Opening This Week:
May Members' Show
The premise of the Artists Archives of the Western Reserve's annual May Members' Show is simple: Each of its 45 inducted artists is invited to display two pieces for exhibition and sale, with proceeds going to support the local arts community. It is entirely the artists' choice which of their works they'll offer, so any overarching theme to the show is accidental. But that does not diminish its impact, thanks to pieces by such esteemed Cleveland creators as Margaret E. Arthur, Barbara Gillette, David Kaplan, and Ruth Bercaw (that's her painting, "Finesse," at left). "What is impressive about this exhibition is the sheer depth of orginality shown by this collective group of artists, as well as the diversity of artistic media brought together under one roof," says AAWR executive director Kenneth Goerg. See for yourself on Friday, May 13, when the show opens with a free reception from 7 to 9 p.m. The May Members' Show continues through June 17 at 1834 East 123rd St. For more information, call 216-721-9020 or go to artistsarchives.org.
— Joseph Clark
Akron Art Museum: M.C. Escher: Impossible Realities. This crowd-pleasing show features more than 130 of Escher's works, including such instantly recognizable pieces as "Drawing Hands." Through May 29. Also: All-Star Jazz. Jazz history comes to life in the black and white photography of Herman Leonard, who captured greats like Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra in moments of staged glory and private vulnerability. Through July 10 at 1 South High St.; call 330-376-9186 or go to akronartmuseum.org.
Arts Collinwood Gallery: New Work. Painter Liliane Luneau's abstract works contrast rigid quadrilaterals with free-form blotching brushstrokes to promote the reconciliation of order with accident, and intuition with rationality. Through May 15 at 15601 Waterloo Rd. Call 216-692-9500 or visit artscollinwood.org.
Bonfoey Gallery: In, Around & About. Painter Randall Tiedman creates sprawling, fantastic cityscapes based on the industrial districts of Cleveland. Though colored in rusty, muddy browns and shades of twilight, spare points of light suggest enduring and dynamic life. Through June 1 at 1710 Euclid Ave.; call 216-621-0178, or go to bonfoey.com.
Cleveland Museum of Art: The Lure of Painted Poetry: Japanese and Korean Art. Designed to illuminate the intricate connections between Chinese poetry and its reinterpretation as visual art by Japanese and Korean artists, this exhibition features 80 diverse works spanning nearly seven centuries; almost all of the pieces are drawn from the museum's preeminent collection. Through August 28. Also: Indian Kalighat Paintings. Highly stylized and brightly colored, these works were originally created as souvenirs for 19th-century tourists. Today, they are highly regarded as marking the beginning of modernism in Indian art. Through September 18 at 11150 East Blvd. in University Circle; call 216-421-7340 or visit clevelandart.org.
Harris Stanton Gallery: Extraordinary Environs. Artists Charlotte Lees and Linda Zehler approach nature through diverse media — sculpture and oil paintings — yet each comment on the relationship between humanity and nature. Through June 4 at 2310 West Market St. Call 330-867-0590 or go to harrisstantongallery.com
John F. Seiberling Gallery: Earth & Sky. Cleveland native Donna Drozda unveils paintings inspired by birds of the Chesapeake Bay area. Through May 14 at 1403 West Hines Hill Rd. in Peninsula; call 330-657-2909 or go to conservancyforcvnp.org.
Kenneth Paul Lesko Gallery: Adaptability. Lebanese artist Adnan Charara's work reflects on adaptation by creative repurposing of materials. Postmarked envelopes become the canvas for a pictured narrative, and found objects become humanized characters in fragmented stories. Through May 14 at 1305 West 80th St.; call 216-631-6719 or go to kennethpaullesko.com.
Kokoon Arts: Regional Watercolors. This large exhibition aims at raising consciousness of Cleveland's 90-year history of leadership in watercolor paintings, including works from masters of the 1920's "Cleveland School" to the present day. Through May 14 at 1305 West 80th St. in the 78th Street Studios; call 216-832-8212 or visit kokoonarts.com.
Legation: To Each His Own. Kent State grad Justin Pierce mixes painting, drawing, and assorted media to explore what makes moments authentic or artificial. Through May 20 at 1300 D West 78th Street in the 78th Street Studios; 216-650-4201 or legationagallery.com.
Pop Shop Gallery: 6 Degress of Juxtaposition. The Pop Shop celebrates its sixth year with this retrospective featuring more than 20 artists, including some who were there at the beginning. Also: Connect the Dots. A "rad" exhibit at next-door's (art)ificial gallery inspired by the pop art of the '80s and '90s. Through June 4 at 17020 Madison Ave. in Lakewood; 216-227-8440, popshopgallery.com, or whatisartificial.com
River Gallery: Annual Ceramics Invitational. Local ceramics artists of every stripe showcase a diverse selection of functional yet decorative pieces at this exhibition. Through June 11 at 19046 Old Detroit Rd. in Rocky River. all 440-331-8406 or go to rivergalleryarts.com.
The Sculpture Center: Locating Eden. Annie Strader combines sound, video, and subtly but profoundly altered everyday objects to embody, explore, and vindicate the experience of nostalgia. Also: Declarations of Truth. The discovery of historical revisionism inspired Elaine Hullihen to engineer this participatory piece providing a space for attendees to make their own "declarations" of truth from their perspective. Both shows run through June 4 at 1834 East 123rd St.; call 216-229-6527 or go to sculpturecenter.org.
Shaheen Gallery: Oil Studies 2006- 2010. Faris McReynolds' paintings range from caricatured representation to the expressionistic and borderline abstract, often featuring groups of bare-limbed young people in dynamic action. Through May 27 at 740 West Superior Ave. Call 216-830-8888 or go to shaheengallery.com for details.
SPACES: Pink Milk Mild. Rainbow Lightning, the creative duo of Chelsea Blackerby and Erica Hoosic, sew memories into a tunneled environment that is traveled and experienced rather than viewed. Also: All That Glitters. Tamar Harpaz combines sculpture and projection to create shifting patterns of line and shadow as part of a 9-week residency exploring parallels between Western and Israeli cultures. Also: Farmed: The New Agronomists. This hands-on educational exhibit seeks to de-romanticize farming via a series of workshops and lectures by international and local horticulturalists. An opening reception will be held for all three programs May 13 from 6 to 9 p.m. Through July 10 at 2220 Superior Viaduct. For more information, call 216-621-2314 or go to spacesgallery.org.
Tregoning & Company: Aspects of Modern Life. Matt Dibble's abstract works use thick, muscular brushstrokes to transcribe a simple vocabulary of rough geometric forms from which emerge striking compositions. Through May 31 at Tregoning's North Gallery, 1300 West 78th St.; call 216-281-8626 or go to tregoningandco.com.
William Busta Gallery: Memory's Witness: Pamela Dodds, known largely as a painter of pastel-bright but quietly dignified works, departs from the familiar with dark woodcuts exploring loss and anguish. Through June 9. Also Passionate Blessings: Mark Howard eschews narrative for a sequence of free-standing "signs" which refocus the viewer on the use of meaning in social interactions, media consumption, and personal reflection. Through June 1 at 2731 Prospect Ave. Call 216-298-9071 or go to williambustagallery.com.
Zaller Gallery: Clampdown: Labor, Management, and the Recession. Twenty regional artists address issues of unemployment, wages, and the value of work, in hopes that through art they can contribute to the larger dialogue about labor-management dynamics. Noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through May 21 at 16006 Waterloo Rd.
Zygote Press: Three Artists: One Exquisite Wall. Corrie Slawson, Melissa Daubert, and Melinda Placko were given free access to a bare wall to build off of the others' contributions with paint, wire, and sculpting materials. See the result through June 11 at 1410 East 30th St.; call 216-621-2900 or go to zygotepress.com for more information.
The exhibition comes from the Herakleidon Museum in Greece, which houses one of the world's largest collections of Escher's work; Akron is one of only two U.S. venues to host it.
Convivium33 Gallery: 21st Century Expressions of the Second Sex. This exhibition boils down to the strength and fascination inherent in personal experience, and the way that an image or a story can sum up hardships, insights, and triumphs. In other words, it's simply a really good show about life. (Douglas Max Utter) Through May 8 at Josephat Arts Hall, 1433 East 33rd Street. For details, call 216-881-7838 or go to josephatartshall.com.
Custom Picture Framing Gallery: 15733 Madison Ave. in Lakewood. Call 216-221-1327 or go to custompictureframingoh.com for more info.
The Bonfoey Gallery: 1710 Euclid Ave. Call 216-621-0178 or visit bonfoey.com.
Forum Art Space: 1300 West 78th St. Learn more at forumartspace.blogspot.com.
Pink Eye Gallery: 3904 Lorain Ave.; call 330-671-6123.
Tregoning & Company: Through X at 1300 West 78th St. Call 216-281-8626 or go to tregoningandco.com.
Kent State University Museum: Beyond Fashion: Fiber and Fashion Art by Vincent Quevedo. Culled from 20 years of past collections, Quevedo's works range from sculptural clothing to quilted wall art. Through February 2012 at 515 Hilltop Dr. on the K.S.U. campus; call 330-672-3450.
Museum of Contemporary Art: at 8501 Carnegie Ave. Call 216-421-8671 or go to mocacleveland.org.