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Surfin' Cleveland 

3 Steps on the Tremont ArtWalk

This summer marks the 19th year of the Tremont ArtWalk — the region's most expansive open house, for which galleries fling open their doors every second Friday of the month. This week's installment offers a showcase of Cleveland creatives' interaction with the national music scene, a reassurance in tumultuous times, and artists angry in the best possible ways.

A native of Novelty, Jeffery "Wolfy" Scharf has spent 10 years creating promotional posters and album covers for the indie alt-rock band Nada Surf. The collaboration began when Scharf's work on T-shirts at a screen printing company in New York caught the eye of the band's lead singer, Matthew Caws. Of the 50 or so works Scharf and collaborator Karl LaRocca have made for the band, 25 will be on display at Scharf's Gallery Wolfy Part II.

The duo's designs distinguish themselves in the world of music posters with their microscopic level of detail and hidden asides. The motif runs through the abstract digital patterns of Nada Surf's 2008 Vinyl Box Set to Scharf's hand-drawn wall of stereo equipment for the 2010 album If I Had a Hi-Fi. Scharf compares the elaborateness of his designs to the musical subtleties and understated social commentary found throughout Nada Surf's songs.

"There's hidden things," says Scharf, who now lives in Tremont. "The band itself has that same sort of feeling."

The Album and Poster Art of Nada Surf kicks off with a reception on Friday, June 8, from 3 to 9 p.m.; the exhibition continues through June 30 at 2676 West 14th Street.

At the Brandt Gallery, meanwhile, artists Melanie Newman and Terry Durst offer what they believe is the most comforting message to be heard in these uncertain times: "It's not your fault." Consisting of 12 interconnected sculptures made with found objects including tables, a sewing machine, and, yes, bacon, It's Not Your Fault cheerfully symbolizes the relief that comes with accepting the limits of responsibility.

Opening from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, the show runs through July 7 at 1028 Kenilworth Avenue. Call 216-621-1610 or go to

Self-taught artist Lamar "Flesh" Jones opens his first exhibit, Irony Loves Company, Friday at Doubting Thomas. He collaborates with his mentor, Cleveland State-trained John Saile, in a series of dark and angry abstract expressionist paintings, indicting violence by strewing bones amid roiling color. Saile, more meditative in his work, uses a variety of tones to explore the flux of daily feelings. It opens Friday from 6 to 10 p.m. at 856 Jefferson Avenue. Call 216-731-1813 to learn more.

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