Zygote's 100x100 = relief
Unless you work for the Revenuers, April 15 probably has never struck you as an especially festive occasion. This year, Liz Maugans and her staff at Zygote Press would like to alter your perceptions with a 15th-anniversary celebration they call 100 x 100. One hundred artists, alumni, allies, and current contributors will be displaying one piece of artwork each. Each carries a nice round $100 price tag, and all sales benefit the nonprofit Zygote. (That's participating artist Arturo Rodriguez's contribution at left.) A $25 admission fee earns you entrance to the show along with catered hors d'oeuvres, beer, wine, and front-row seats to performances by the Pompous Grass bluegrass band; you'll also get a $25 "tax rebate" to use toward Zygote classes or membership. Other attractions include a Booze Table Raffle — which is exactly what it sounds like — and "pony rides," which are nothing like they sound like. (They actually have something to do with a hybrid rocking horse/printing press, which we're told results in an action-packed party ride!) Zygote, incidentally, is a cooperative fine-art printmaking workshop that also provides studio space, an exhibition gallery, archives, and classes. The party runs from 7 to 10 p.m. Tickets are available online at zygotepress.com or at the door, which is at 1410 East 30th Street. For more information, visit the website or call 216-621-2900. — Joseph Clark
Akron Art Museum: M.C. Escher: Impossible Realities. This crowd-pleasing show features more than 130 of the artist's 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: All-Star Jazz. Jazz history comes to life in the black and white photography of Herman Leonard, who captured greats like Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra in moments of both staged glory and private vulnerability. Through July 10 at 1 South High St., Akron; call 330-376-9186 or go to akronartmuseum.org.
The Bonfoey Gallery: All Over the Place. Artist Ken Nevadomi believes paintings should be fun, and he encourages viewers to formulate their own interpretations in an eclectic exhibit that includes abstracts, pastels, and animal portraits. Through April 23 at 1710 Euclid Ave. Call 216-621-0178 or visit bonfoey.com.
Cleveland Museum of Art: The Lure of Painted Poetry: Japanese and Korean Art. This compelling exhibition offers a rare, in-depth comparison of the secular artistic achievements of Japan and Korea as reflected in the museum's renowned collections of Asian art. It also highlights Japanese and Korean artists' efforts to fuse the genres of visual art and poetry as they reinterpreted themes from classical Chinese poetry in a variety of visual media, including calligraphy, painting, and decorative arts. The exhibition contains 80 objects from the museum's preeminent Asian collection, dating from the 14th to the 21st centuries. Through August 28 at 11150 East Blvd. in University Circle; call 216-421-7340 or visit clevelandart.org for more information.
Convivium33 Gallery: 21st Century Expressions of the Second Sex. This exhibition boils down to the strength and fascination inherent in personal experience, and the way that an image or a story can sum up hardships, insights, and triumphs. In other words, it's simply a really good show about life. (Douglas Max Utter) Through May 8 at Josephat Arts Hall, 1433 East 33rd Street. For details, call 216-881-7838 or go to josephatartshall.com.
Custom Picture Framing Gallery: Bella Italia. Photographer and physician Marcello Mellino's focus is on the areas outside Rome and Venice, capturing a way of life unknown to many Americans. Through April 29 at 15733 Madison Ave. in Lakewood. Call 216-221-1327 or go to custompictureframingoh.com for more info.
Forum Art Space: BioAccumulation: The Presence of Synthetic Growth. University of Akron painting and drawing major Elizabeth Dunfee's paintings of bloated, livid cells represent the poisoning of environments with pesticides and other industrial chemicals. Opening reception on April 15 from 5 to 9 p.m.; through April 29 at 1300 West 78th St. Learn more at forumartspace.blogspot.com.
John F. Seiberling Gallery: Earth & Sky. Painter Donna Drozda, a Cleveland native, unveils new work inspired by the birds of the Chesapeake Bay area, rendering her subjects in simple shapes and sumptuous colors. The show runs through May 14 at 1403 West Hines Hill Rd. in Peninsula; call 330-657-2909 or go to conservancyforcvnp.org.
Kenneth Paul Lesko Gallery: Adaptability. No matter the medium, Detroit-based Lebanese artist Adnan Charara's work reflects on adaptation by creative repurposing of materials. Postmarked envelopes become the canvas for a pictured narrative, and found objects become humanized characters in fragmented stories. Through May 14 at 1305 West 80th Street; call 216-631-6719 or go to kennethpaullesko.com.
Kokoon Arts: Regional Watercolors: This large exhibition aims at raising consciousness of Cleveland's 90-year history of leadership in watercolor paintings, including works from masters of the 1920's "Cleveland School" to the present day. Through May 14 at 1305 West 80th St. in the 78th Street Studios. Call 216-832-8212 or visit kokoonarts.com.
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. 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. Lorri Ott transforms synthetic and natural materials into poignant, evocative subjects, giving each work a unique yet ambiguous voice. Through May 8 at 8501 Carnegie Ave. Call 216-421-8671 or go to mocacleveland.org.
Pink Eye Gallery: Ken Nordine's Colors. Voiceover artist and jazz man Ken Nordine's trippy 1967 short film Colors inspires interpretations and homage from 16 local artists. The pieces are all small (no bigger than 24x36), experimental, and media-spanning. Through April 30 at 3904 Lorain Ave.; call 330-671-6123.
River Gallery: Five women artists explore the use of figures and narrative in media ranging from collage and painting to sculpture. Through April 23 at 19046 Old Detroit Rd. in Rocky River. For more information, call 440-331-8406 or go to rivergalleryarts.com.
Sculpture Center: Reluctant Redemption. Daniel McDonald illustrates the artist's spiritual journey through biblical scenes retold in bronze, wire, and foam. Also No Matter How Hard I Yell: Qian Li uses sculpture, found objects, and audiovisual presentations to recreate the recurring dreams from her harrowing Chinese childhood. Through April 16 at 1834 East 123rd St. Call 216-229-6527 or visit sculpturecenter.org.
Shaheen Gallery: Oil Studies 2006- 2010: Faris McReynolds' paintings range from caricatured representation to the expressionistic and borderline abstract, often featuring groups of bare-limbed young people in dynamic action. April 16 through May 27 at 740 West Superior Ave., Suite 101. Call 216-830-8888 or go to shaheengallery.com for details.
Tregoning & Company: Aspects of Modern Life. Matt Dibble's abstract works use thick, muscular brushstrokes to transcribe a simple vocabulary of rough geometric forms from which emerge striking compositions: elegant with subtle order like a garden bed. An artist reception will be held April 15 from 5 to 9 p.m. The show runs through May 31 at Tregoning's North Gallery, 1300 West 78th St. For details, call 216-281-8626 or go to tregoningandco.com.
Waterloo 7 Gallery: Featuring works by Hy Snell, Lisa Eastman, John Davis, and 30 others. Through April 15 at 35005 Chardon Rd., Willoughby Hills. Learn more by visiting schmidtsculpture.com or call 440-946-0333.
William Busta Gallery: Crossings. Painter Andrea Joki's simple patterns of abstract forms and colorful clusters seem to vie for attention like an eager crowd. Through April 30. Also: Geometry of the Clouds. Georgia Tech architecture professor Mark Cottle's exhibition transcribes a world history of geometry, translating into paint and ink the grammar of Egyptian and Greek architecture, the forms of Renaissance stonework, and the interpretations of Modernist minimalism. Through April 23 at 2731 Prospect Ave. Call 216-298-9071.
Zygote Press: 4U. Biennial gathering of faculty and students from the printmaking departments of four colleges, including the University of Akron, Cleveland Institute of Art, Kent State University, and the University of Toledo. Through April 9 at 1410 East 30th St. Call 216-621-2900 or visit zygotepress.com.
Tregoning & Company: Through X at 1300 West 78th St. Call 216-281-8626 or go to tregoningandco.com.
Kent State University Museum: Beyond Fashion: Fiber and Fashion Art by Vincent Quevedo. Culled from 20 years of past collections, Quevedo's works range from sculptural clothing to quilted wall art. Through February 2012 at 515 Hilltop Dr. on the K.S.U. campus; call 330-672-3450.