Out of Africa
Message and media have never complemented each other so neatly as in photographer Elisabeth Sunday's exhibition of works from 2005 to 2011, now on display at Tregoning & Company. Though based in San Diego, Sunday has deep roots in the Cleveland arts community as granddaughter of Paul Travis, the painter who — around the same time as Picasso's discovery of tribal masks — drew upon the rich visual landscape of Africa to distinguish his work. Through her own travels, and memories and dreams of her grandfather's stories, Sunday also draws from this source. "I remember being in my grandfather's house, surrounded by paintings, listening to bedtime stories from Africa. Now I realize travel and experiencing other cultures is very important for art," Sunday says. In her black-and-white pictures of nationals of Ghana, Ethiopia, and Mali, she uses mirrored photography to elongate the images to reproduce the exaggerated, stretched forms reserved for spiritual figures in indigenous art. (That's a detail of her "Animus #1," left.) Despite the fact they are playing stand-in for mythic archetypes, her subjects are warm and genuine. Indeed, Sunday befriended many of them over the years, encouraging a comfort with the camera and curiosity to experiment visually. A reception will be held Friday, September 16, from 5 to 9 p.m.; the show runs through October 31 at 1300 West 78th St. For more info, call 216-281-8626 or go to tregoningandco.com. — Joseph Clark
1point618 Gallery: An Odd Itinerary of Scenes. The unabashedly surrealist painter Joe Stavec immerses us in landscapes of the unconscious, where physics, logic, and expectations become punch lines. Through Sep. 25 at 6421 Detroit Ave. Call 216-281-1618 or go to 1point618gallery.com.
Akron Art Museum: Kaleidoscope Quilts. Fiber artist Paula Nadelstern's quilts capture the symmetry, luminosity, and intricacy of kaleidoscopes, and inspire makers of these instruments in return. Through Oct. 2. Also: The Vogel Collection: 50 Works for Ohio. Featuring works by 26 artists, the paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures in this exhibition are part of a far-sighted private collection amassed over a 40-year period. Through Oct. 16 at 1 South High St.; call 330-376-9185 or go to akronartmuseum.org.
Arts Collinwood: WOW: Women on Waterloo. Three female CIA graduates reflect on contemporary life in America's rusty northeast quadrant. Jacqueline Kennedy uses enamel, print, and metals to express her emotional response to post-industrial landscapes. Print artist Brittany Filko presents a series of nostalgic prints of iconic glamour figures of the 1920s-1950s. Rachel Shelton's work is an act of mourning for modernity's disengagement with nature to the detriment of both parties. Through Oct. 2 at 15605 Waterloo Rd. Call 216-692-9500 or go to artscollinwood.org.
Bonfoey Gallery: Consumer Landscapes. Nationally acclaimed Cleveland painter Michelle Muldrow uses casein on panel and oil on canvas to render both the attractiveness and repugnance of American economic life. Through Oct. 7 at 1710 Euclid Ave. Call 216-621-0178 or go to www.bonfoey.com.
Brandt Gallery: Brandt 21. To celebrate its 21st anniversary, Brandt Gallery showcases the 50-plus artists who have decorated its walls since its founding, including Matt Keffer, Jerry Mann, Anastasia Pantsios, and Kathy Smith. The show overflows into two buildings: the Brandt Gallery proper at 1028 Kenilworth, and Mastroianni Arts at 2688 West 14th. Through Sept. 30. Call 216-621-1610 or go to brandtgallery.org.
Cleveland Artists Foundation:The Way of All Flesh. Painter Shirley Aley Campbell captures momentary emotions and abiding personalities in her examinations of the human form. Through Oct. 29 at 17801 Detroit Ave. in Lakewood. Call 216-227-9507 or go to clevelandartists.org.
Cleveland Museum of Art: Copia: Retail, Thrift, and Dark Stores, 2001-11. Photographer Brian Ulrich hauntingly explores the psyche of the American consumer in a three-part exhibition that attempts to diagnose our national malaise. Through Jan. 16 at 11150 East Blvd. in University Circle; call 216-421-7350 or visit clevelandart.org.
Cleveland Institute of Art: Annual Faculty Show. The instructors at Northeast Ohio's foremost institution of higher artistic learning exhibit their personal works in every medium in the Reinberger Gallery. Through Oct. 8 at 11141 East Blvd. Call 216-421-7000 or go to cia.edu/facultyshow.
Cleveland State University Art Gallery: Spirit of Spontanaiety. New works by painter Hector Castellanos-Lara capture often-celebratory images inspired by the dress, folk art, and daily life of the artist's homeland of Guatemala. An opening reception and talk will be held Sept. 23 from 5 to 7 p.m. The show runs Sep. 19 through Oct. 15. Also: Material and Metaphor. This exhibition showcases contemporary, often experimental sculpture from nationally and internationally acclaimed artists such as Joseph Leroux, Kyoung Ae Cho, and Allison Lacher. Through Oct. 15 at 2307 Chester Ave. Call 216-687-2103 or go to csuohio.edu/artgallery.
Fawick Gallery (Baldwin-Wallace College): Creators, Innovators, and Dreamers: The 2011 Creative Workforce Fellows. This annual exhibition showcases the winners of Community Partnership for Arts and Culture's annual grants, this year including jewelry artists Dave and Roberta Williamson, glass artists Brent Kee Young, and painter Douglas Max Utter. Through Sep. 30 at 95 E. Bagley Rd., Berea. For more information, call 440-826-2152 or go to bw.edu/academics/art/gallery/.
Heights Arts: Found Contacts. This photography exhibit displays the fruits of tireless eBay searches for old-fashioned contact sheets, those disappearing relics of analog photography. Through Oct. 22 at 2175 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights. Call 216-371-3457 or go to heightsarts.org.
Kenneth Paul Lesko Gallery: Cinema 02. Eighteen artists from four different countries working in media as diverse as painting, photography, and even video give tribute to the culture and imagery of movies. An opening reception will be held Sep. 16 from 5 to 9 p.m., and the exhibition will run through Nov. 4 at 1305 W. 80th St. For more information, call 216-631-6719 or go to kennethpaullesko.com.
Legation: Artwork From Spaces Board/Staff. This group exhibition features artwork by board members and staffers of Spaces, Cleveland's arts resource and public arts forum, as well as works drawn from board members' private collections. Through Sep. 23 at 1300 D West 78th St. Call 216-650-4201 or visit legationagallery.com for more info.
Local Girl Gallery: Vintage Memories. Local painter Tony Trunzo exhibits slightly askew images of classic childhood toys, including cymbal-monkeys and boxy robots. An opening reception will be held Sep. 17 from 6 to 9 p.m. at 16106 Detroit Ave. Call 216-228-1802 or go to localgirlgallery.com for more information.
Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage: Hardship to Hope. In collaboration with CSU, the Maltz Museum highlights the contributions of African American painters and sketch artists in Cleveland during the Great Depression. Through Jan. 1, 2012 at 2929 Richmond Rd. in Beachwood. Call 216-593-0575 or go to maltzmuseum.org.
O Gallery: From the Earth Up. Lisa Eastman paints landscapes in vivid, glassy-smooth oils. Sculptor Hy Snell transforms bits of scrap bronze and copper into intricate vegetable shapes. Through Oct. 9 at 2101 Richmond Rd., Beachwood. Call 330-921-1234 or see the gallery's page on Facebook.
Shaker Historic Society: Viktor Schreckengost. The legacy of the prolific artist, industrial designer, engineer, and C.I.A. professor is honored with a sampling of his work. Craig Bara, historian and archivist for the Viktor Schreckengost Memorial Foundation, speaks Sept. 18 at 4 p.m. Through October 2 at 16740 South Park Blvd., Shaker Heights. Call 216-921-1201 or go to shakerhistory.org.
SPACES: Portability & Network. An international array of artists exhibit works dealing with the concept of formal reduction. Also: Steve Lambert's interactive installation "Capitalism Works for Me!" allows visitors to vote on whether or not the titular statement applies to them. Also: Royden Watson's "Usnews" is a map of the United States whose colors will evolve over the course of the exhibition, representing the country's shifting racial, religious, sexual, and economic demographics. Through October 21 at 2220 Superior Viaduct. Call 216-621-2314 or go to spacesgallery.org.
William Busta Gallery: Interruptions. In her first solo exhibition at WBg, Amy Krusinski Sinbondit's geometrically informed ceramics translate line compositions into three dimensions of striking colors. Also: Heart Land. Douglas Max Utter's paintings and monoprints combine symbolic representation and abstract swaths of color to create dreamlike environs. Both shows run through Oct. 8 at 2731 Prospect Ave. Call 216-298-9071 or go to williambustagallery.com.
Zygote Press: Give Us a Fence and Some Room to Run. A self-taught painter, Dana Oldfather has embraced the opportunity to explore printmaking and silkscreening as part of her artist-in-residence role at Zygote. Through Oct. 23 at 1410 East 30th St. Call 216-621-2900 or go to zygotepress.com.
Solon Center for the Arts: La Bella Vita, the Beautiful Life. Painter Diane Arthurs exhibits works inspired by the Mediterranean. Through July 29 at 6315 SOM Center Rd. in Solon. Call 440-337-1400.