The first Friday of each month is usually one of the busiest nights for artists and galleries throughout Northeast Ohio. This month is no different, and no organization has as much to celebrate this April as the Cleveland Institute of Art.
First, Lane Cooper, the chair of its painting department and current associate professor of painting, is debuting a new series of work, What Dreams May Come, at Waterloo Arts as part of April's Walk All Over Waterloo event.
"Lane Cooper joined the Waterloo Arts gallery committee two years ago and, in her position as chair of painting at Cleveland Institute of Art, she has connected us with some excellent artists and also curated a group show in the gallery," says Waterloo Arts executive director Amy Callahan. "Earlier this year, Cooper and I spoke about her need to dedicate some time to her own painting in order to deal with the recent loss of her sister, and I was happy to put a show for her in the schedule for April and May. I am interested to see and discuss with Cooper her process and this new body of work."
Cooper holds both an MFA in painting and a master's degree in art history with an emphasis in contemporary art from the University of Alabama. She has taught at the Cleveland Institute of Art since 2001. Earlier this year, Cooper curated I Came So Far For Beauty at the Galleries at Cleveland State University. In 2014, she curated De Materia at Waterloo Arts.
"This show has grown out of my experience over the past five years," Cooper explains. "They've been rough years for me, with the past two being particularly difficult. In order to make sense of this time, to 'come out on the other side' as they say, I need to reboot, to renew my commitment to those things that really matter to me. This show is a very tentative start on that. In it, I am trying to drill down on those things that drive me as an artist. It is, in fact, a very selfish show, and it's going to look like a hodgepodge, I'm afraid, with a little of this and a little of that. But all of it is rooted in those things I'm most deeply interested in, those things which keep me making, and the work represents my first frail attempts, after a long time, to give myself over to them."
The exhibit's opening reception takes place Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. as part of April's Walk All Over Waterloo. The exhibit remains on view through May 20.
Meanwhile, at CIA's Reinberger Gallery, American Real opens on Friday. One of gallery director Bruce Checefsky's goals for the new Reinberger Gallery in CIA's unified campus is to expose current students to as many types of art as possible.
Additionally, Checefsky views this special exhibition as a sort of marketing opportunity. "It's a way to show people in New York that Cleveland is a viable alternative to living in New York," he says. "People come to Cleveland and are just amazed at what's here. My hopes are maybe we bring some of those galleries and artists here."
Among the three featured artists, Brooklyn-based Monica Cook's hyper-realistic yet fictional sculptures have a darkly humorous tone. These disturbing works pay homage to death, ritual and sacrifice.
New York-based artist and designer Ryder Ripps has stirred up controversy with his recent series, Ho, in which he appropriated Instagram photos of fashion model Adrianne Ho. After "liquefying" the photos with Photoshop, Ryder paid studio assistants of another provocative contemporary artist, Jeff Koons, to paint large, hyper-realistic portraits from his photoshopped imagery.
And finally, New York-based photographer Chris Verene's documentarian explorations of neo-Americana are showcased in his series, Family. Verene's work explores a community impacted by the 2008 mortgage crisis.
All three artists in the exhibition will participate in a panel discussion, moderated by Checefsky, at 12:15 p.m. on Friday. This free public event includes pizza and beverages.
CIA's Reinberger Gallery hosts its reception for American Real from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Friday. The exhibit remains on view through May 8.
Waterloo Arts15605 Waterloo Rd., 216-692-9500 waterlooarts.org
Reinberger Gallery at CIA11610 Euclid Ave., 216-421-7407 cia.edu