The best known of Andy Warhol's many works are his paintings and silk-screen prints of pop-culture icons, from Marilyn Monroe to cans of Campbells Soup. But the basis for much of that work was his copious and accomplished photography, much of it documenting people and events at the Factory in New York in the mid to late '60s. Warhol often shot the same subject twice, using both Polaroid and then black-and-white film (making silver gel prints). The scope of his photographic catalog came to light last October, when the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts mined it to give 28,543 photos - valued at a total of more than $28 million - to 183 colleges, universities and art museums around the U.S. Among them was Kent State University's School of Art Gallery, which has an exhibit of selected pictures from its Warhol collection on display now through September 19. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday 11 a.m. to 5 PM. Free. Call 330.672.1369.
Woodcut printing invites, if not a specific style, at least specific image-making technique. The challenge of the wood's grain and the fact that ink prints where the wood is means the pictures are defined in binary terms, the artists making the image either in the positive or the negative, usually in one ink color. This invites simplicity and, in order to create shading or detail, the cutting of lots of lines, which yields an energy that, at least traditionally, defines relief printing. Kent State University Associate Professor J. Noel Reifel, though, has been experimenting in other ways. Spare use of lines, mark-making and the juxtaposition of color and large printed areas give his work something in common with color field painters, and within those fields slight variation in the printing surface, including the wood's grain, give his work a modern sensibility that transcends the very traditional medium. A collection of his works opens today at KSU's Downtown Gallery, 141 E. Main St. in Kent. Through September 27. Gallery hours are Wednesday-Friday, 12-5 p.m. and Saturday, 10-4. A reception will be held on Thursday, September 4, 5-7 p.m. Free. Call 330.676.1549.
Cleveland State University Assistant Professor of Art Qian Li and Gallery Director Robert Thurmer have recruited 10 artists for Digital Safari, a diverse show of technology in art that reopens the gallery for the new school year. The works explore the broad range of possibility under the big umbrella that is digital art. Among artists and works in the show are: online interactive video by Dextro, of Austria; digital animation by Tan Ying, of Oregon; and electronic music by Ryan Lott, of New York. Qian Li gives a gallery talk at 4 p.m. Friday, followed by a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Free. The CSU Art Gallery is at 2307 Chester Ave. Call 216.687.2103.
This is odd: Matt Greenfield is creating a theater series with the idea of presenting a new play every month, scheduled every odd Wednesday. He's part of a group of twentysomething theater artists who've left the area and returned "to reclaim a place in the burgeoning arts scene." His hope is to get audiences accustomed to TV-style viewing habits, keeping a regular and habitual schedule, rather than "treating theater as a monolithic event every few months." They've got great venues lined up too, on both the east and west sides of town. The first production, Greenfield's own play Vestibule, opens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, September 3, at the Centrum Theater, above Johnny Malloy's, at 2781 Euclid Heights Blvd. in Cleveland Heights. Its second performance is at 8 p.m. September 17 at the Orthodox Church on the Cleveland Public Theatre campus, 6415 Detroit Ave. Stay after the show for a talk-back session with music. Tickets cost $10. Call 216.926.8641, which Greenfield oddly notes is 216.WAM.TOG1.