TREASURES OF HEAVEN
With dozens of Catholic churches closing around Northeast Ohio, diocesan officials are fond of saying the Church is not about buildings or objects, but about community. The opposite notion played out in the medieval era, when sacred art — dazzling illuminated manuscripts, paintings, sculptures, relics, and reliquaries — were seen as mediators between heaven and earth. (A reliquary is an ornate case designed to hold some fragment of holiness — often a chip of saint's bone, a lock of hair, or a fleck of blood.) The Cleveland Museum of Art has put together a collection of artifacts from churches and monasteries, many of which have never been seen outside their home countries. Organized in cooperation with the Walters Museum in Baltimore and the British Museum in London, Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics, and Devotion in Medieval Europe opens Sunday, October 24. The museum is at 11150 East Blvd. in University Circle; call 216-421-7340 or visit clevelandart.org. Regular hours are Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (closed Monday). Museum admission is free; tickets for the special exhibit are $6 to $12, free for kids age 5 and under. — Michael GillOn view now at area galleries and museums:
Bonfoey Gallery: The Long Road: A couple of early 20th-century modernists from Cleveland inevitably have a lot in common, but August F. Biehle Jr. and Carl Gaertner came from different backgrounds and saw their city from different perspectives. Through November 13 at 1710 Euclid Ave. Call 216-621-0178 or go to bonfoey.com to learn more.
Cleveland Artists Foundation:
Abel Warshawsky: The Pennsylvania native spent his childhood in Cleveland, eventually studying at the Cleveland School of Art. He would later spend twenty years in France, painting impressionistic scenes of Paris, Normandy, and Brittany, and making regular return trips to Cleveland. The Cleveland Artists Foundation presents a selection of his work from that time. Through November 13 at the Cleveland Artists Foundation at Beck Center for the Arts (17801 Detroit Ave., Lakewood). Call 216-227-9507 or go to clevelandartists.org.
Cleveland Museum of Art: Midwest Modern: The Color Woodcuts of Mabel Hewit: Cleveland artist Mabel Hewit uses her woodcuts to show scenes of remote areas of the United States, such as views of Provincetown, Massachusetts, and Saugatuck, Mich. Through October 24 at 11150 East Boulevard. Call 216-421-7350 or visit clevelandart.org.
Heights Art Gallery: Glass artist Rene Culler, a lifelong Clevelander who recently moved to head a new glass program at the U. of Southern Alabama at Mobile, presents works from her Byzantium series — layered colors of glass fused into a topography that suggests landscapes. Through October 23 at 2173 Lee Road in Cleveland Hts. Call 216-371-3457 or visit heightsarts.org.
Legation: A Gallery: From There to Here: Scott Goss captures the city's distinctive streetscapes with all their grit in photographic images made of acrylic and copper laminated with glass. Open by appointment through November 19 at 1300 West 78th St. Call 216-334-7080 or go to legationagallery.com.
Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory: Abecedaria Project: "Abecedaria" is a fancy word for ABC book. The group Art Books Cleveland takes the ancient form back to school — old school — with this annual members show, in which artists submit completely handmade ABC books. Through November 26 at the Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory (1754 East 47th St.). Call 216-361-9255 or go to morganconservatory.org for more information.
Museum of Contemporary Art: An Invitation to Lubber-Land: Duke Riley brings his interest in people living in the margins of society to Cleveland's famed "Torso Murders." This installation incorporates video, mosaic, drawing, found objects, and sculpture to reenvision Elliot Ness' historic purge of the so-called hobo jungle. Through January 9 at 8501 Carnegie Ave. Call 216-421-8671 or visit mocacleveland.org.
1.618 Gallery: The Colors of Life: Sid Rheuban's plexiglas paintings have a primitive quality that's associated with so-called "outsider art." By appointment through November 7 at 6421 Detroit Ave. Call 216-281-1618 or go to 1point618gallery.com.
The Pop Shop/(Art)ificial Gallery: Wednesday's Woes/Sugar-Coated: Rebecca Urbanski Steele finds inspiration in her inner child. This show is based on one of her favorite childhood poems. Also: Pop Shop proprietor Rich Cihlar presents the sixth-annual Sugar Coated show, featuring artists inspired by Halloween. Through November 10 at 17020 Madison Ave. in Lakewood. Call 216-277-8440 or visit popshopgallery.com for more information.
River Gallery: Three artists working in three different media have one thing in common: layering that gives the surfaces depth and complexity. The show opens with a reception from 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday. Through November 20 at 19046 Old Detroit Rd. in Rocky River. Call 440-331-8406 or go to rivergalleryarts.com.
Shaheen Gallery: Etant Donnes: T.R. Ericsson's graphite-powder silkscreen creations involve a labor-intensive process that yields photographic images with an ethereal, dream-like quality. This new series of eight drawings takes its name from Marcel Duchamp's final major work — a female figure visible through peep holes in a door. Through November 12 at 740 W. Superior; call 216-830-8888 or visit shaheengallery.com.
SPACES: Fall exhibits include: A Vague Whole, featuring Benjamin Bellas, Steffani Jemison, and Clinton King tinkering with and rearranging common objects as collage; world artist program resident Paul Druecke exploring how landmarks function within social spaces; and Cleveland artist Wes Johansen creating a TV room for group watching and discussion about the strength of TV as a cultural addiction. Through October 22 at 2220 Superior Viaduct. Call 216-621-2314 or visit spacesgallery.org.
William Busta Gallery: Timothy Callaghan paints his surroundings — from the intimacy of a room to the grandeur of nature. But lately he's emphasizing everyday street scenes in Cleveland: typical buildings along Lorain or Madison Ave., their signs, and even their graffiti. Through November 13 at 2731 Prospect Ave. Call 216-298-9071 or visit williambustagallery.com.
William Rupnik Gallery: The Benefits of Exhaustion: Matthew Ryan Sharp's creatures have bad skin, rickety teeth, and crossed-out eyes, but their rugby shirts and argyle sweaters make them plenty lovable all the same. This show features nearly 80 paintings and a 120-page self-published book chronicling Sharp's work. Through October 31 at 1667 East 40 St. For more information, call 216-533-5575 or go to wrgcleveland.com.
WHO SHOT ROCK & ROLL The Brooklyn Museum of Art’s groundbreaking show is a dizzying tour of the images that helped shape how we hear the music. Its 174 photos capture everyone from Chuck Berry to Amy Winehouse — artists whose self-presentation is as iconic as their sound. After the show closed in Brooklyn early this year, it went on the road, and Northeast Ohio is lucky enough to be on the itinerary. Not only is it the largest single exhibit the Akron Art Museum has ever done, there are also extras: music videos by the artists pictured in the show; a slide show by major photographer Henry Diltz, who shot album covers for James Taylor’s Sweet Baby James, the Doors’ Morrison Hotel, and Crosby, Stills & Nash’s self-titled debut; costumes borrowed from the Rock Hall; and three months’ worth of special programming, including concerts, films, lectures, a photo contest, and a show across the street at We Gallery devoted to the work of 11 Northeast Ohio music photographers. Museum admission is $7. Opens October 23 and runs through January 23 at 1 South High St. in Akron. Go to akronartmuseum.org for more information — Anastasia Pantsios