Trained Eye

To mixed media artist Douglas Lucak, the ash heaps and railyards of Cleveland's Slavic Village neighborhood are the city's enduring landmarks -- a sentiment reflected in his recent series of small painted photographs. Depicting industrial scenes in his own backyard, the works have the intimacy of hand-tinted postcards from the late-nineteenth century. "The whole area is a Cleveland palette," he says. "There's a flavor there that's really beautiful." The neighborhood has been his sometime subject since he moved there eight years ago. Lucak is currently working on a new photograph of a crumbling bridge overlooking Track Avenue. It's nicknamed the Jackass Bridge, and it looks like a "great place to dump a dead body," he says.

Soon Lucak will have an outsider's view of the bridge, as he and his partner are moving from the neighborhood to a loft apartment downtown. "It's been difficult here for a gay couple at a busy intersection between a middle school and a high school," he remarks. He stopped riding his bicycle through the area after he'd been shot at several times.

Lucak's work is on exhibit at the Bonfoey Company, 1710 Euclid Ave. (216-621-0178) in an untitled group show opening November 16. Other artists in the 23-person show include photographer Linda Butler, abstract painter Patrick Kelly, and collage artist Christopher Pekoc.

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