Jam-Packed Arts Scene in the City 

Cleveland is the place to be this weekend

This weekend Cleveland is filled with more art events than some cities have in a month. Friday alone, it seems like every major art institution and organization is doing something. With so much to tell you about, let's get right to it.

On Friday, the Cleveland Museum of Art is hosting a soul-themed MIX Happy Hour. It might be the least visual arts-based event around town, but it will feature legendary Cleveland DJ, record collector and co-founder of Touch Supper Club, DJ Mazi Jahi, spinning classic soul records from the '60s and '70s. The evening will also include guided tours of the African-American art in the museum's permanent collection. Advance tickets are $8, $10 on Friday, and free for CMA members.

Stop back Saturday for a very special free lecture by London-based contemporary artists Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin. This collaborative duo will discuss their various projects in book form, photography, video and installation work. Their projects have been exhibited at venues around the world, including MOMA, Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool, New York's International Center of Photography, the Gwagnju Biennale and the Stedelijk Museum. The lecture is part of the museum's new free Contemporary Artist Lecture Series, an initiative to bring the best living/working artists from the U.S. and around the world to Cleveland.

Don't spend too much time at MIX on Friday, because there's plenty of art to see around Northeast Ohio on this "First Friday" of February. Renowned local gallery owner William Busta recently announced plans to retire this summer. There are only a handful of shows left before his doors close forever.

Stop by this Friday for new work by Timothy Callaghan, Krista Tomorowitz, Taryn McMahon and Jerry Birchfield. Callaghan and Tomorowitz (husband and wife) will exhibit collaborative work, McMahon will showcase prints and installation work and Birchfield will debut a collection of photographs.

Birchfield's work will also be on view nearby at Zygote Press. Zygote's archivist, Corrie Slawson, has organized their first archive show. They Came, They Saw, They Printed features work by international and local printmakers created during the organization's nearly 20-year history. Featured artists include Mely Barragan, Anthony Bartholomew, Laurence Channing, Dexter Davis and many more. The opening reception is Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. An after-party is planned for Sterle's, but don't stop now...there's plenty more art to see.

Also on Friday, Transformer Station is partnering with MOCA Cleveland to present Jessica Eaton's work at both venues. Wild Permutations at MOCA Cleveland showcases Eaton's explorations into the visual qualities, behavior and production of color. Transformer Station, MOCA Cleveland and Oakville Galleries are also collaborating on a comprehensive, full-color catalog of Eaton's work at both venues.

MOCA Cleveland will be very busy Friday as they debut their Winter 2015 exhibitions from 7 to 11:30 p.m. Stop by for a free opportunity to see Joyce J. Scott's Truths and Visions, Ragnar Kjartansson's The Visitors and Eaton's Wild Permutations. At 7 p.m., you can hear a special talk with Eaton, curator Rose Bouthillier and special guest Lucas Blalock. Bring the family for Family Art Studio from 7 to 9 p.m. or leave them with the sitter and stick around for a screening of The Visitors at 10:15 p.m. (Reservations for the screening can be made at thevisitors@mocacleveland.org.) Can't make it Friday? Stop by Saturday, because the first Saturday of every month features free admission sponsored by Medical Mutual.

Friday is also Walk All Over Waterloo in Collinwood's historic arts district. Hours vary by business, but beginning at 5 p.m., the district's numerous galleries, studios, restaurants, bars and retail shops host a variety of free events. Highlights include Dan Miller's Imaginative Isolation at Gallery One Sixty, Enough Dumb Courage: Some Things by Jamey Hart presented by Popeye Gallery in the Native Cleveland Annex, Andrew Reach's Bits in Pieces at Maria Neil Art Project, Unfolding Narrative at Waterloo Arts and much more.

On Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m., the Artists Archives of the Western Reserve hosts a special lecture, Collecting Art of the Cleveland School. This gallery talk features local art historian Marianne Berardi, and Bonfoey Gallery's Diana Schaffstein and Marcia Hall. Berardi will use AAWR's current exhibition, Pearls of Cleveland, to compare and contrast Moses Pearl's watercolors with other Cleveland School artists. Representatives of Bonfoey will reinforce this lecture with examples of these legendary local artists. This afternoon is part of an ongoing series of lectures at the AAWR.

Also on Saturday, from 3 to 7 p.m., Rocky River's River Gallery presents its 10th annual Ceramics Invitational Exhibition. Featured artists include Diane Bjel, Bill Brouillard, David Derrig, Christopher Dodson, Bette Drake, Susan Gallagher, David Giorgi, Susan Hanna, Michael High, Allen Kradlak, Todd Leech, Paul Linhares, Chris Longwell, Ikuko Miklowski, John Miyazawa, John Nickerson, Jessica Ramage, Justin Rothshank, Luke Sheets, Donna Webb and Mark Yasenchack.

From 7 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Transformer Station hosts a reception for its latest exhibition, Process and Abstraction. The show features experimental work by Jessica Earton, Mariah Robertson and Alison Rossiter, described as "three artists who have developed techniques and processes unique to them, resulting in stunning abstractions that challenge popular conceptions of photography" by organizers.

As for Sunday, get some rest. You're going to need it for next weekend.

Cleveland Museum of Art, 11150 East Blvd., 216-421-7350, clevelandart.org

William Busta Gallery, 2731 Prospect Ave., 216-298-9071, williambustagallery.com

Zygote Press, 1410 East 30th St., 216-621-2900, zygotepress.com

Transformer Station, 1460 West 29th St., 216-938-5429, transformerstation.org

MOCA Cleveland, 11400 Euclid Ave., 216-421-8671, mocacleveland.org

Gallery One Sixty, 16008 Waterloo Rd., 440-715-0603, galleryonesixty.org

Waterloo Arts, 15605 Waterloo Rd., 216-692-9500, waterlooarts.org

Popeye Gallery/Native Cleveland Annex, 15813 Waterloo Rd., popeyegallery.com

Maria Neil Art Project, 15813 Waterloo Rd., 216-481-7722, marianeilartproject.com

Artists Archives of the Western Reserve, 1834 East 123rd St., 216-721-9020, artistsarchives.org

River Gallery, 19046 Old Detroit Rd., Rocky River, 440-331-8406, rivergalleryarts.com

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