175 Lee Rd., Cleveland Heights. Call 216-371-3457 or go to heightsarts.org.
Mastroianni Arts: A Wink and a Nod. In Jackie Romanak Zubal's funny and startling colllages, chipmunks hang laundry out to dry, and hands offer up fistfuls of yellow chicks to altars draped in prayer flags. Through September 14 at 2688 West 14th St. Call 216-235-6936 or visit mastroianniarts.com.
The Morgan Conservatory: A Thousand Stairs. CSU professor Qian Li uses painting, mixed media, and her first endeavors in printmaking to explore the cyclical influence of culture on individual decisions, and vice versa. Also: In-between. Don Lisy mixes and matches paint, charcoal, and pastels with paper, canvas, and wood to create allegorical self-portraits. Through August 25 at 1754 East 47th St. Call 216-361-9255 or go to morganconservatory.org.
Opus Gallery: All Women All Art. This annual show gives female artists the opportunity to display their creations in all media. Participants include painter Inna Barkon, jeweler Maureen Bergman, and print artist Maria A. Zanetta. Through September 10 at 27629 Chagrin Blvd., Woodmere. Call 216-595-1376 or go to opus-gallery.com.
River Gallery Art: Jeff Yost and Brian Sarama. Jeff Yost calls forms out of dusky gloom. Recent MFA grad Brian Sarama breaks down images and piles them on top of one another on ceramic backdrops, creating fields of color and shapes. Through September 8 at 19046 Old Detroit Rd., Rocky River. Call 440-331-8406 or go to rivergalleryarts.com.
Rotten Meat Gallery: Solo Show II: Compilation. Melanie Newman, a 2007 CIA grad, displays work from a short but varied career that has produced sculpture, photography, tapestry, and printmaking. If any theme unites the work, it is concern for life lived in the region. Through August 31 at 1814 East 40th St., Suite 4B. Call 216-469-4896 or visit Rotten Meat Gallery on Facebook.
We Gallery: Pipefitters, Porn & PBR. John Puglia remembers the factory workers of the 1970s and '80s, showing us both the hardships of the workplace and the joys, vices, and eccentricities of the workers. Through August 31 at 20 North High St., Akron. Call 330-252-0988 or go to thewegallery.com.
William Rupnik Gallery: Ruins, Relics, Revelations. Photographer Brandon P. Davis opens his first solo exhibition with this meditation on urban blight in the Rust Belt. Empty factories, abandoned parks, and deserted classrooms are captured in full but fading color to humanize economic realities. Through August 31 at 1117 Euclid Ave. Call 216-533-5575 or go to 1117.wrgcleveland.com.