Third Fridays at 78th Street Studios Packs a World of Art Into One Night


“The Hillclimb” Shirley Aley Campbell, oil on canvas, 5x7’ 1973
  • “The Hillclimb” Shirley Aley Campbell, oil on canvas, 5x7’ 1973
Looking for something to do after the parade this St. Patrick’s Day? This year’s holiday falls on the third Friday of March, and of course, 78th Street Studios is the place to be on the third Friday of each month. March’s Third Friday open studios event at 78th Street Studios includes the debut of several new, exciting exhibitions and much more.

Highlights include the $50 Show at E11even 2, with nearly 100 original works by 18 local artists priced at $50 each. A tradition dating back to E11even 2 co-founder R!ch Cihlar’s former Pop Shop gallery on Madison Avenue in Lakewood, every piece in the gallery is priced at $50 and sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Arrive early for the best selection. Whether you’re an avid collector or want to find the first piece for your empty walls, the $50 Show is sure to have something for everyone.

“The $50 show is a great way to start a collection or add to a collection,” says Cihlar. “It gives new collectors a chance to get a piece of art that in most circumstances would cost a lot more. The artists win too, they know that their piece is going to a good home.”

Participating artist include: Sergio Andujar, R!ch Cihlar, Leslie Edwards Humez, Ryan Kacsandy, George Kocar, Rachel Latina, Billy Nainiger, Eric Oldag, Mark Overlow, John Plymak, Bob Peck, Ashley Ribblett, Christina Sadowski, Rick Sans, Mark Thomas, Jordan Wong, Mark Yasenchack and yours truly.

Also this month, the Cleveland West Art League’s Six in Studio artists begin their projects during an opening reception. Throughout the next month, these six artists will use the gallery as a cooperative studio space to create site-specific projects. The results will be displayed at a closing reception during April’s Third Friday event. An annual tradition, this year’s six participating artists were selected by guest curators and local artists Linda Ayala and Dante Rodriguez, both of whom work at the Cleveland Institute of Art. This year’s resident artists are Gregory Dyczkowski, Shawn Kerns, Robert Musser, Kate Snow, Juliette Thimmig and Nico Pico Train.

On the lower level, ARTneo hosts opening receptions for its latest two exhibitions, the 2nd annual regional juried exhibition, Cleveland Creates 2017, and Andy Dreamingwolf’s Pop & Circumstance, winner of last year’s inaugural Cleveland Creates exhibition. Although his exhibition is the result of winning first place in last year’s exhibition, Dreamingwolf’s new work takes a different, but equally exciting direction.

Reflecting on both exhibitions, Dreamingwolf says, “I was honored to have been initially accepted into, and then subsequently awarded 1st place by the jurors at last year’s Cleveland Creates. The works that I exhibited in that inaugural event were different than those that were created for this current solo exhibition. While last year’s pieces were monochromatic and utilized both acrylic paint and markers, the paintings for Pop & Circumstance are colorful acrylic photorealism with also a mixture of works that I hand silkscreened and placed within antique pop — Hey, I’m from Ohio, it’s not soda — crates. I usually paint pretty rigid and wanted to loosen my panels up a bit and do something different.”

Cleveland Creates 2017 was selected by a panel of jurors, including Gund Foundation senior program officer for the arts Jennifer Coleman, owner of Rachel Davis Fine Arts Rachel Davis and president and CEO of the Cleveland Institute of Art Grafton Nunes.

With March’s Third Friday at 78th Street Studios occurring on St. Patrick’s Day this year, it’s hard to say how large the crowds will be. Thinking ahead, ARTneo has planned a special sneak preview of its latest exhibitions this Thursday, March 16. Taking place from 6 to 8 p.m., PARTYneo: Ice Cream Social offers an early glimpse into both Cleveland Creates 2017 and Pop & Circumstance. Sponsored by Mitchell’s Ice Cream, tickets are $25 ($15 for ARTneo members) and available through ARTneo’s website,

Getting back to Third Friday’s festivities, PopEye Gallery debuts Dan Miller’s Draw Me a Sheep, featuring new work based on the beloved children’s book The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, beloved across the world, having been translated into over 250 languages. Miller studied drawing and painting at Cleveland State University, and co-founded the former Rotten Meat Gallery. Miller reimagines his favorite book with his own interpretation.

“This book holds a special place in my heart,” says Miller. “I feel it keeps me grounded, and gives me hope in the darkest of times. It is a tale of exploration and self-discovery, and above all else, a reminder of how easily matters of consequence can obfuscate the simple truths all around us. It asks us to pause and remember to slow down and appreciate those things most dear both small and large. The Little Prince also reminds us of the lonely journey of childhood, that we spend an enormous time in pursuit of ourselves, that service to others, or love, can shape us enormously.”

Additionally, Hedge Galley presents new work by local painter Katy Richards, and Forum Artspace hosts the closing reception of Mike Meier’s Man Out of Time, both alums of the Cleveland Institute of Art.

A native of Cleveland, Katy Richards received her BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2011, before earning her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2014, studying painting at both schools. Richards maintains a studio above Waterloo Arts in Collinwood’s Waterloo Arts District, and recently returned from a residency at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT. Her new work’s subject matter is inspired by underwater life she has both researched and photographed. While depicting her subjects, Richards carefully balances realistic depiction with abstract sensations.

“Tide Pool” Katy Richards, oil on panel, 24x36” 2016
  • “Tide Pool” Katy Richards, oil on panel, 24x36” 2016
Fluid Depths is Katy Richards' most powerful body of work thus far,” says Hedge Gallery director Hilary Gent. “She is dedicated to her medium, combining rich layers and pushing her color palette to a surreal level. Richards' paintings bring vivid underwater creatures and organisms into our world through abstracted imagery of coral, octopi, fish eggs and seaweed, depicted with fluid brush work and luscious colors. They leave us lusting for more!”

Richards says, “My recent body of paintings are inspired by swimming in the ocean and experiencing the shifting and otherworldly underwater landscape. I want my paintings to have a similar experience to what it’s like to be submerged underwater where forms flow between the familiar and the indiscernible and there is a sense of constant movement.”

Just down the hall from Hedge, in Suite 215, 78th Street Studios director Dan Bush curates a special exhibition by renowned, Cleveland-based artist Shirley Aley Campbell. The Motorcyclists of the Seventies is a rarely exhibited collection of oil paintings commissioned in 1973 by local businessman and avid art collector Joseph Erdelac. Now part of the 78th Street Studios collection, director Daniel Bush felt it was important to keep the series together when it became available last year.

“The subject matter is diverse and includes racing competitions, cycling for business and pleasure and even a painting representative of a Vietnamese family fleeing Saigon,” says Bush. “The series depicts the many ways in which motorcycles are used and reveals the wide range of people who ride them. Subjects include The Flying Angel herself, Debbie Lawler; the late John Burke, an eminently successful businessman and his two sons; Swedish racer Kent Anderson; Dot Robinson, one of the best known women riders, who owned a motorcycle dealership and logged thousands of miles a year on her pink Harley; John Knoble and Bob 'Laco' Lawrence of the Hell's Angels Los Angeles Motorcycle Club; Abram Drain, one of the few black motorcycle competition riders at the time; and Lord Hesketh of England, a motorcycle devotee and producer of Hesketh Motorcycles.”

In preparation for the series, Campbell traveled to California, Florida, Massachusetts, England, Finland, Holland, Sweden and Switzerland to make preparatory sketches. Campbell will be present during March’s Third Friday reception, and the exhibition remains on view through April 8. This summer, the paintings return to 78th Street Studios on August 18 for at least two months.

There’s always more to see and do throughout Cleveland’s “Art Maze.” Following each Third Friday event, Survival Kit presents live music on the third floor at 9 p.m. March’s performers include Stephan Haluska (harp), Rebecca Burcher (dance) and Matthew Ryals (modular synthesizer).

All Third Friday events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

(78th Street Studios) 1300 W. 78th St., 330-819-7280,

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