This Week's Third Friday at 78th Street Studios Has Plenty of New Stuff to See

This month's Third Friday at 78th Street Studios has the usual host of fun and more, but make it a point when you walk in the door to head straight downstairs for ARTneo's Cleveland Creates exhibition — a juried, group show featuring some of the best talent in the region.

The show was juried by SPACES’ Executive Director Christina Vassallo, gallery owner Loren Naji and Helen Forbes Fields of Forbes, Fields & Associates, who currently serves as a Trustee for the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) and the advisory Committee of the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art.

“There was so much wonderful art submitted, jurying was difficult,” says Naji. “It seems a tad unfair, for there was much art that deserved accolades. One must just see the entire show and enjoy their own favorites, which is the true purpose of shows like this."

The first place winner receives a solo show at ARTneo’s new home at 78th Street Studios, and the second and third place winners receive a two-person show.

Other notable happenings: The central area outside the galleries and studios on the first floor hosts ArtCares Jr. The exhibition features artwork made by kids. Proceeds from all works sold go to the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland.

Further down the hall, Micro Art Space is hosting a reception for its latest artist-in-residence, Cleveland-native Mallorie Freeman. The exhibition, titled Tomorrow is Forever, features work in various media; including drawings, paintings, hairpieces and chocolate box sculptures.

“During my one-month residency at Micro Art Space, I have explored, through a variety of medium, the idealization of love, feminine beauty, and the roles that are played to attain the hearts’ desires,” explains Freeman. “I found inspiration from old-fashioned taffy, vintage doilies, nail polish, hair extensions, and candy-making supplies.”
The centerpiece of Tomorrow is Forever is a large-scale painting depicting a romanticized portrait of two lovers, perceiving the world through rose-colored glasses. “Objects of desire rendered upon intricate doilies are paired with chocolate boxes, adorned with edible opulence,” describes Micro Art Space’s founder Michelle Murphy. “Hairpieces sewn and styled onto vintage fabrics are preserved in antique frames. These different mediums unite to play parts in Mallorie’s candy-coated display in February, the month of love.”

Freeman attended The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Cleveland Institute of Art. She was voted Best Visual Artist by Scene’s readers poll in 2011. By day, she handles and installs artwork from the largest, most celebrated private art collection in the country, the Progressive Art Collection (located here in Northeast Ohio, by the way).

While you’re on the first floor, stop by the gallery of the Cleveland West Art League (CWAL). This month, they’re hosting a closing reception of their latest two-person exhibition. Covalent Systems features work by Lauren Mangeri and Meaghan Milner Reed. Through sculpture, mixed media and weaving, the artists explore the juxtaposition between organic and man-made forms.

On the second floor, HEDGE Gallery hosts an opening reception for Process + Material, a collaboration between HEDGE’s owner Hilary Gent and Kent State University School of Art Galleries’s director Anderson Turner. 

Fifteen local artists will display work in a wide variety of media. Participating artists include Pita Brooks, Rebecca Cross, Dana Depew, Nicole Schneider, Ken Love, Claire Murray Adams, Michael Nold, Darice Polo, Kristen Rogers, Lesley Sickle, Andrew Simmons, Emily Sullivan, Laila Voss, Royden Watson and Joseph Watton. Many of these artists are graduates from Kent State’s School of Art.

“Our hope is that KSU’s Art Program can create stronger ties with Cleveland galleries, such as HEDGE, and educate our art graduates about furthering connections with them,” says KSU gallery director Anderson Turner.

Don’t forget about Tregoning & Company (located through a separate entrance on the 78th Street side of the building). Inside, you’ll have one more chance to see Christopher Pekoc’s Hand Made 2 and James March’s exhibition of recent paintings, titled CASSINI and Beyond. For this exhibition, March has created a whole series of new paintings that are a major departure from his previous work. 

“My paintings are about space, form and energy,” explains March. “I generally start painting without preconceived notions as to the final outcome and build space through a series of constructions and destructions…I am also interested in linear movement and visual paradoxes. I do a great deal of my composing on the canvas and never know what I will end up with until I am done. For me painting is an act of discovery.”

On your way back through the parking lot behind the building, look for a sign on a door for FORUM Art Space. Also only accessible from a separate entrance, FORUM hosts a closing reception for It’s All Been Done Before, a group exhibition curated by experimental photographer Brandon Juhasz. The show examines the many different approaches of photographers in contemporary art and culture, which lead to increasingly blurry definitions of “Photography.”