Sankofa Fine Art Expo:
Sankofa Fine Art Plus, a nonprofit arts community that develops and advocates for ethnic artists, hosts its massive annual Fine Art Expo this weekend, with the theme of "Reaching Higher (Inspire & Innovate)." Featured artist and author Kadir Nelson will display 35 of his original paintings and illustrations from children's and educational books. Working in San Diego, the artist may be best known for creating the cover art for Michael Jackson's posthumous 2010 album Michael. Depicting the pop star in various incarnations, the orginal portrait measured more than 9 feet wide and 4.5 feet tall! All his works are done in oil, and represent a wide variety of subject matter: historic portraiture, western scenes, and urban sporting contests among them, as well as a few distorted figures that elbow their way into abstraction. His portrait of a young, hopeful Frederick Douglass (left) has been chosen as the Expo's commemorative print. It is also one of the illustrations of African American cultural icons featured in Nelson's forthcoming book Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans. Nelson says he finds little difference in his reception, whether he is displaying classical studio art or literary illustrations. "People respond to imagery whether it's in a book or on a wall," he says. The free Expo takes place from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, August 13, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, August 14, in the Liberal Arts building on the Tri-C Eastern Campus, 4250 Richmond Rd. in Highland Hills. For more information, call 216-541-ARTS or visit sankofafineartplus. — Joseph Clark
1point618 Gallery: An Odd Itinerary of Scenes. The classically, unabashedly surrealist painter Joe Stavec immerses us in landscapes of the unconscious, where physics, logic, and expectations are made punchlines. Through September 25 at 6421 Detroit Avenue. Call 216-281-1618 or go to 1point618gallery.com.
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.
Arts Collinwood: Sommer Sequence. Cleveland artist Mark Keffer produces a series of abstract acrylic and latex paintings inspired by pioneering Cleveland modernist William Sommer. Though Keffer's works have little overt resemblance to Sommer's, they strive to capture the fragmented and open-ended nature of consciousness and create a hopeful optimism. An opening reception will be held August 12 at 6 p.m. The show runs through September 3 at 15605 Waterloo Rd. For more information, call 216-692-9500 or go to artscollinwood.org.
The Beck Cafe Gallery: Elisa Vietra. Local photographer Elisa Vietri exhibits her first solo show. Through August 26 at 17823 Detroit Ave., Lakewood. For more information, go to beckcafe.com or call 216-712-4746.
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 216-421-7350 or visit clevelandart.org.
Feinberg Gallery at Cain Park: Camera Ready. Two photographers make very different use of darkness. Brad Cohn explores nighttime scenes on a digital camera, but shoots precisely to avoid the need for after-the-fact editing. Ronnie Pyles uses a black-and-white camera to capture architecture and vintage shoes. Through August 13 at 14591 Superior Rd., Cleveland Heights. Call 440-371-3000 or go to cainpark.com/arts_gallery.asp.
Galeria Quetzal:Huichol Arts Exhibition. This new exhibit features beadwork, yarn painting, and stitchery from the Huichol people of Mexico, one of the few indigenous tribes to survive into modernity with its cultural identity intact. A fiesta with wine, tapas, and music will be held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on August 27, along with a gallery talk at 7:30 p.m. Through August 31 at 12400 Mayfield Rd. Call 216-421-8223 or go to galeriaquetzal.com.
Geauga Council for Arts & Culture: 6th Annual Juried Art Show. Amateur and professional artists present works in diverse media. An opening reception will be held August 10 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Geauga West Library, 13455 Chillicothe Rd. in Chesterland. Through August 19. For more information, call 440-537-3344.
Kokoon Arts Gallery: 100th Anniversary Celebration. Historic treasures from the original Kokoon Arts Club keep company with contemporary works inspired by the theme of metamorphosis. Through September 10 at 1305 West 80th St. Call 216-832-8212 or go to kokoonarts.com.
Morgan Conservatory: Double Exhibition. In this two-man show, eclectic Youngstown native James Pernotto teases and celebrates the bound text in a stack of lovingly defaced volumes, and John Kollig exhibits his DADA series of prints, a parade of fragmentary pieces that speaks to the confusion and curiosity of human endeavors. Through August 14 at 1754 East 47th St. 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 for more information.
Opus Gallery: All Women All Art. This 16th annual show was created to showcase the work of female artists of Northeast Ohio of every medium, including painting, pastel, multimedia collage, jewelry, photography, and embroidery. Through September 1 at 27629 Chagrin Blvd., Beachwood. Call 216-595-1376 or visit opus-gallery.com.
River Gallery Arts: Cleveland Craft Masters. The living legends of Cleveland's artisan communities (including five creators who have been displayed in the Smithsonian American Art Museum) display jewelry, glasswork, ceramics, metal sculpture, and more. Through September 10 at 19046 Old Detroit Road, Rocky River. For more information, call 440-331-8406 or go to rivergalleryarts.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. For more information, 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.
Shaker Historic Society: Viktor Schreckengost. The legacy of the prolific artist, industrial designer, engineer, and C.I.A. professor is honored with a sampling of his work. Craig Bara, historian and archivist for the Viktor Schreckengost Memorial Foundation, speaks September 18 at 4 p.m. Through October 2 at 16740 South Park Blvd., Shaker Heights. Call 216-921-1201 or go to shakerhistory.org.
Solon Center for the Arts: In the Distance: Pastel Landscapes. Cleveland artist and award-winning art director Gary Sluzewski uses his fingers to apply his pastels, literally putting himself "in touch" with nature. An artist reception will be held Sept. 2 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The exhibit continues through September 30 at 6315 SOM Center Road. Call 440-337-1400 or go to solonarts.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.
Zygote Press: Craig Lucas: Friends Recollect. The irrepressible, frank, and driven Kent State professor and abstract painter Craig "Pirate" Lucas, who died earlier this year, is honored by students and colleagues through works displaying his prolific influence. The exhibit continues through September 1 at 1410 East 30th St.; call 216-621-2900 or go to zygotepress.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.