Bi-Lingual at SPACES, Friday, September 5 Artists who aren't tagged with a racial identity have the freedom to pursue expression without the burden or guidance of tradition. Those for whom a specific culture is a defining factor, though, walk a line between tradition and the freedom of expression without bounds. Ceramic artist Angelica Pozo, born in New York to Cuban and Puerto Rican parents, has balanced those concerns for her entire career. Her medium, ceramics, has a strong tradition of functionality, which is amplified by the fact that she often works on large-scale public art projects that become part of the setting they inhabit. Who better, then, to curate a show called Bi-Lingual, which opens the season at SPACES this week. In Bi-Lingual, Pozo has gathered 11 artists of African American and Latino descent whose work embodies the struggle. The artists include Bruno Casiano, Juan-S’ González, Paloma Dallas, V. Robin Grice and Nicole Marroquin (work pictured, left), Saskia Jordá, Michelangelo Lovelace, Sana Musasama, Akosua Adoma Owusu, Shani Richards and Raphael Valdivieso-Troya. There's an opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday. Spaces is at 2220 Superior Viaduct. Free.
The artists in Baldwin-Wallace's Autumn Invitational Ceramics Exhibition explore the traditions and challenges of their medium in a multitude of ways. Diana Bjel's masks, helmets and sculptures have a ritual quality informed by cultures from around the world, and clear religious resonance, but she says they don't represent any specific religion. Sandra Byers' vessels evoke the delicacy of nature - like petals of a flower, or the gills of a mushroom, or the form and detail of coral. Winthrop Byers embraces the functionality of clay, especially in tableware. Fong Choo finds challenge in turning clay into teapots, a process he compares to "poking the sleeping tiger." Yumiko Goto views clay as a partner as she attempts to capture moments of beauty in the natural world. Eva Kwong's sculptural works seem to be a medium for experimenting with color and pattern. Kirk Mangus makes functional pottery, but he also uses it to create a narrative of his life. Work by these accomplished ceramists is on view starting with a reception from 5-8 p.m. Friday at the Fawick Gallery in B-W's Kleist Center for Art and Drama, 95 E. Bagley Rd. in Berea. The exhibit is on view through October 10. Regular hours are 2-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Free. Call 440.826.2152.
On a lonely road on the island of Inishmore, someone killed an Irish Liberation Army enforcer's cat. That's what sets in motion Martin McDonagh's The Lieutenant of Inishmore, the latest bit of Irish to infuse Sean Derry and Sean McConaha's continuing parade of Ohio premieres. This one opens Friday at the Bang and the Clatter Theatre Company's Sometimes in the Silence Theater, 224 Euclid Ave. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays. Tickets: $15. Students and seniors pay what you can. Call 330.606.5317 for tickets or information.
Writers and Their Friends, the Lit's annual celebration of local authors, is in the great tradition of the literary salon. A jury selects a group of local authors to mingle with the crowd, read from their works and then mingle with the crowd some more. Of course, there's plenty of wine at the cash bar and books to buy as well. This year's lineup brings together a dozen wordsmiths of vastly different styles, from the young-adult fantasy writer Cinda Williams Chima (whose books The Warrior Heir, The Wizard Heir and The Dragon Heir mix wizardry and history with the present-day Midwest) to poet and CSU Poetry Center Director Michael Dumanis (whose My Soviet Union won the University of Massachusetts Press Juniper Prize and is praised for its ironic mix of humor and decay) to nonfiction writers like Akron Beacon Journal staff writer David Giffels (who was profiled in The New York Times on the occasion of the publication of his DIY memoir All the Way Home: Building a Family in a Falling-Down House). This year the crowd will also hear from Cleveland Scene investigative reporter James Renner, whose Amy: My Search for Her Killer has helped keep alive the search for Amy Mihaljevic's murderer. (It should be noted that Renner once was caught by a Today Show camera during an intimate moment on Times Square. You can find it by going on YouTube under "Today Show Man Kiss." Ask him about it, after everyone's had some wine.) Also among the honorees are fiction writers Shurice Gross and Paula McLain, poets Kazim Ali, Ted Lardner, and Phil Metres, nonfiction writer Frank Vazzano, scriptwriter Katie Daley and director Christopher Johnston. It's at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Ohio Theatre, PlayhouseSquare. Tickets: $25. Call 216.694.0000.
We were touched to see the announcement of an exhibit of watercolors by Susan Delac and Barrett Taylor arrive not only on real paper, but in typewritten form - and not typed on one of those newfangled electric jobbies either, but more likely an old-school manual typewriter, perhaps even an Underwood, like the one that used to sit on your grandfather's desk. Delac and Taylor both paint landscapes and cityscapes realistically, but with the play of light, especially in Delac's work, enriching the scene. Both of their work shows fine techniques that incorporate the behavior of the paint - the way it flows and absorbs into the paper - into the forms they are painting. Their work hangs at St. Paul's Episcopal Church Art Gallery, 1361 W. Market St. in Akron, September 7 (opening reception 11 a.m.-2 p.m.) through October 31. Free. Call 330.836.9327.
Director/choreographer Lynne Taylor-Corbett is in town for GroundWorks' performance of her theater/dance piece portraying the last day in the life of Virginia Woolf, who suffered from depression and probably bipolar disorder, and eventually drowned herself by filling her pockets with rocks and jumping into a river. Taylor-Corbett will talk today about cheerier things - mostly her life as a director and choreographer for Broadway and film productions (including Footloose), as well as major dance companies, including the American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, which premiered her Romeo and Juliet story Prayers From the Edge, set to Peter Gabriel's Passion. Taylor-Corbett has also choreographed for the Ohio Ballet and directed for the Cleveland Play House. She'll speak at 5:30 p.m. at Drinko Recital Hall in the Cleveland State University's Music and Communication Building, 2100 Euclid Ave. Free. Call 216.691.3180.