Avenging Cleveland at the Pop Shop:
Bang! Sock! Pow!In August, Lakewood's anarchist Pop Shop will be rechristened Breakneck Gallery by new owners Sean and Kristen Burns, as current owner Rich Cihlar departs for extended paternity leave. In the meantime, the Pop Shop is going out with a Bang! Sock! Pow! in Avenging Cleveland, an exhibition of studio art celebrating Marvel Comics' superheroes, whose big-budget film adaptation of The Avengers will be shot in Cleveland later this year. The production represents a shot in the arm for the local economy, as well as an opportunity for local artists to celebrate the wonderful world of comic books. "So many artists in the area were influenced by comics," says contributing artist and organizer Jeff Hulligan. "More people wanted to be in the show than we had room for." The only constraint placed on artists was the Avenging subject matter, giving free rein to an inexhaustible range of creativity. Curator Chad "CHOD" Kimes, for instance, presents a Dali-esque Iron Man in warped and disproportionate armor (pictured left). Bob Peck interprets the same character as a flashing bolt of man, machine, and pure motion. And Billy Nainiger's Black Widow struts and takes aim in James Bond credit-reel-style silhouettes. The World's Mightiest Heroes can save the world, but this week it's more than enough for them to let a city know it's awesome. An opening reception will be held July 9 from 6 to 9 p.m. The exhibit runs through August 6 at 17020 Madison Ave. in Lakewood. For more information, call 216-227-8440 or go to popshopgallery.com. — Joseph Clark
Openings & Exhibitions
Akron Art Museum: Kaleidoscope Quilts. Fiber artist Paula Nadelstern's quilts capture the symmetry, luminosity, and intricacy of kaleidoscopes, and inspire makers of these instruments in return. 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 Café: 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. Through July 23 at 17823 Detroit Ave., Lakewood. For more info, 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.
Feinberg Gallery at Cain Park: Testing 1, 2, 3? This diverse exhibit showcases the work of three local artists — E.D. Taylor, Hannah Petroni, and Ian Petroni — who work in media as diverse as sculpture, automotive photography, and paintings influenced by Japanese prints and botanical forms. Through July 10 at Cain Park, 14591 Superior Rd. in Cleveland Heights. Call 216-371-3000 or go to cainpark.com/arts_gallery.asp.
Harris-Stanton Gallery: Introspections. Kent State University instructor Patricia Zinsmeister Parker displays real affection for the homey subjects of her impressionistic still lifes. In Clevelander Lee Heinen's paintings, viewers can recognize drama and significance in the deceptively simple, even whimsical composition, even without knowing they are sketched from family photos. Through July 16 at 2301 West Market St., Akron; call 330-867-7600 or go to harrisstantongallery.com.
Kokoon Arts: Eternal Vibrations. Three artists draw upon mystic spiritual traditions for their inspiration. Through July 9 at 1305 West 80th St. For more info, call 216-832-8212 or go to kokoonarts.com.
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.
Pop Shop/(art)ificial Gallery: Avenging Cleveland (see above). Also: Midnights on Oak: Amber McElreath and John Hill collaborate on 200 "Artist Trading Cards" in ink and mixed media, exploring music, culture, and the sources of creative inspiration. Both shows continue through August 6 at 17020 Madison Ave., Lakewood. An opening reception will be held July 9 from 6 to 9 p.m. Call 216-227-8440 or go to popshopgallery.com.
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. Call 216-262-8903 or go to proximitycleveland.com.
The Sculpture Center: SculptureX: 6 Sculptors of Ohio & Western Pennsylvania. This curated exhibition highlights the work of six prominent sculptors teaching at universities in Ohio and Western PA. Their works draw upon everyday materials to reflect 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 Gallery: Art, Life & Fashion. Born in Cincinnati and based in New York, painter Keith Mayerson returns to his home state for a show that provides a thematically broad sampling of his works, including portraits of fashion icons and historical figures. Through August 18 at 740 West Superior Ave. Call 216-830-8888 or visit shaheengallery.com.
Solon Center for the Arts: La Bella Vita, the Beautiful Life. Painter Diane Arthurs exhibits works inspired by the Mediterranean. Through July 29 at 6315 SOM Center Rd. in Solon. Call 440-337-1400.
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 nine-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. For more information, 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 August 31 at 1300 West 78th St. Call 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 reinterpreted covers of Playboy magazine by local artist Derek Hess channels the artist's punkish sketchbook style. See review, this issue. Both exhibitions run through July 30 at 2731 Prospect Ave. Call 216-298-9071 or go to williambustagallery.com.
Zygote Press: Field Guides. Zygote founder and co-owner Liz Maugans 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. Through July 28 at 1410 East 30th St. Call 216-621-2900 or go to zygotepress.com.