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With Four Galleries Launching in the Newly Opened Basement Level, 78th Street Studios Keeps Growing 

Bigger and better

Third Fridays at 78th Street Studios seem to get bigger and more crowded every month. These recurring open-house events have become a can't-miss for the local art community, and perhaps more importantly, a large portion of the community at large. Cleveland's "art maze" now includes more than 50 galleries, studios and other creative spaces. With the grand opening of four new businesses encompassing over 20,000 square feet of new space in their "Ramp Level" (basement), November's Third Friday is sure to be the biggest yet.

The new tenants of the Ramp Level will host a grand opening after party beginning at 9:30 p.m. They include Hartshorn Studios, the Byzantine, the Nine 5 Gallery, ARTneo (coming soon) and Northcoast Productions' Artisan Market. While ARTneo's new space is under construction, the organization will host a reception for its latest exhibition, A Great Joy, in a temporary space in Suite 215 on the second floor. The show explores the Women's Art Club of Cleveland.

"Many artists groups have a relatively short lifespan. With the Women's Art Club of Cleveland, the members maintained activity for over nine decades," explains ARTneo's gallery manager and registrar Christopher Richards. "This has allowed the exhibition to consider a great deal of artistic growth and diversity in our regional history of art and the significant contributions that women artists have made."

"There was an esprit de corps, a group of wonderful women, at times numbering over 100, artists working together, giving voice to their own vision, experiencing A Great Joy advancing the cause of art," adds one of the show's curators Dr. Lawrence Waldman.

The Byzantine debuts a retrospective of Sherwin Moss, and his sculptural approach to ceramics.

The nearby Nine 5 Gallery is an industrial exhibition space featuring a collection of artists specializing in decorative wood, metal work and custom home décor. The Ramp Level will also feature Northcoast Productions' Artisan Market – featuring unique handmade items from local vendors.

Hartshorn Studios is celebrating the grand opening of its second Cleveland location — the first one being in Tremont on Professor Avenue. Rob Hatshorn and Lila Rose Kole have worked with 78th Street Studios to transform their corner space into one of the building's most beautiful exhibition spaces.

"Having two galleries gives us more than just additional physical space to show the work of other artists; we will be able to provide art 'services' that Clevelanders are hungry for such as art classes in oil and acrylic, open studio time with other artists, design consultation, salon style programs, guest speakers and art appreciation seminars.

The first floor also features a new tenant. Gallery+ features photography by Zakary Hoon, sculpture by Leslie Edwards Humez, portrait and figurative paintings by Diane Hoeptner and urban landscapes by Ted Lawson.

Not to be outdone, 78th Street Studios' established tenants will host receptions for a number of exciting exhibitions. Some of the galleries can only be reached from separate entrances on the outside of the building, but you'll be rewarded for your efforts. Tregoning & Co. debuts By Hand 2, new work by local artist Chris Pekoc, coordinated in conjunction with his current exhibition at the Akron Art Museum.

"Christopher Pekoc has honed his mastery of assemblage techniques developed since 1982, creating powerful visual responses to contemporary life and admired individuals," explains gallery owner William Tregoning III. "By Hand 2 is Tregoning & Company's third solo exhibition for this admired Cleveland artist, the recipient of the 2006 Cleveland Arts Prize."

On the first floor, E11even 2 presents The Dude Abides, a solo exhibition of Big Lebowski-inspired work by E11even 2 co-founder Billy Nainiger. Micro Art Space presents new work by its latest artist-in-residence, Cleveland's own Robin Latkovich. Cleveland West Art League hosts a closing reception for Get it Together, new work by Deb Lawrence and Justin Brennan.

On the second floor, Hedge Gallery offers another chance to check out its latest exhibition of recent photography and paintings by local artists Hadley K. Conner and Sarah Curry.

Kenneth Paul Lesko Gallery presents a special exhibition featuring work by Aubrey Rhodes of Melbourne, Australia. Rx is a series examining themes of identity and self-perception, as well as the impact of pharmaceutical drugs, chemical substances, obsessions and addictions. "We've been planning this exhibition for almost three years, and after corresponding with her quite regularly for that duration, I'm really looking forward to finally meeting her in person," says gallery director Ross Lesko.

Phew. And there's more, of course, that we don't have space to name. So stop by for yourself.

Third Fridays at 78th Street Studios

1300 West 78th Street, 5 to 9 p.m

Nov. 21. Free.

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