Big Book of Cleveland: The Creative Crowd

Cleveland's vibrant art gallery scene thrives all over town

Yes, Cleveland is home to an internationally renowned art museum. But our town teems with creative types in every neighborhood from east to west.

Uncinch that Rust Belt reputation, and you'll find a Cleveland brimming with galleries of all kinds and artists of unbounded talent.

More than just a place to hang the pictures, many area galleries double as cultural strongholds, where the community gathers for regular arts-centric events.

On your next local adventure, stop by and see what's cooking at one of these area galleries.


The Artist Review Today Showcase: Inside the Galleria at Erieview, the eclectic ART gallery is dedicated to local artists' paintings, woodwork, clothing, bags, jewelry, and much more.

1301 East Ninth St., 216-771-0900,

The Bonfoey Gallery: This 118-year-old gallery specializes in regional contemporary paintings, drawings, photographs, signed limited-edition prints, sculpture, and glass works from some of the area's most prominent artists. Also a go-to spot for framing.

1710 Euclid Ave., 216-621-0178,

Art Gallery at Cleveland State University: This gallery showcases traveling exhibitions, with a recent emphasis on photography and an annual student art show. They also host frequent lectures and seminars that are free and open to the public.

2307 Chester Ave., 216-687-2103,

William Busta Gallery: William Busta displays and represents artists living and working in Northeast Ohio. Their friendly staff and the detailed literature they publish with their exhibits make them a valuable resource for viewers new to the local arts scene. 2731 Prospect Ave., 216-298-9071,

Convivium33 Gallery at Josaphat Arts Hall: The only Cleveland gallery run out of a desanctified Roman Catholic church, Josaphat's sprawling, regal space is filled handsomely by the Convivium33 Gallery's larger shows and by the individual studios that offer classes, workshops, and lectures there.

1433 East 33rd St., 216-881-7828,

Negative Space: Painter and sculptor Gadi Zamir offers his own artwork along with a unique series of classes "designed to bring students in tune with their fears and doubts," with the goal of confronting personal and social privation, and recognizing hope and beauty amid strife.

3820 Superior Ave., 216-470-6092,

Proximity: Proximity features local and national artists who are doing exciting work in drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, installation, and performance.

1667 East 40th St., 216-262-8903,

Shaheen Modern and Contemporary Art: Founded in 1999, Shaheen showcases new and recent works by younger contemporary artists. Shaheen also specializes in the resale of paintings, drawings, and sculpture by important modern, post-war, and contemporary European and American artists, as well as works by the most significant artists to emerge during the 1980s and 1990s.

740 W. Superior Ave.,



Cleveland Artists Foundation at the Beck Center: The Foundation is dedicated to preserving, researching, and sharing art and architecture of historic, national, and international importance. Their exhibits are often accompanied by rich and helpful posted notes, general and scholarly publications, and free and open lectures and panel discussions. 17801 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, 216-227-9507,

Eye Candy Gallery: More than 80 local crafters contribute jewelry, purses, photography, art objects, and clothing to this Tremont shop.

2173 Professor Ave., 216-241-2740,

Forum Art Space: Part of 78th Street Studios, this facility showcases mostly young, up-and-coming artists in a relaxed and familiar — but earnest and dedicated — setting.

1300 West 78th St., 614-378-9877

Tregoning and Co.: Besides serving as a display space for art from the 17th through 21st centuries, Tregoning offers art appraisal and framing services. It’s a valuable research and educational institution for the essay and catalog collections it publishes and maintains on showcased artists. 1300 78th Street, 216-281-8626,

Kenneth Paul Lesko Gallery: A perfect strolling gallery centered around sculpture, pottery, and paintings, this handsome gallery is part of 78th Street Studios. Though they often display contemporary art, in recent years they also hosted works from as far back as the 16th century (including one piece attributed to Rubens), along with early Modernist paintings and the early 20th-century watercolors of the Cleveland School.

1305 West 80th St., 216-631-6719,

Kokoon Arts: William Scheele's exhibitions are historic in scope. He eschews single-artist shows in favor of explorations of large movements (in particular the watercolor revolution of the Cleveland School) or the exploration of an aesthetic or idea through time and generations. He also acknowledges the pop side of the American experience, displaying original concept art from 1982's cult classic Tron and memorabilia from Bob Dylan's tours. Part of 78th Street Studios.

1305 West 80th St., 216-832-8212,

Pop Shop Gallery and Studio and (Art)ificial Gallery: Founded by local artist R!ch Cihlar in 2005, the Pop Shop focuses on displaying and promoting new, local, contemporary artists with a punk edge. The gallery also offers finished works, from jewelry and clothing to paintings and sculpture.

17020 Madison Ave., Lakewood, 216-227-8440,

The Screw Factory: Housed in the historic Lake Erie Building (in a complex once home to Templar Motors), the Screw Factory serves as home roost for the artists of Lakewood's Bird Town neighborhood. The complex contains a number of studios and exhibition spaces.

13000 Athens Ave., Lakewood,

SPACES: One of the highest-profile modern art institutions in the region, this artist-run nonprofit boasts experimental performances and alternative educational opportunities and workshops as fun as they are radical. In recent years, their gallery space has leaned toward conceptual rather than object-oriented works and shows.

2220 Superior Viaduct, 216-621-2314,

Wall Eye Gallery: This smaller gallery cultivates a spirit of collaboration by featuring artists both emerging and established.

5304 Detroit Ave., 216-640-7769,

William Rupnik Gallery:

Opened in 2007 by the Cleveland-based artist, the gallery represents a small roster of core artists and exhibits contemporary works from a broader range of regional and international talents in a variety of unique spaces around town. The gallery also provides art advisory and brokerage services for collectors of contemporary fine art.

1667 East 40th St., 216-533-5575,

78th Street Studios: This arts Mecca is two city blocks of converted warehouses, housing galleries and studio space. While all the participating galleries maintain their own hours, many host artist receptions, exhibition openings, and other public entertainment during Third Friday, a regularly scheduled monthly event that runs from 5 to 9 p.m.

1300 W. 78th St.-1305 W. 80th St., 440-503-5506,

Legation, a gallery: Young owners John and Hilary Aurand host shows by a tasty blend of established and emerging local artists. They make use of all four walls, the floor, and occasionally ceiling hangings for display, edging viewers out of reverential comfort zones.

1300 D W. 78th St., 216-334-7080,

1 Point 618 Gallery: Located in the Gordon Square arts district, this space hosts diverse exhibitions ranging from traditional painting and sculpture shows to architecture design contests for experimental housing.

6421 Detroit Ave., 216-281-1618,


Artists Archives of the Western Reserve: Affiliated with Case Western Reserve University, the Archives preserve and display the works of established area artists, inducting and collecting the works of "alumni" annually. This "living archive" allows artists to promote their work and engage the public.

1834 East 123rd St., 216-721-9020,

Arts Collinwood Gallery: Arts Collinwood is animated by a desire to beautify and vitalize its neighborhood by partnering with businesses and neighborhood associations, maintaining an outdoor sculpture garden on a Waterloo lot, and above all, featuring works by local artists in their intimate gallery.

15605 Waterloo Rd., 216-692-9500,

Galeria Quetzal: This boutique is the region's premier emporium for Hispanic art of all kinds, representing 16 countries on both sides of the Atlantic and the entire continuum of craftsmanship between folk art, fine art, and even pre-Columbian pieces. The proprietors strive to give their suppliers a good price and practice fair trade.

12400 Mayfield Rd., 216-421-8223,

Heights Arts: Nestled in the Cedar-Lee district, this nonprofit collaborative space hosts gallery exhibitions, dance recitals, poetry slams, and educational workshops to encourage public engagement with the arts. It also hosts an annual arts-and-crafts festival in Cain Park.

2163 Lee Rd., Cleveland Heights,


Lee Hayden Gallery: This selling gallery exhibits some 40 artists, mostly painters (especially practitioners of realistic and figurative art), as well as sculptors and furnishings artisans. They're so confident you'll love their art that they practice unique "no cost preview" policies, by which buyers can test-drive art in their homes for several days free of charge.

13210 Shaker Square,


Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland: One of the most vital creative institutions in the city, MOCA hosts work from nationally renowned contemporary artists, while showcasing local laureates through the PULSE Exhibition Series and fostering new talent under the Wendy L. Moore Emerging Artist Series.

8501 Carnegie Ave., 216-421-8671,

Reinberger Galleries at the Cleveland Institute of Art: A space for the best work from the best art students in the area, the Reinberger Galleries display annual undergraduate and BFA shows, and also collaborative exhibits with other regional arts colleges.

11141 East Blvd., 216-421-7407,

The Sculpture Center: This nonprofit's mission is twofold: promotion of emerging three-dimensional artists in Ohio and preservation of outdoor sculpture. Exhibition types cycle throughout the season, with single-person shows by younger artists in the winter and spring, and an annual juried show in summer.

1834 E. 123rd St., 216-229-6527,

Zygote Press: This printmaking workshop and gallery offers numerous classes and workshops (including bi-weekly "Open Studio" artist feedback sessions) and actively engages the public with frequent offbeat events and exhibitions.

1410 East 30th St., 216-621-2900,

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