In his Superior Avenue coffeehouse, the Artefino Gallery Café, 3-D artist Hector Vega has hung mammoth bright green, red, and yellow abstracts on the walls and from the ceiling. He calls the collection United Colors of Artefino, and it's one of the exhibits on the Urban Gallery Hop of works by more than 200 local artists.
To get to each display, a trolley picks up artgoers at the ArtCade (530 Euclid Avenue) and Griffon Gallery (1370 West 9th Street) and drops them off at any of the 38 galleries, 48 studios, and eight restaurants between the Gateway District and Ohio City. "It's a unified approach at promoting arts in the city," says Vega. "And that's what it takes."
One of the Hop's high points is Tower Press Building's City Artists at Work, which features "the artists themselves, their finished work, their work in progress, and very cool working spaces," says organizer Susie Frazier Mueller. "We know there's no shortage of talent in this town." Hoppin' happens from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at various venues throughout Cleveland. Admission is free; call 216-696-1942. -- Cris Glaser
Chalk of the Town
Fest offers art without all the pretensions.
If you see Mark Jenks at the Chalk Festival, ask him if he needs a painkiller. For two days, the Strongsville sculptor will be on his hands and knees with pastel chalk in hand, drawing on a 10-square-foot sidewalk slab. "Pastels are not my chosen material, but I love the concept of chalk drawings," says Jenks, who owns a Lakewood frame shop and is one of the festival's featured chalk artists. "It's very textural." It's also temporary. Shell out $15 for your own box of chalk, and you, too, can draw something that'll wash away the next time it rains! "That's probably the coolest thing about it for me," says Jenks. "It takes all the pretension away. You're not going to sit and ponder it for a week and say, 'Maybe it needs a little turquoise.'" The fest happens from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Cleveland Museum of Art, 11150 East Boulevard. Admission is free; call 888-262-0033. -- Cris Glaser
Sam Fulwood knows what ails Cleveland.
After living in Cleveland for four years, Plain Dealer columnist Sam Fulwood thinks he has a pretty good idea of what's good and bad about our town. "The city suffers from a massive inferiority complex that is undeserved," he says. Nearly 150 of Fulwood's essays are compiled in Full of It: Strong Words and Fresh Thinking for Cleveland, which shares the metro writer's thoughts on Krispy Kreme doughnuts, racism, and Cleveland's public schools. "I'm looking at the city and falling in love with it," he says. "This is a great place to live, but people don't celebrate it like they should." Fulwood signs his book at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Cultural Exchange, 12624 Larchmere Boulevard. Admission is free; call 216-229-8300. -- Michael Gallucci
Film of a Dirty Old Man
Charles Bukowski was a misanthropic asshole and a belligerent drunk. But he was a helluva writer, as Bukowski: Born Into This makes clear through interviews with the late poet and author, colleagues, and fans (including Bono, Sean Penn, and Tom Waits). It screens at the Cleveland Cinematheque (11141 East Boulevard) at 7:30 p.m. Friday, 9 p.m. Saturday, and 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8; call 216-421-7450. -- Michael Gallucci