Pop Art for Mom
A downtown show celebrates the lives of modern womenA gallery can be somber. But Canton artist Judi Krew wants you to know it's okay to laugh. In fact she wants you to. That's part of the point of her exhibition, Grins and Giggles are Good for the Soul, now on display at the Gallery at the Old Stone Church. Though not all her subjects are women — "Some could be men in drag," Krew opines — the modern, middle-class, feminine experience is her theme, examined in all its domestic, romantic, and fashion-related glory. Wee-hour diaper changes, bake-sale jealousies, and panic over carpet stains all serve as inspiration. Even her choice of materials — acrylic on canvas — is evidence of her closeness to her harangued subjects: Watercolors are not vivid enough for her manic energy. And besides: "I have no time to blend anymore." Krew's satire is entirely frank, even when she is clearly sympathetic to her subjects. There is an acknowledgment of absurdity here; but also a hope that we should all meet life's challenges so bravely. Through May 3 at 1380 Ontario St. downtown. A reception is set for 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 11. For info, call 216-241-6149 or visit oldstonechurch.org. — Joseph Clark
Arts Collinwood Gallery: Homescapes. Two artists take different routes to translating domestic psychology into physical forms. Photographer Stephanie Kluck depicts a romantic and somewhat ghostly view of home through blurry pictures of a child. Elizabeth Emery's found-object sculptures become a physical manifestation of the memories we collect of people and places. Also: In Balance: Jeffry Chiplis honors the noblest gas by salvaging neon signs and repurposing them as art. Through March 13 at 15601 Waterloo Rd. Call 216-692-9500 or visit artscollinwood.org.
Artists Archives of the Western Reserve: Art Along the Way. Multi-media collage artist Suzan Kraus and abstract painter Mark Krieger come together in this dynamic exhibition to offer a memorable glimpse into Ohio's contemporary visual-arts scene. Through February 25 at 18344 East 123rd St. Call 216-721-9020 or go to artistsarchives.org.
Akron Art Museum: M.C. Escher: Impossible Realities. More than 130 of the artist's finest works, including such instantly recognizable pieces as "Drawing Hands." The exhibition comes from the Herakleidon Museum in Greece, which houses one of the world's largest collections of Escher's work; Akron is one of only two U.S. venues to host it. Through May 29. Also featured: Unfolding Space, a show by Cleveland artist Sarah Kabot, whose work is inspired by Escher. Through June 11 at 1 South Main St. Call 330-376-9185 or go to akronartmuseum.org.
(Art)ificial Gallery: Armored Charmers. Solo and collaborative works by Cleveland artists Steve Knerem, Bob Peck, and Sorin Gabor are on display in this intimate exhibition. Through March 4 at 17020 Madison Ave. in Lakewood.
B-Side Liquor Lounge: Ten Imaginary Movies. For the past year, artist Jake Kelly has worked on a series of full-size movie posters designed for ten movies that exist only in his imagination. To further expand the illusion of reality, he called up his fellow artist John G. to create a huge array of ephemera and memorabilia, including VHS boxes, action figures, and production stills — all on display in this imaginative exhibit. Through February 28 at 2785 Euclid Heights Blvd. in Cleveland Hts.; go to bsideliquorlounge.com.
Cleveland Institute of Art Reinberger Galleries: The 65th Annual Student Independent Exhibition. A professionally juried show organized and curated entirely by students, this exhibition features more than 60 pieces of artwork drawn from each of the school's 19 majors, including paintings, sculpture, digital media, animation, and more. Through March 26. Reinberger Galleries are on the second floor of the Gund Building, at 11141 East Blvd. For more information, call 216-421-7407 or go to cia.edu.
Cleveland Museum of Art: Objects Being Taught They Are Nothing But Tools. South Korean artist Kim Beom endows his creations — sculpture, drawings, painting, videos, and mixed-media projects — with absurd traits and abilities. Through March 6 at 11150 East Blvd. in University Circle; call 216-421-7340 or visit clevelandart.org.
Contessa Gallery: The Photography of David Drebin. An internationally known photog and frequent contributor to Conde Nast Traveler, Drebin creates stylish works that tread the line between art and fashion photography. Through April 10 at 24667 Cedar Rd., inside Legacy Village. For more info, call 216-382-7800 or visit contessagallery.com.
Cuyahoga Community College Eastern Campus Gallery East: Health, Healing, and Wholeness: Weaving Creativity into the Fabric of Healthcare and Self Care. Tri-C's 11th Annual Healing Arts Exhibition features Rebecca Bluestone, a contemporary tapestry artist and cancer survivor well-known for her richly colored, hand-dyed textiles. Through March 8 at 4250 Richmond Rd. in Highland Heights. For more info, call 216-987-2473.
Galeria Quetzal: Latin American Textile and Ceramic Exhibition. Religious and secular textiles from Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico, Panama, and Peru, as well as Mexican and Peruvian urns, pots, and other ceramics. Through April 16 at 12400 Mayfield Rd. in Little Italy. Call 216-421-8223 or visit galeriaquetzel.com.
Heights Arts: A Few Hundred Posters. You know those great rock-show posters and fliers you've seen around town for the past 15 years? Chances are that John G. or Jake Kelly was behind them. The two artists have created more than 1,800 such posters, most of which are now on display, along with a mammoth installation elucidating their mutual creative processes. Through February 26 at 2173 Lee Rd. in Cleveland Heights. For more info, call 216-371-3457.
Kenneth Paul Lesko Gallery: The Cleveland School 2011. "Cleveland School" refers to a cohesive collection of area artists and craftsmen active between 1910 and the mid-1960s: well-regarded talents like sculptor Lawrence Blazey, and painters Adam Lehr and William Sommer. This exhibit highlights approximately 30 pieces from this collective. Through March 12 at 1305 West 80th St. Call 216-631-6719 for more information.
Museum of Contemporary Art: Blind Landscape. Internationally known for her tall monuments of graphite, stainless steel, glass, and plastic, sculptor Teresita Fernandez incorporates light, shadow, and reflection into her large-scale pieces, often exploring the relationship between nature and perception in the process. Through May 8. Also: Letter on the Blind, for the Use of Those Who See. This 2007 film by Javier Téllez documents the reactions of six blind people as they touch and respond to a live elephant. Also: Passive Voices. Artist Lorri Ott transforms synthetic and natural materials into poignant, evocative subjects, giving each work a unique yet ambiguous voice that supplants her own. At 8501 Carnegie Ave. Call 216-421-8671 or go to mocacleveland.org.
Negative Space Gallery & Studio: Works of Gadi Zamir. Israeli artist Gadi Zamir paints, stains, and burns his haunting visions into scraps of wood, allowing the grain and texture to dictate the ultimate composition. More than 150 of his pieces are now on view at 3820 Superior Ave. Call 216-470-6092 or go to thinknegativespace.com.
North Water Street Gallery: Existential Cartography. This installation by Cuyahoga Falls artist Sean M. O'Donnell features videos and silvery map-like drawings on canvas. Through February 26 at 257 North Water St. in Kent. For more info, call 330-673-4970 or go to standingrock.net.
Spaces: Manic Growth. Akron artist Elizabeth Dunfee explores the constant introduction of synthetic chemicals into our environment by blowing up cell imagery to wall-sized proportions, then augmenting it with video, three-dimensional objects, and synthetic "toxic" color to create a tension between what's natural and what is introduced. Through April 1. Also: Machine Project. This loose confederacy of L.A.-based artists is known for their off-kilter art experiences. Here, their exhibition is "couchbleacher stadium," exploring journeys into psychic mediumship and more. In residency through April 1 at 2220 Superior Viaduct. Call 216-621-2314 or go to spacesgallery.org.
William Busta Gallery: Through a Glass Darkly. Darice Polo radically reframes an American icon by recasting it in an individualistic fashion. Her charcoal drawings and oil paintings of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are sketched from home movie frames taken during a 1958 family outing, orienting her pieces toward both the unexpected angles of an amateur photographer, and to the temporal-social realities which challenge the statue's idealism. Through March 12 at 2731 Prospect Ave. Polo will be at the gallery to discuss her work Saturday, February 26, from 2 to 4 p.m. Call 216-298-9071, or go to williambustagallery.com.
Zygote Press: Intersections. The third in a series of collaborations between Zygote Press and Cleveland's literary center The Lit, this exhibit highlights the associative power of word and image through poetry, artwork, and learned commentary from a team of local aficionados. Through February 26 at 1410 East 30th St. Go to zygotepress.com or call 216-621-2900.