A Modern Patchwork
Clusters of gems and seashells and drops of gold swirl in seas of blue in "Kaleidoscopic XVII: Caribbean Blues" (pictured left), by New York-based fiber artist Paula Nadelstern. Machine-pieced and hand-quilted, the silk and cotton quilt is part of Kaleidoscope Quilts, the Akron Art Museum's exhibit dedicated to the work of Nadelstern. The "kaleidoscopic" quilt-making aesthetic was originally pioneered in the 19th century and rediscovered in the late 1970s; symmetry, luminosity, and intricacy are some of its key elements. For the past 20 years, Nadelstern has not only been one of the art's most esteemed practitioners, but also one of its most erudite historians. The exhibit features artifacts from all stages of the quilts' progress, from photographs of snowflakes (the only natural objects Nadelstern consciously drew upon for inspiration) to actual kaleidoscopes — including some whose patterns were modeled after Nadelstern's own work. "There's been a full circle. The kaleidoscope inspired me, and now my work has inspired them," says the artist. The Akron Art Museum is the only Midwest venue for these stunning works. Related programming includes a series of Thursday evening Art Talks@Dusk, from June 23 through August 11, focused on the art-quilt revolution. The exhibition continues through October 2 at 1 South High St. For more information, call 330-376-9185 or go to akronartmuseum.org. — Joseph Clark
Akron Art Museum: Kaleidoscope Quilts (described above). Through Oct. 2. Also: The Vogel Collection: 50 Works for Ohio. Featuring works by 26 artists, the paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures in this exhibition are part of a far-sighted private collection amassed over a 40-year period. Through October 16 at 1 South High St.; call 330-376-9185 or go to akronartmuseum.org.
Beck Cafe: Debut Solo Art Exhibit. Beck Café hosts up-and-coming local acrylic artist Cameron Meakin, who creates jarring but sympathetic works by painting human figures without faces, raising questions of ultimate identity, and at the same time telling a momentary narrative through language and body posture. An opening reception will be held June 24 from 6 to 9 p.m.; through July 23 at 17823 Detroit Ave., Lakewood. For more information, call 216-712-4746 or go to beckcafe.com.
Brownhoist Gallery at Studio St. Clair: The Form of Cleveland. For Brownhoist's inaugural exhibition, woodworker and sculptor Timothy Riffle and photographer Jerry Mann display contemporary and historic tools, furniture, carvings, and photographs to narrate an "industrial archaeology" honoring the work of Cleveland's fading manufacturing sector. Through July 30 at 4403 St. Clair Ave.; 216-789-2998 or studiostclair.com/brownhoistgallery.
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.
Lake Erie Building: All that Matters to Me. This one-night show features 30 well-known local artists mounting what may be the region's largest contemporary art exhibition ever. It happens Saturday June 25 beginning at 7 p.m. at 13000 Athens Ave. in Lakewood. Go to allthatmattersshow.com for details.
Morgan Conservatory: Pulp It Up, Break It Down: Artists Get Real. Local and nationally-recognized artists contribute pieces showcasing pulp (that's wood fiber, not the bargain-basement literature genre) over an array of mediums. Through July 18 at 1754 East 47th St.; for more info, call 216-361-9255 or go to morganconservatory.org.
Museum of Contemporary Art: Delicious Fields. In an homage to Man Ray, nine Ohio photogs invoke surrealism to reframe or reassert psychological and social issues. Also: Terrain. Julianne Swartz's soundscape is a multilingual audio-ecology as winding and mysterious as the subconscious. Through August 13 at 8501 Carnegie Ave.; call 216-421-8671 or visit mocacleveland.org.
Proximity: Mere Witness. Cleveland photo-journalist Michael S. Levy captures moments from the African-American church experience in this beautiful and sensitive exhibition. Through July 8 at 1667 East 40th St., Suite 1A. For more information, call 216-262-8903 or go to proximitycleveland.com.
The Sculpture Center: Sculpture X: 6 Sculptors of Ohio & Western Pennsylvania.This exhibition of 75 curated sculptures and installations honors the work of 1960s minimalist and experimental artists, often drawing on everyday materials, and reflects on the intersection of urbanization, nature, and the use of manufactured objects. Through August 20 at 1834 East 123rd St. Call 216-229-6527 or go to sculpturecenter.org.
Shaheen: Keith Mayerson: Art, Life & Fashion. Mayerson's second exhibit at Shaheen
revolves around a group of paintings depicting scenes from his own life and surroundings, juxtaposing the circus-like spectacle of the fashion world against personal and political images. Through August 18 at 740 West Superior Ave. Call 216-830-8888 or visit shaheengallery.com for more info.
Solon Center for the Arts: La Bella Vita, the Beautiful Life. Painter Diane Arthurs exhibits works inspired by the Mediterranean. An opening reception will be held Friday, June 24 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The show continues through July 29 at 6315 SOM Center Rd. in Solon. Call 440-337-1400 for more information.
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. Through July 10 at 2220 Superior Viaduct; call 216-621-2314 or go to spacesgallery.org.
Tregoning & Co.: I/Travel/Eye. San Francisco-based fiber artist Libby Chaney returns to her native Cleveland to exhibit textile works that are not "problems to be solved," but "meditations for the eye" and celebrations of color's power to move. There is no apparent order to the multitude of shapes and shades, but each piece has its own harmony. Through July 31 at 1300 West 78th St. Learn more by calling 216-281-8626 or go to tregoningandco.com.
William Busta Gallery: Self Storage. Aaron Koehn's paintings depict architecture, but their subject is alienation. Also: The Playboy Covers. A series of covers for Playboy magazine by local artist Derek Hess channel a punkish sketchbook style. Both exhibitions run through July 30 at 2731 Prospect Ave. Call 216-298-9071 or go to williambustagallery.com.
Zaller Building Gallery: Visual Music. The 200 prints in this exhibit are the work of a dozen local artists who have contributed to the pictorial history of rock & roll from the 1960s onward. Subjects range from the iconic to the little known, but all reflect rock's pervasive influence on Cleveland culture. Through June 25 at 16006 Waterloo Rd. in Collinwood. For more information about the show, see the Visual Music page on Facebook.
Zygote Press: Field Guides. Zygote founder and co-owner Liz Maughans leads a collaboration of four other artists in a hopeful reflection on Rust Belt hardships. The artists salvage gently used materials and objects for their printed and painted productions, embodying the affirmation that the benighted region can itself be recovered. An opening reception will be held June 24 from 6 to 9 p.m.; through July 28 at 1410 East 30th St. For more information, call 216-621-2900 or go to zygotepress.com.