AN INVITATION TO LUBBER-LAND Brooklyn-based Duke Riley is making new work out of Cleveland history for his season-opening show. He brings his interest in people living in the margins of society to Cleveland's famed "Torso Murders" and the former shantytown that sprung up along the now-buried creek known as Kingsbury Run. For An Invitation to Lubber Land, Riley is making an ambitious installation that incorporates video, mosaic, drawing, found objects, and sculpture to reenvision Elliot Ness' historic purge of the so-called hobo jungle. Lubber Land and MOCA's other fall exhibits (Seth Rosenberg: The Cleveland Years, and Assume Vivid Astro Focus: Ilegítimo) — open with a reception from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, September 10, and hang through January 9 at MOCA (8501 Carnegie Ave.). Call 216-421-8671 or visit mocacleveland.org. — Michael Gill
Akron Art Museum: Andrew Moore: Detroit Disassembled: Moore has put together a collection of photos that capture the decline of this once-great industrial giant, showing the vast empty space that used to be populated. Through October 10. Also: Isaac Julien-True North: Julien, a British artist and filmmaker, presents a sound and video installation that details the first expedition to the North Pole. The film shows on three screens over almost 40 feet of space and combines "mysterious and haunting sounds" with voices and music. Through October 3 at One South High Street in Akron. Open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday. Call 330-376-9185 or visit akronartmuseum.org.
Arts Collinwood: The Art of Character: Chris Seaman began his career shortly after graduating from the Columbus College of Art and Design with a plum job: illustrating the Harry Potter collectible card game. However they look when printed on glossy cards, Seaman's originals are meticulous oil paintings. Through September 10 at 15605 Waterloo Rd. Hours are 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Call 216-692-9500 or go to artscollinwood.org.
The Art Gallery at Cleveland State University: On the Corner Off: During his long career, CSU prof Ken Nevadomi's paintings have been part cartoon and part visionary surrealism, almost always built around human figures placed in hallucinatory landscapes or other contexts that carry the work's message. Through October 9 at 2307 Chester Ave. Call 216-687-2103 or visit csuohio.edu/artgallery.
(Art)ificial Gallery: Where's My Pet Jack?: CIA grad Sean Burns, tattoo artist Eric Kaplan, and painter/musician Keith Gayton play with the dated camp of old TV sci-fi in this three-man outing. Through September 10 at 17020 Madison Ave. in Lakewood. Call 216-227-8440 or visit popshopgallery.com.
Bonfoey Co.: Urban Scapes: Phyllis Seltzer:
If you've paid any attention at all to Cleveland art in the last couple of decades, you've seen Phyllis Seltzer's cityscapes of Cleveland, Boston, Chicago, New York, and Italy. Reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, September 10. Through September 25 at 1710 Euclid Ave. Hours are 8:30am -5:30pm Monday through Thursday; till 5 p.m. Fridays; and 9 a.m.-noon Saturdays. Call 216-621-0178 or visit bonfoey.com.
Cleveland Museum of Art: Midwest Modern: The Color Woodcuts of Mabel Hewit: Cleveland artist Mabel Hewit uses her woodcuts to show scenes of remote areas of the United States, such as views of Provincetown, Massachusetts, and Saugatuck, Mich. Through October 24. Also: Andrew Borowiec: Cleveland Photographs: The Akron native documents the Flats through black-and-white photography. Through October 17 at 11150 East Boulevard. Open Tuesday-Sunday at 10 a.m. Closes at 9 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday, and at 5 p.m. all other days (closed Mondays). Call 216-421-7350 or visit clevelandart.org.
Contessa Gallery: Nguyen Tuan-Transformations and Balance: This internationally known artist's sculptures incorporate balance — between light and dark, rough and smooth — to represent extremes. Through September 19 at 24667 Cedar Road. Open 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday, and noon-6 p.m. Sunday. Call 216-382-7800 or visit contessagallery.com.
Forum ArtSpace: Bazaarbecue: Paintings, drawings, ceramics, photography, and "adorable plush creatures" by 33 artists. Through September 17 at 1300 W. 78th St. Hours are 3-8 p.m. Mondays; go to forumartspace.blogspot.com.
Gelbke Fine Arts Center (Hiram College): Point of Departure: Five artists working within the tradition of realist painting. Subject matter ranges from landscapes familiar as the Pennsylvania hills and exotic as Iceland. There's a free reception from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, September 10. Through October 1 at 12000 Winrock Rd., Hiram. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; call 330-569-5304 or visit hiram.edu.
Legation, a Gallery: Dott Schneider: The Burrows: An expression of Schneider's "connection to and observation of the desert," these mixed-media paintings and large-scale installation represent the impact desert life left on her. Open by appointment and for a closing reception 5:30-11 p.m. September 17. Through September 17 at 1300 D West 78th St. Call 216-650-4201 or visit legationagallery.com.
Heights Art Gallery: Glass artist Rene Culler, a lifelong Clevelander who recently moved to head a new glass program at the U. of Southern Alabama at Mobile, presents works from her Byzantium series — layered colors of glass fused into a topography that suggests landscapes. A show of her work opens with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday and hangs through October 23 at Heights Arts Gallery (2173 Lee Road, Cleveland Hts., 216-371-3457, heightsarts.org).
Local Girl Gallery: Dimitra Pasalis-Glamour Girl: Pasalis uses "Glamour Girl," a character honoring Louise Brooks, along with linoleum to express everyday life in a semi-abstract form. Her recent work also pays homage to various other artists, including Edvard Munch. Through September 17 at 16106 Detroit Ave. Call 216-228-1802 or visit localgirlgallery.com.
1point618 Gallery: What Remains: Painter Michael Benjamin seems to view painting as a meditative retreat from his day job and other worldly concerns. "I have almost entirely abandoned preliminary sketches, approaching each canvas trying to clear my mind of any and all goals — to not think," he says. The Cleveland architect has painted throughout his life, but hasn't shown his work much. Through September 24 at 6421 Detroit Ave. Open by appointment; call 216-281-1618 or go to 1point618gallery.com.
Proximity Gallery: Threshold: Koehn/Widen: There's an inside/outside dichotomy in Aaron Koehn and Katherine Widen's show. Koehn's paintings emphasize the light in interior spaces — bedrooms, dining rooms, offices, and other places where life is evident but not really the point. Widen's paintings are visions of the outdoors fortified with abstraction. Through September 10 at 1667 East 40th St., 216-262-8903. Open by appointment; visit proximitycleveland.com.
SPACES: Fall exhibits include: A Vague Whole, featuring Benjamin Bellas, Steffani Jemison, and Clinton King tinkering with and rearranging common objects as collage; world artist program resident Paul Druecke, of Milwaukee, exploring how landmarks function within social spaces; and Cleveland artist Wes Johansen creating a TV room for group watching and discussion about the strength of TV as a cultural addiction. All three shows open with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday and hang through October 22 at SPACES, 2220 Superior Viaduct, 216-621-2314, spacesgallery.org).
William Busta Gallery: Self-described mother, daughter, wife, sister, and ceramic artist Kristen Cliffel explores domesticity in her whimsical fantasies of cupcakes and storybook scenes. A show of her new work opens Friday and continues through October 9 at William Busta Gallery (2731 Prospect, 216-298-9071, williambustagallery.com).
Studio 2091: Mark Mothersbaugh: OH Hi O 2010: Akron native Mothersbaugh discovered a passion for art after learning he was legally blind as a child. His specialties today range from postcard-sized illustrations and large canvas paintings to nylon rugs and jewelry. Through September 18. Also: Silas Hite: You Can't Control Everything (And It's Still Going to Be Alright): An artist and composer from L.A., Hite emphasizes spontaneity in a series of drawings created with as little planning as possible. Also: Mina Hosfeld: Expressions: Akron photographer and metalsmith Hosfeld presents a collection of black-and-white photographs of tattoos, shot at three Akron-area ink shops. Through September 25 at 2091 Front Street in Cuyahoga Falls. Call 330-962-4292 or visit studio2091.webs.com.
Summit Artspace: My Spirit Rises: Featuring five Ohio artists and a range of media, this exhibition includes paintings, quilts, glass art, ceramic and work from a fabric artist. Through September 18 at 140 E. Market St. in Akron. Open 12-5 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. Admission is free. Call 330-376-8470 or visit summitartspace.org.
Wall Eye Gallery: Clear Signs: Six of Cleveland's "most innovative and provocative artists" were given only the prompt "clear signs," and the work they created in response debuted August 20. Through September 10 at 5304 Detroit Ave. Open by appointment. Call 216-640-7769 or visit walleyegallery.com.