It's a busy week for Cleveland's arts community. Let's get straight to the rundown of the roughly dozen events taking place throughout the region over the next week. No matter your interest or experience, there's something for you.
Thursday might as well be an "Art Walk," what with opening receptions for the latest exhibitions at the Sculpture Center and Artists Archives of the Western Reserve (AAWR), as well as a screening and exhibition by internationally renowned artist, performer and filmmaker (and professor at Cleveland Institute of Art), Kasumi at MOCA Cleveland.
Just a few blocks further east on Euclid Avenue, the Artists Archives of the Western Reserve will host an opening reception for their latest exhibition, The Three Amigos: A Painterly Tribute to Ron Joranko. The Three Amigos are Ron Johnston, Ron Joranko and Loren Naji. Still amigos, Johnston's shared studio is located directly next to Naji's gallery space at 78th Street Studios.
Nearby, the Sculpture Center hosts two new exhibitions in its galleries. The main gallery contains Japanese Contemporary Fiber Sculpture in Miniature — featuring 50 works by 50 artists. This isn't your grandma's fiber show — the diverse materials include everything from traditional silk, cotton, wool and linen to newspaper, window screening and plastic tubing, created using virtually every established fiber construction technique.
The Euclid Avenue Gallery will host Tina Cassara and David Sapp's Threads, Lines, Traces — an exhibition exploring a "subtle interplay" between the line of a fiber construction and graphite line drawings on paper.
Meanwhile, at 6:30 p.m. at the Akron Art Museum, local award-winning writer-artist Derf will give a special presentation. His weekly comic strip, The City, was published in countless alt weeklies (including Scene) from 1990 to 2014. He also created the autobiographical, international bestselling graphic novel, My Friend Dahmer, chronicling his childhood friendship with infamous serial killer Jeffery Dahmer. He'll discuss these projects, as well as his latest ones.
Friday evening is the "Third Friday" of September, and that means there's only one place to be from 6 to 9 p.m.: the 78th Street Studios. Stop by HEDGE gallery to see It Figures, a two-man show by established local painters Joe Ayala and John W. Carlson. The first floor will offer one last chance to see Board to Death (art on skate decks) at E11even 2 and The Nearby and Hereafter, a show by Thom Rossino and Bob Walls at the Cleveland West Art League (CWAL).
Kenneth Paul Lesko gallery hosts an opening reception for Cinema 05, "an exhibition of artwork inspired by the cinema, with artwork from 19 artists in 13 cities from four different countries (U.S., U.K., Brazil and Australia)," says gallery director Ross Lesko. "The exhibition includes paintings, drawings, photography, digital collage and video referencing specific films, directors, actors, film history, cinematic language and process." The opening reception is 5 to 9 p.m.; the exhibit runs through Nov. 15.
On Saturday , you can hop aboard trolleys to enjoy the SPARX City Hop. Organizers anticipate 20,000 guests will explore more than 100 galleries, artist studios, restaurants, markets and retail shops from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Between the Red, Blue and Green lines, you'll have a chance to visit downtown, Ohio City, Tremont, Asiatown, the St. Clair/Superior District, the Warehouse District, the Gateway District and more. The new chandelier at Playhouse Square will serve as central interchange for the three routes. Trolley rides are complimentary all day, and you'll have a guided tour along the route. Don't miss this chance to explore our city's various neighborhoods.
If you wind up in Tremont, stop by the 16th Annual Tremont Arts and Cultural Festival. This Saturday (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and Sunday (noon to 5 p.m.), Lincoln Park hosts art, jewelry, children's activities and programs, nonprofit organizations, food vendors, live music and performances.
On Waterloo Road in Collinwood, the fun continues just weeks before the celebration of the completion of their multi-million dollar "Project Lightswitch" streetscape (Friday, Oct. 3). Stop by Waterloo 7, the studio of local sculptor Jerry Schmidt, to celebrate the first anniversary of the city's smallest gallery from noon to 2 p.m. with demos from Zygote Press.
Keeping with the theme of "micro" art, Rocky River's River Gallery hosts an opening reception from 3 to 7 p.m. for the latest show in their 20th anniversary year. Miniatures: A Collection of Jewelry and Small Works features works in two and three dimensions by 40 artists in an eclectic variety of mediums.
Also on Saturday, the Akron Art Museum debuts their latest exhibition, Intuitive Structures, by legendary Cleveland-based artist John Pearson. For more than 50 years, Pearson has been a leader in the geometric abstraction movement in Northeast Ohio. He was awarded the Cleveland Arts Prize in 1975. His latest exhibition is inspired by his interest in spirituality and "the underlying structure of the way we experience the natural world."
On Tuesday, Sept. 23, from 5 to 7:30 p.m., SPACES presents The "Events" Event — an evening aimed at answering the art community's various, lingering questions following the events at Loren Naji's gallery this spring. In the first hour, lawyers will explain the various laws, permits and liability issues. During the second hour, community leaders, local artists and representatives of local art organizations will discuss their personal experience and share advice about event planning and legal compliance. Light refreshments will be served after the seminar.
On Wednesday, Sept. 24, at 6:30 p.m., Zygote Press will host a special artist talk with their 2014 Artist in Residence Donald Black Jr. Black will discuss his latest exhibition of photogravure prints, My Scars Exposed, currently on view in Zygote's gallery. The exhibition runs through Oct. 4. Black is a graduate of the Cleveland School of the Arts and Ohio University, where he studied commercial photography.
"I was the kid who never left my scabs alone; I picked at them," explains Black. "I'm not sure if I was attracted to self-inflicted pain, but what I do know is that I was attracted to the breaking of patterns on my skin and the mark that would be left behind. I liked the permanency and mystery of scars. Then there are what I call the 'unmarked scars.' For a long time I did not know these scars existed because I tucked them away before I had a chance to ignore them. My environment even blanketed these scars because where there is drugs, murder, guns, scarce food and income, there is little time to stop and examine or care for wounds. I just survived and I kept on going. The smartest thing I did in survival mode was the decision to create art."
All events are free and open to the public.