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Arts News 

By Michael Gill

Chances are you haven't had your art or writing dissected by peers, right there in front of you, since school. Chances are you haven't had much guidance in promoting your work since then either. Next week the print cooperative Zygote Press, in collaboration with the Morgan Paper Conservatory, kicks off an almost-monthly series of get-togethers that will include critiques; seminars on websites, marketing and résumés; and feedback on your creations. The Works in Progress series (WIP) begins with a party from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 31, at Zygote Press, 1410 E. 30th St. The series culminates in June 2009 with a two-day symposium that will include a participant exhibition as well as seminars on professional practices, marketing and promotions, and gallery representation. Call 216.621.2900.

The Beck Center for the Arts got a recent boost in curb appeal, thanks to landscaping by a local Boy Scout troop and restoration of the center's David Davis sculpture, on the lawn fronting Detroit Ave. The sculpture was commissioned by architect Fred Toguchi, who designed the center's main building. The restoration was carried out by McKay Lodge Fine Arts Conservation Laboratory and funded by gifts from "sculpture-loving friends." But there's another bit of face-lifting on the block that could have significant long-term impact for the Beck. Brown wood siding and bars over second-floor windows, installed to help a street-car era storefront blend with Toguchi's mid-'70s brutalist design, have been removed as part of Beck's application for a historic-preservation tax credit. The hope is to return the exterior of that building to its original appearance and to return the interior spaces - now inefficient office and studio spaces - to commercial and residential space for lease.

MOCA is having a sale. Now through July 31, the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland offers 20 percent off the cost of general membership levels - which, as the folks there point out, gets you a year's worth of art, parties and other events for less than the cost of one night on the town. Through the end of the month, membership, which usually costs $25-$75, can be had for $20-$60. On view now through August 17 are 23 monumentally scaled color photographs of Jean-Luc Mylayne's intimate encounters with birds. Opening September 12 is Jorge Pardo's part-architecture, part-sculpture work, House. Call 216.421.8671.

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