Clarence VanDuzer never imagined that the rubber chicken he received in the late 1960s would become such a prestigious award. The painter and sculptor made a mold of the bird's head, poured in five pounds of metal, mounted it, and presented it at a colleague's retirement party in 1970. The trophy soon became an annual tradition for a group made up of Cleveland Institute of Art faculty members. "It's like a secret handshake," VanDuzer says.
Works by prize-winning recipients are on view at the Cleveland Artists Foundation's The Lead Chicken Award: Major Cleveland Painting at Mid-Century, a survey of three decades' worth of fowl-snagging art.
The ceremony was shelved in 1995, but the old bird has been dusted off and displayed along with 60 paintings, sculptures, and photographs. One attribute shared by the artists is nonconformity to trends: Everything from mixed media to figurative self-portraits to abstract expressionism and still lifes is on display. "[The award] has a pureness, a sincerity," VanDuzer says. "It's not political." The opening reception is from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday at Beck Center for the Arts, 17801 Detroit Avenue in Lakewood. The show runs through May 29. Hours are 1:30 to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is free; call 216-227-9507. -- Nadia Michel
Akron goes Irish with a series of Celtic concerts.
3/13-3/17 In Gaelic, An Marta Ceili means "March dance." In the Akron area, it means a St. Paddy's week tribute to Celtic music. More than 30 Irish-themed concerts are planned, among them a 7:30 p.m. show on Friday by Irish chanteuse Cathie Ryan at the Kent Stage (175 East Main Street in Kent). Following Akron's St. Patrick's Day parade on Saturday, the music continues downtown with the Shaffer Brothers at Posh (1 West Exchange Street) and Case of Culler at Jillian's (363 South Main Street). The blowout returns Wednesday with free lunchtime concerts in the lobbies of several local office buildings. "We don't have 400,000 Irish," says Jim Collver of the Celtic Club. "The idea is to get [Celtic music] in the mainstream." An Marta Ceili begins at 11 a.m. Friday, Saturday, and Wednesday at locations throughout Akron. Call 330-867-0485 for a complete schedule. -- Cris Glaser
Abe and the missus live on in Peninsula.
Weeks prior to his assassination, Abraham Lincoln had a recurring dream of visiting his own funeral. Why then did he disregard the good advice of his unconscious and attend Ford's Theater that fateful night? Was it an escape from severe depression? The whim of a spendthrift wife? Max and Donna Daniels, who've been portraying Abe and Mary Lincoln for 16 years, don't know. But they do know that levity helps fuel An Evening With Mr. And Mrs. Lincoln, a two-person presentation about the 16th President. "Just thinking about the theater gives me a headache," Max says, presumably in character. Honest Abe takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Happy Days Visitor Center, 500 West Streetsboro Road in Peninsula. Admission is $3 (kids) and $6 (adults); call 800-445-9667. -- Lucy McKernan
Where's Your Head At?
Every Sunday, Twist rolls out a Bloody Mary bar for its Hangover Relief Party. For $3.50, you can fill your glass with V-8 juice, Tabasco sauce, celery stalks, and asparagus tips; a barmaid blesses it all with vodka. "It's a good hair-of-the-dog from the weekend's festivities," says DJ Doug Burkhart. It happens from noon to 4 p.m. at Twist, 11633 Clifton Boulevard. Admission is free; call 216-221-2233. -- Cris Glaser