Art Exhibitions and Events You Should Not Miss During This Busy Fall Season

Dan Tranberg painting in his hospital room shortly before his death
Dan Tranberg painting in his hospital room shortly before his death Photo by Jerry Birchfield

From gallery shows and museum exhibitions to special events and fundraisers, the local art community's fall schedule includes dozens of highly anticipated events. Below, you'll find some of the events we're most looking forward to; check out the Get Out section in every issue for info on even more events than we could cover here.

This fall includes several new solo shows by some of Cleveland's most esteemed artists. At the end of October, Dana Oldfather's Candyland and Mark Keffer's Dark Pronoun open with a reception at the Galleries at Cleveland State University on Friday, Oct. 27, from 5 to 8 p.m. (A gallery talk begins at 4 p.m.) In November, the Artists Archives of the Western Reserve debuts Cuban-born Augusto Bordelois' Visual Emotions, The Way I Remember You with a reception on Thursday, Nov. 9, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Hedge Gallery presents new drawings, paintings and prints by David King and Dante Rodriguez opening as part of November's Third Friday at 78th Street Studios on Friday, Nov. 17, from 5 to 9 p.m.

The Galleries at CSU, 1307 Euclid Ave., 216-687-2103,

Hedge Gallery, 1300 West 78th St., Suite 200, 216-650-4201,

Artists Archives of the Western Reserve, 1834 East 123rd St., 216-721-9020,

As usual, fall also includes numerous fundraisers for local arts nonprofits. The Morgan Conservatory celebrates its 10-year anniversary and its founder Tom Balbo on Saturday, Oct. 7, from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Spaces honors its neighbors and Transformer Station founders Fred and Laura Bidwell at its Wonderland-themed benefit on Saturday, Nov. 4, from 6:30 p.m. to midnight. Meanwhile, CLE Urban Winery hosts Graffiti HeArt's second annual Scholarship Fundraiser on Saturday, Nov. 18, from 6 to 11 p.m. Ticket prices vary. More information is on the organizations' websites.

Morgan Conservatory, 1754 East 47th St., 216-361-9255,

Spaces, 2900 Detroit Ave., 216-621-2314,

CLE Urban Winery, 2180 Lee Rd., Cleveland Heights, 216-417-8313,

Founded on Oberlin's campus in 1917, the Allen Memorial Art Museum is celebrating its 100th anniversary with special events and exhibitions beginning this fall and continuing throughout the academic year. AMAM hosts a Centennial Symposium on Saturday, Oct. 7. The daylong event includes presentations on the importance of academic museums from museum directors and curators, as well as Oberlin alumni and emeritus professors, including keynote speaker Stephan Jost, a former AMAM curator who is now director of the Art Gallery of Ontario. For a complete list of centennial exhibitions, events and programming, see the website.

Allen Memorial Art Museum, 87 North Main St., Oberlin, 440-775-8665,

Loftworks Gallery showcases artwork by the International Society of Caricature Artists this season. Featuring an extensive collection of cartoon rock icons, Sketchbook Heroes: Caricatures of Rock Legends includes the works of 16 artists who have created art for clients such as Time Magazine, Mad Magazine, Cartoon Network, Sports Illustrated Kids, "Family Guy" and more. The exhibition opens with a reception on Friday, Oct. 6, from 5 to 8 p.m., and remains on view through Oct. 22.

Loftworks Gallery, East 40th St. #1A, 440-479-9441,

For the third year, James Levin's FireFish Festival transforms downtown Lorain into an engaging venue for art installations, performances and live music. This year's festival expands to two days: Friday, Oct. 6, from 5 to 10 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 7, from 2 to 11 p.m. FireFish is known for its unique performances and installations in unexpected places, as well as its fiery finale: a percussion parade culminating in the burning of the ceremonial fish. Storefronts and vacant buildings are transformed into pop-up art galleries showcasing local artists, while music and performances take place on the main stage, as well as balconies, alleys, empty storefronts, fire escapes and more. This year, organizers promise to transform Broadway Avenue itself into an interactive artwork, featuring a video installation on Lorain's old post office.

FireFish Festival, 617 Broadway Ave., Lorain,

In honor of the five-year anniversary of the opening of its Farshid Moussavi-designed building, and as a kickoff for the fall 2017 exhibitions, MOCA Cleveland is hosting a free community day from noon to midnight on Saturday, Oct. 7. The day includes family-friendly activities, panel discussions with MOCA Cleveland's senior curator Andria Hickey and featured artists from MOCA Cleveland's new fall 2017 exhibitions, which guests can explore throughout the day. Additionally, WRUW Studio-A-Rama presents live music every hour from 2 p.m. to midnight in Toby's Plaza, headlined at 10:30 p.m. by Sweet Spirit with special guests New Bomb Turks and This Moment in Black History. Happy Dog at the Euclid Tavern hosts the midnight afterparty. Fall 2017 exhibitions include the first U.S. museum solo show by British artist Phil Collins (not the musician) and A Poet*hical Wager, a group exhibition of contemporary abstract artists from around the world who use abstraction to convey complex feelings and concepts that can't be portrayed through representational imagery.

MOCA Cleveland, 11400 Euclid Ave., 216-421-8671,

A beloved member of Cleveland's art community, local artist, writer and lecturer Dan Tranberg passed away at the end of May. After hosting an auction of artwork by Tranberg's friends to fund a new Cleveland Institute of Art memorial scholarship in his name, Bonfoey Gallery presents Dan Tranberg: Final Works, an exhibition of paintings from the artists' last two years, many of which were created in the hospital during his final days battling cancer. The exhibition opens with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14, and remains on view through Nov. 18.

Bonfoey Gallery, 1710 Euclid Ave., 216-621-0178,

Finally, start Halloween weekend early with a release party for Sandwich Anarchy, a book showcasing more than 200 of local illustrator John G.'s sandwich posters created for Melt Bar & Grilled over the past 10 years. Melt's Independence location hosts a release party from 7 to 10 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 26. Although the book will be available through local bookstores, online and at all Melt locations starting on Halloween, guests can grab one of the first copies in person that day and John G. will be on hand to sign them. For more information and to preorder the book, visit

Melt Independence, 6700 Rockside Rd., 216-520-1415,

Like this story?
SCENE Supporters make it possible to tell the Cleveland stories you won’t find elsewhere.
Become a supporter today.
Scroll to read more Fall Arts Guide articles


Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.