Goin' Old School
Lesko Gallery honors Cleveland's master artistsLike fine wine, does good art get better with age? Judge for yourself at The Cleveland School 2011 exhibitition, now on view at the Kenneth Paul Lesko Gallery. According to gallery director Ross Lesko, "Cleveland School" refers to a cohesive collection of area artists and craftsmen active between 1910 and the mid-1960s: well-regarded talents like sculptor Lawrence Blazey, and painters Adam Lehr and William Sommer. The exhibit highlights approximately 30 pieces from this collective, including Henry Keller's animal pastels on paper and August F. Biehle's abstract visions of local landscapes (at left). In doing so, the gallery is opening a welcome window on Cleveland's place in American art history. Kenneth Paul Lesko Gallery is open from noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, at 1305 West 80th St. Call 216-631-6719 for more information. The exhibition continues through March 12. — Chrissy Niehaus
Artists Archives of the Western Reserve: Art Along the Way: Suzan Kraus is a multi-media collage artist. Mark Krieger creates colorful abstract paintings and drawings. Together in this dynamic exhibition, the two artists offer a memorable glimpse into Ohio's contemporary visual-arts scene. Through February 25 at 1834 East 123rd St. For more information, go to artistsarchives.org or call 216-721-9020.
Baldwin-Wallace College: Fawick Gallery: SPECIMENS: Thirty-five artists submitted works to this show, based only on the word "specimen." The result is a blend of art and nature, interpreted through prints, jewelry, and even insects in a jar. Through Februrary 11 at 95 East Bagley Rd. in Berea. Call 440-826-2152 for hours and information.
B-Side Liquor Lounge: Ten Imaginary Movies: For the past year, artist Jake Kelly has worked on a series of full-size movie posters designed for ten movies that exist only in his imagination. To further expand the illusion of reality, he called up his fellow artist John G. to create a huge array of ephemera and memorabilia, including VHS boxes, action figures, and production stills — all on display in this imaginative exhibit. Through January 30 at 2785 Euclid Heights Blvd. in Cleveland Hts. For more information, go to bsideliquorlounge.com.
Cleveland Institute of Art: Reinberger Galleries: Scholastic Art Competition + Exhibition: See more than 500 award-winning works from area middle- and high-school students in this prestigious exhibition of youthful talent. Through February 5 at 11141 East Blvd. in University Circle. For more information go to cia.edu.
Cleveland Museum of Art: Objects Being Taught They Are Nothing But Tools: South Korean artist Kim Beom endows his creations — sculpture, drawings, painting, videos, and mixed-media projects — with absurd traits and abilities. Through March 6 at 11150 East Blvd. in University Circle; call 216-421-7340 or visit clevelandart.org.
Cleveland State Art Gallery: Life Imitates Artifice: Most times, art imitates life. But in this exhibit of contemporary photography by six nationally known artists, art is making an imaginative statement all its own, illuminating and amplifying our ability to see beyond what's real. Through March 12 at 307 Chester Ave. For more info, call 216-687-2103 or go to csuohio.edu/artgallery.
Forum Artspace: The Complexity of Things: A four-person show featuring works by Michael Abarca, Karl Anderson, Nicholas Gulan, and Paul Woznicki, this exhibit focuses on relationships and how and why we parse and interpret what we see, hear, and experience. Through February 18 at 1300 West 78th St. For more info, visit forumartspace.blogspot.com.
Harris Stanton Gallery: P.J. Rogers: 30 Years Retrospective: Akron-area artist P.J. Rogers has mastered a variety of techniques in her career, starting with the laborious process of aquatint printmaking all the way through her current involvement in hyper-realistic, digitally enhanced monoprints of natural subjects. Through February 19 at 2301 West Market St. in Akron; call 330-867-7600 or go to harrissstantongallery.com.
Heights Arts: A Few Hundred Posters: You know those great rock-show posters and fliers you've seen around town for the past 15 years? Chances are that John G. or Jake Kelly was behind them. The two artists have created more than 1,800 such posters, most of which are now on display, along with a mammoth installation elucidating their mutual creative processes. This show marks the first time the two artists have been shown together and the first chance for fans of their work — or of Cleveland's rock history, for that matter — to see their pieces all in one place. Through February 26 at 2173 Lee Rd. in Cleveland Heights. For more information, call 216-371-3457.
Legation: Time to Get Personal: Painter and performance artist Meghann Snow creates large-scale abstractions through body movements and gestures, much like a figure skater dancing across the ice. View a collection of her works now through February 11 at 1300 D West 78th St. Call 216-650-4201 or go to legationagallery.com for hours and more information.
Museum of Contemporary Art: Blind Landscape: Internationally known for her tall monuments of graphite, stainless steel, glass, and plastic, sculptor Teresita Fernandez incorporates light, shadow, and reflection into her large-scale pieces, often exploring the relationship between nature and perception in the process. Through May 8 at 8501 Carnegie Ave. For more information, call 216-421-8671 or go to mocacleveland.org.
Negative Space Gallery & Studio: Works of Gadi Zamir: Israeli artist Gadi Zamir paints, stains, and burns his haunting visions into scraps of wood, allowing the grain and texture to dictate the ultimate composition. More than 150 of his pieces are now on view at 3820 Superior Ave. Call 216-470-6092 or go to thinknegativespace.com.
Sculpture Center: Jenniffer Omaitz: Shadow Structures: Trained as a painter, Jenniffer Omaitz' large installations incorporate found objects, home building materials, and architectural models, and suggest the tension between physical landscape and the landscape of the psyche. Also: Joshua Parker: Humans are the only species on the planet that create trash, one good turn deserves another and the worst part about dying is that you can only do it once — but don't worry, the water's still fine here. By abandoning the limits of rational and logical methods, Parker seeks to create new, fresh works of art. Through February 26 at 1834 East 123rd St.; go to sculpturecenter.org to learn more.
Wall Eye Gallery: Spacelift: Ever notice how memories take on a glossy patina, making them into something more than mere recountings? That's the phenomenon that Spacelift hopes to explore. "It's an exhibition addressing the notion that some memories get better with time — it's the lifting up of the spaces in our minds," explains guest curator Kristin Bly. Built around the works of 18 artists, the exhibit moves from deeply personal autobiographies to riffs on the bombardment of popular culture, creating a colorful tapestry of past events, "all remastered and gussied up for an even richer stream of narratives." Through February 5 at 5304 Detroit Ave. in the Gordon Square Arts District. Go to walleyegallery.com or call 216-640-7769.
William Busta Gallery: Dexter Davis: Monsters and Ghosts: In this exhibit, part of his War series, Cleveland artist Dexter Davis has created a collection of portraits that let us peer through faces into the souls. A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art, Davis adopts a psychological perspective in exploring social and political issues. The result is a series of striking, sometimes disturbingly disjointed works: collage-like assemblies, created from newspaper fragments, puzzle pieces, pennies, and seemingly effortless pencil strokes. Through February 5 at 2731 Prospect Ave. Call 216-298-9071 or learn more at williambustagallery.com.
Zygote Press: Intersections: The third in a series of collaborations between Zygote Press and Cleveland's literary center The Lit, this exhibit highlights the associative power of word and image through poetry, artwork, and learned commentary from a team of local aficionados. Through February 26 at 1410 East 30th St. Go to zygotepress.com or call 216-621-2900 for more information.