At Arts Collinwood:
Hazy Days of Sommer
This summer marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Kokoon Club, modernism's first outpost on the North Coast. And with impeccable timing, Arts Collinwood is hosting a tribute to one of the troupe's founding fathers, William Sommer. InSommer Sequence, Cleveland artist Mark Keffer makes a long-considered statement on the artist. Keffer, now 46, first discovered Sommer in college and was not much impressed. "I didn't respond to it. I thought it was old fashioned, conservative ... With time, though, I've realized he was a radical." Many of Sommer's scenes were set in woods, on the border of the then-unmapped territories of expressionism. He was so enamored of the moon and sun as visual motifs, he sometimes filled the sky with both at once, or multiples of one. Keffer pays tribute to these tendencies by sprinkling the mental landscapes of his paintings with leaves, solar disks, and lunar crescents, which are generally the only images recognizable as objects in the series. Otherwise, the conceptual landscapes are dominated by black and gray hazes, patterns of concentric spheres, and rows of pink, black, and white bands. Despite the scant physical resemblance, Keffer recognizes a philosophical affinity between himself and Sommer in exploring "the unknowable reality beyond the self, and the eternal. I try to balance Sommer's heavy, dark, existential qualities with his playfulness," Keffer says. The exhibition will run through September 3 at 15605 Waterloo Rd. For more information, call 216-692-9500 or go to artscollinwood.org. — Joseph Clark
Akron Art Museum: Kaleidoscope Quilts. Fiber artist Paula Nadelstern's quilts capture the symmetry, luminosity, and intricacy of kaleidoscopes, and inspire makers of these instruments in return. Through Oct. 2. Also: The Vogel Collection: 50 Works for Ohio. Featuring works by 26 artists, the paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures in this exhibition are part of a far-sighted private collection amassed over a 40-year period. Through October 16 at 1 South High St.; call 330-376-9185 or go to akronartmuseum.org.
Cleveland Museum of Art:
The Lure of Painted Poetry: Japanese and Korean Art. Designed to illuminate the intricate connections between Chinese poetry and its reinterpretation as visual art by Japanese and Korean artists, this exhibition features 80 diverse works spanning nearly seven centuries; almost all of the pieces are drawn from the museum's preeminent collection. Through August 28. Also: Indian Kalighat Paintings. Highly stylized and brightly colored, these works were originally created as souvenirs for 19th-century tourists. Today, they are highly regarded as marking the beginning of modernism in Indian art. Through September 18 at 11150 East Blvd. in University Circle; call 216-421-7350 or visit clevelandart.org.
Galeria Quetzal:Huichol Arts Exhibition. This new exhibit features beadwork, yarn painting, and stitchery from the Huichol people of Mexico, one of the few indigenous tribes to survive into modernity with its cultural identity intact. A fiesta with wine, tapas, and music will be held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on August 27, along with a gallery talk at 7:30 p.m. Through August 31 at 12400 Mayfield Rd. Call 216-421-8223 or go to galeriaquetzal.com.
Geauga Council for Arts & Culture: 6th Annual Juried Art Show. Amateur and professional artists present works in diverse media. Through August 19 at Geauga West Library, 13455 Chillicothe Rd. in Chesterland. Call 440-537-3344.
Kenneth Paul Lesko Gallery: Two-Man Exhibition. Though separated by two generations and vastly different mediums, sculptor Marco Vaccher and photographer Casey Callender capture the irony of images that contrast nobility and strangeness. Through September 10 at 1305 West 80th St. Call 216-631-6719 or go to kennethpaullesko.com.
Kokoon Arts Gallery: 100th Anniversary Celebration. Historic treasures from the original Kokoon Arts Club keep company with contemporary works inspired by the theme of metamorphosis. Through September 10 at 1305 West 80th St. Call 216-832-8212 or go to kokoonarts.com.
Legation: Artwork From Spaces Board/Staff. This group exhibition features artwork by board members and staffers of Spaces, Cleveland's arts resource and public arts forum, as well as works drawn from board members' private collections. Among the participating artists: Dana Depew, Dott Schneider, Qian Li, Jeffery Chiplis, Hilary Aurand, and more. An opening reception will be held Friday, August 19, from 5 to 10 p.m. The exhibition continues through September 23 at 1300 D West 78th St. Call 216-650-4201 or visit legationagallery.com for more information.
The Pop Shop/(Art)ificial Gallery:Who the Hell Is Josh Usmani? The Pop Shop's final exhibition before converting to the Breakneck Gallery is also the first solo exhibiton for Cleveland native Josh Usmani. Using ink, colored pencil, markers, acrylics, and ball-point pens, Usmani creates psychedelic fields of repetitive, spherical patterns, into which he inserts spiritual and social commentaries. An opening reception will be held August 20 from 6 to 9 p.m. The show continues through September 2 at 17020 Madison Ave., Lakewood. For more information, call 216-227-8440 or visit whatisartificial.com.
Museum of Contemporary Art: MOCA hosts a free Summer Lawn Party on Saturday, August 20. The event marks the final days of summer exhibitions Delicious Fields and Terrain, and celebrates the end of the season — complete with live music, family arts activities, garden-inspired eats, ice cream, and a cash bar. From 5 to 8 p.m. at 8501 Carnegie Ave. For more information, call 216-421-8671 or visit mocacleveland.org.
Opus Gallery: All Women All Art. This 16th-annual show was created to showcase the work of female artists of Northeast Ohio of every medium, including painting, pastel, multimedia collage, jewelry, photography, and embroidery. Through September 1 at 27629 Chagrin Blvd., Beachwood. Call 216-595-1376 or visit opus-gallery.com.
River Gallery Arts: Cleveland Craft Masters. The living legends of Cleveland's artisan communities (including five creators who have been displayed in the Smithsonian American Art Museum) display jewelry, glasswork, ceramics, metal sculpture, and more. Through September 10 at 19046 Old Detroit Road, Rocky River. For more information, call 440-331-8406 or go to rivergalleryarts.com.
The Sculpture Center: SculptureX: 6 Sculptors of Ohio & Western Pennsylvania. This curated exhibition highlights the work of six prominent sculptors teaching at universities in Ohio and Western PA. Their works draw upon everyday materials to reflect the intersection of urbanization, nature, and the use of manufactured objects. Through August 20 at 1834 East 123rd St. Call 216-229-6527 or go to sculpturecenter.org.
Shaheen Gallery: Art, Life & Fashion. Born in Cincinnati and based in New York, painter Keith Mayerson returns to his home state for a show that provides a thematically broad sampling of his works, including portraits of fashion icons and historical figures. Through August 18 at 740 West Superior Ave. Call 216-830-8888 or visit shaheengallery.com.
Shaker Historic Society: Viktor Schreckengost. The legacy of the prolific artist, industrial designer, engineer, and C.I.A. professor is honored with a sampling of his work. Craig Bara, historian and archivist for the Viktor Schreckengost Memorial Foundation, speaks September 18 at 4 p.m. Through October 2 at 16740 South Park Blvd., Shaker Heights. Call 216-921-1201 or go to shakerhistory.org.
Solon Center for the Arts: In the Distance: Pastel Landscapes. Award-winning Cleveland art director Gary Sluzewski uses his fingers to apply his pastels, literally putting himself "in touch" with nature. An artist reception will be held September 2 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The exhibit continues through September 30 at 6315 SOM Center Road. Call 440-337-1400 or go to solonarts.org for more information.
Tregoning & Co.: I/Travel/Eye. San Francisco-based fiber artist Libby Chaney returns to her native Cleveland to exhibit textile works that are not "problems to be solved," but "meditations for the eye" and celebrations of color's power to move. There is no apparent order to the multitude of shapes and shades, but each piece has its own harmony. Through August 31 at 1300 West 78th St.; call 216-281-8626 or go to tregoningandco.com.
Wall Eye Gallery: The Art of Artisans. A display of the fine-arts craftsmen of Cleveland includes works in glass, furniture, and practical and decorative woodwork. An opening reception will be held August 19 from 6 to 11 p.m.; the exhibit will be on display by appointment through September 4 at 5304 Detroit Ave. Call 216-640-7769 or visit walleyegallery.com to learn more.
Zygote Press: Craig Lucas: Friends Recollect. The irrepressible, frank, and driven Kent State professor and abstract painter Craig "Pirate" Lucas, who died earlier this year, is honored by students and colleagues through works displaying his prolific influence. The exhibit continues through September 1 at 1410 East 30th St.; call 216-621-2900 or go to zygotepress.com.
Solon Center for the Arts: La Bella Vita, the Beautiful Life. Painter Diane Arthurs exhibits works inspired by the Mediterranean. Through July 29 at 6315 SOM Center Rd. in Solon. Call 440-337-1400.