In the arts community, the fall is considered the beginning of the new exhibition season. During the summer months, galleries become hot (especially when packed with warm bodies and humid air) and many arts patrons take vacations. There are still plenty of events and exhibitions — especially outdoor events and benefits — but fall is when things really seem to get going.
One factor in this increased activity is the re-opening of academic galleries and programs with the start of a new academic year. The first event of October will be an artist reception for CLAY: Not Your Usual Suspects, curated by Mary Urbas, at Lakeland Community College in Kirtland on Thursday, Oct. 2, from 7 to 9 p.m. The show features nearly 50 local, regional and national artists working in clay.
The first Friday of every month is Walk All Over Waterloo in Collinwood. The art walk set for Oct. 3 is uniquely exciting because it marks the completion of Project Light Switch — featuring a comprehensive streetscape that includes new sidewalks, parking lots, lighting, restaurants and art-related businesses.
Waterloo Arts will host an opening reception for Oleandor: Paintings by Martha Ferrazza that evening. An empty storefront (16013 Waterloo Rd.) will house YARN n YESTERDAY, an exhibition celebrating the 120th anniversary of the Euclid Beach pier — which is scheduled for demolition this fall by the park's new owner, the Cleveland Metroparks. Gallery One Sixty debuts No Permission by Timothy Joyce. You'll also have one last chance to check out the mesmerizing work of renowned local artists Amy Casey and Cathie Bleck at the Maria Neil Art Project.
Further west, the Cleveland West Art League (CWAL) hosts the opening reception for the latest incarnation of Tall Walls, its annual, unjuried, uncensored members' show. The work will fill the walls from floor to ceiling on Friday, Oct. 3, from 6 to 11 p.m. Due to Loren Naji's ongoing legal issues, this year's exhibition will be held at 6706 Detroit Ave. (next to Sweet Moses). Then stop by the Hildebrandt Studios for the one year anniversary show of the Hildebrandt Artist Collective (3619 Walton Ave.). A Ka-Pow comedy show will follow at 10 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 4, is your first chance to see the latest exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Maine Sublime focuses on Frederic Church's Twilight in the Wilderness — one of the museum's most beloved masterpieces. The exhibition features the original painting alongside a collection of nearly 25 sketches studying the various aspects of "Maine's rugged interiors, rocky coast and windswept islands," created over the course of three decades.
Also on Saturday, Oct. 4, ARTneo (formerly the Cleveland Artists Foundation) hosts a studio visit with established local artist Chris Pekoc just weeks before the Oct. 15 opening of his exhibition, Hand Made, at the Akron Art Museum.
The following weekend features a number of events. Friday, Oct. 10, features opening receptions for highly anticipated shows around town. 1point618 hosts an opening reception for Sid Rheuban at 90 and Zygote Press/CAN Journal co-founder Liz Maugan's Screen Play — featuring her latest screen prints alongside written excerpts from prominent local writers (myself included) inspired by a piece assigned to each writer. The galleries at BAYarts will showcase their annual juried show and a solo exhibition by Julie Cikra.
The fun continues Saturday, Oct. 11, with shows all over town. Lakewood's Breakneck gallery hosts an opening reception for Creeps, Critters and Creaks, a Halloween-themed exhibition, from 6 to 10 p.m. Stop by the Morgan Conservatory for their Seventh Annual Benefit and Silent Auction. The Cleveland Museum of Art debuts exhibitions by Jacob Lawrence and Anika Yi, and offers a special talk by Julia Wachtel at 2 p.m. at the Transformer Station in association with her first institutional solo exhibition in 20 years.
Also on Oct. 11 from 6 to 9 p.m., head back to Waterloo for Art and Craft, a collaborative pairing of local craft beer by Portside Brewery and local art at the Maria Neil Art Project and Gallery One Sixty, sponsored by Edible Cleveland. The evening will feature an artist talk with Amy Casey and Cathie Bleck at MNAP. Both galleries will be sampling a different beverage. Don't worry, they have their permits.