"I think that the world is perceived in flickering glimpses out of the corner of one's eye," writes Michael Benjamin. "Like the ghostly figure that appears (barely) in a time exposure photograph, a fleeting image as momentary as a flash card." The painter 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. Fellow architect Robert Maschke gives him the nod this week with an exhibit at his 1point618 Gallery (6421 Detroit, 216-281-1618, 1point618gallery.com). What Remains opens with a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday and continues by appointment through September 24. It's free. — Michael Gill
On view now at area galleries and museums:
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 once used to be populated. Moore's exhibit debuts in Akron before moving on to tour nationally. 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.
(Art)ificial Gallery: Cinematic Redux: Lakewood resident Chad Kimes invited more than two dozen artists to reimagine the posters made for movies of the last 50 years or so. Most of the posters are painted, though some use silkscreening, and others employ media that stray far afield in the poster world, such as cross-stitching and quilting. A few riff on original poster art — like a Gone With the Wind piece that uses the same basic layout as the original, but replaces Rhett Butler with a zombie. But in most cases, the artist has started from scratch, casting an entirely new image for the old film. Through August 21 at 17020 Madison Ave., Lakewood. Open noon-7 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Call 216-227-8440 or go to whatisartificial.com.
Artists Archives of the Western Reserve: Color Me Cleveland: As a tribute to the character of Cleveland, local artists re-created landmarks such as the West Side Market, Gateway Plaza, and the Warehouse District last week. They created their pieces on location to allow onlookers to view the process. Their work will be displayed before an August 21 auction. Through August 21 at 1834 E. 123 St. Open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday-Friday and 12-4 p.m. Saturday. Call 216-721-9020 or visit artistarchives.org.
Artseen Gallery: Lunar Paraphrase: The Terrain of Intimacy: For more than two decades, painter Douglas Max Utter's work has been pulled in several directions. This career retrospective includes 18 mostly large paintings. Through September 19 at 5591 Liberty Ave., Vermilion. Open from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday. Call 440-963-0611 or visit theartseengallery.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, as well as 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. Call 216-421-7350 or visit clevelandart.org.
Contessa Gallery: Markus Pierson-The Unveiling: The creator of the 20-year Coyote Series, a set of paintings depicting coyotes in various human situations, will introduce a new set of artwork. Through August 15. Also: 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.
Doubting Thomas Gallery: Poetography Tremont: This collection of works created by teams of photographers and poets is inspired by collaboration between the two groups. Area photographers and poets worked together to create responsive works celebrating the complexities of their respective media. Through August 31 at 856 Jefferson Ave. in Tremont. Open 6-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday and by appointment. Call 330-958-4911 or visit myspace.com/doubtingthomasgallery.
Kokoon Arts Gallery: Summer Inventory Sale: This gallery, which places an emphasis on offering both traditional art and works created with digital and electronic media, is offering discounts on original works Friday afternoons. Through September 3 at 1305 W. 80th St. Open 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Fridays. Call 216-832-8212 or visit kokoonarts.com.
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 5:30-10 p.m. August 20, 5:30-11 p.m. September 17 (both nights will feature live music) and by appointment. Through September 17 at 1300 D West 78th St. Call 216-650-4201 or visit legationagallery.com.
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. Opens 6-9 p.m. August 20. Through September 17 at 16106 Detroit Ave. Call 216-228-1802 or visit localgirlgallery.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 and receiving his first pair of glasses. His specialties today range from postcard-sized illustrations and large canvas paintings to nylon rugs and jewelry. At 2091 Front Street in Cuyahoga Falls. Open 4-9 p.m. August 20. Call 330-962-4292 or visit studio2091.webs.com.
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 will debut August 20. Pieces range from paintings and prints to neon sculpture. Through September 10 at 5304 Detroit Ave. Open 6-10 p.m. August 20, 12-6 p.m. August 21, 12-5 p.m. August 22 and by appointment. Call 216-640-7769 or visit walleyegallery.com.
The Art of Character
Chris Seaman began his career shortly after graduating from the Columbus College of Art and Design with a plum job: llustrating the Harry Potter collectible card game. Drawing fantastical scenes from the wildly popular series at the height of its popularity launched a dream career for any fantasy illustrator: covers and inside illustrations for Dragon Magazine, Dungeon Magazine, and plenty of other stuff involving imaginary figments and weird dice. However they look when printed on glossy cards and paper, Seaman’s originals are meticulous oil paintings. Since he’s been at this for nearly a decade, it’s remarkable that it took until now for the first major solo show of his work — The Art of Character: Fantasy Illustration by Chris Seaman, opening with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at Arts Collinwood (15605 Waterloo Rd., 216-692-9500, artscollinwood.org). It includes more than 50 originals on view through September 10. After the reception, local noise composers will improvise responses to the fantasy scenes. — Gill