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FALL/WINTER 2016

NORTHEAST OHIO | arts | music | performance

Master showman Through performance and installations, Jimmy Kuehnle’s art elicits interaction and participation

Spring/Summer 2016 | Canvas | 7


SCIENCE COMES ALIVE!

• Hundreds of fun, hands-on exhibits

• NEW! Design Zone Games. Beats. Thrills.

• NASA Glenn Visitor Center

• NEW! Cleveland Clinic DOME Theater


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A beautiful mind

The cerebral musings of Dana Oldfather paint profound pictures with ‘universal’ appeal

Michael C. Butz

INSIDE 6 Editor’s note

Michael C. Butz reviews what’s already been a good year for Canvas

8 Master showman

Through performance and installations, Jimmy Kuehnle’s art elicits interaction and participation

FALL/WINTER 2016

14 Akron art

NORTHEAST OHIO | arts | music | performance | enter

Its past forged by industry, the Rubber City seeks to sculpt its future through arts and culture

26 Outside the Square

Master showman Through performance and installations, Jimmy Kuehnle’s art elicits interaction and participation

Spring/Summer 2016 | Canvas | 7

On the cover

Jimmy Kuehnle and his latest inflatable installation, “Wiggle, Giggle, Jiggle.” Photo by Michael C. Butz.

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A potent group of smaller stages are growing and strengthening Northeast Ohio’s theater scene around headliner Playhouse Square

34 Listings

Local listings for museums, galleries, events, performance art venues and more

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Best is yet to come

I’d be remiss if I didn’t begin my editor’s note for this fall/ winter issue with some news from Canvas’ exciting summer.

In June, Canvas was recognized with three awards from The Press Club of Cleveland during its annual All Ohio Excellence in Journalism Awards ceremony. The highest profile recognition came as Canvas placed second overall in the Best Magazine in Ohio category for 2015, which simply said is a credit to the entire team behind the magazine. In addition, “Day and Night,” a Canvas spring/summer 2015 feature story about how emotions and upbringing shape Tracy Ameen’s art, including her unique double-wall pottery, placed second in the category for general circulation magazine personality profiles, and the cover of the spring/summer 2015 issue, which shows Ameen’s hands at work at one of her studio’s potter’s wheels, placed third in the category for general circulation magazine covers. To have our work recognized by our peers in journalism truly was an honor, but by no means do we feel these awards offer us license to rest on our laurels. To the contrary, the bar has been raised, and we hope to build on this success – while continuing to provide you, our reader, with interesting and insightful coverage of the region’s arts scene. To that point, in our newest issue of Canvas, we offer a glimpse into the creative lives of two noteworthy Northeast Ohio artists, abstract painter Dana Oldfather and performance and inflatable sculpture artist Jimmy Kuehnle, both of whom create art that’s getting noticed on a national level. Also in this issue, we make the trip down Interstate 77 to take a closer look at the momentum Akron’s – and Summit County’s – arts scene is gaining, and we offer an overview of smaller – but influential and important – theaters outside of downtown Cleveland’s Playhouse Square that are helping define Northeast Ohio’s theatrical landscape. As always, I invite you to connect with the Canvas community by sharing your thoughts about these stories – or any others available on Canvas’ website, canvascle.com – by writing to me at editor@canvascle.com. Also, if you haven’t already, I encourage you to sign up for the biweekly Canvas e-newsletter at canvascle.com/signup and follow Canvas on Twitter at @CanvasCLE. Those are the best ways to get up-to-date information from Canvas regarding arts coverage and information about upcoming events and openings. Last but not least, if you missed “Day and Night” from 2015, read it at canvascle.com/day-and-night. I hope you enjoy that article as well as all the articles in this issue of Canvas, and it’s my hope that I’ll be sharing even more news about our award-winning editorial and design this time next year.

Editor Michael C. Butz editor@canvascle.com Design Manager Jon Larson

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Master showman Through performance and installations, Jimmy Kuehnle’s art elicits interaction and participation Story and photography by Michael C. Butz

bout halfway through the installation of his latest work of art – a large-scale, red inflatable called “Wiggle, Giggle, Jiggle” – Jimmy Kuehnle realizes he’s going to have to crawl into his creation to make a couple of adjustments. When fully inflated, this part of the installation will occupy a sizable portion of the Akron Art Museum’s Beatrice Knapp McDowell Grand Lobby, serving as both a welcoming beacon to passersby through the entryway’s floor-to-ceiling windows, and jutting out over the doorway, a greeter to museum visitors. This day’s snags involve a strand of lights that got tangled inside the polyester piece following a previous install attempt as well as a pair of scissors that had somehow slipped inside, visible only after Kuehnle and his crew of seven had pulled, pushed and lifted “Wiggle, Giggle, Jiggle” into place and had it partially inflated. Neither that physicality nor making such adjustments are unique to Kuehnle’s art – he and his team once donned scuba gear in an attempt to make adjustments to an inflatable installation in a museum pond – but the level of involvement in erecting his site-specific pieces hints at the level of participation he hopes to draw out of museumgoers. In fact, the second part of “Wiggle, Giggle, Jiggle” is an inflatable labyrinth in the Mary S. and David C. Corbin Foundation Gallery that visitors can feel and squeeze their way through. “I don’t want you to think the museum is only a reverent place,” Kuehnle says, speaking generally. “I mean, museums are rad, and I like them, but you can run and jump in a museum as long as you don’t damage the really nice things.” It’s meant to be fun, and the 37-year-old Cleveland Heights artist appears to have fun in the process. He relishes his role, which toggles between construction site foreman during installation and lead singer in a rock ‘n’ roll band during an opening re-

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ception. For the opening night of “Wiggle, Giggle, Jiggle,” he’ll be wearing a suit he made for himself out of the same red polyester that comprises his art. Slipping into character is part of the Jimmy Kuehnle experience. “I’m very happy, and I think it’s going to work out great,” he says following installation, adding that he welcomes the challenges of the process. “That’s kind of the fun part. My dream is to come up with the ideas, then get to play builder until I get tired of it.” LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES Drawing, making, tinkering – these were activities Kuehnle’s family encouraged in him as a kid. “My parents gave me and my siblings masking tape, markers and scissors every Christmas. I would run out of those really fast and raid my dad’s drafting table for more stuff,” he says, adding that art was something he knew he wanted to do from an early age. Kuehnle was born in Atlanta, where his father, James, now retired from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, met his mother, Christine, a former nurse and human resource specialist. When he was 3, the family moved to St. Louis, where he spent the remainder of his childhood, along with younger siblings Liz and Will. His high school art program allowed him to flourish, he says, but when it came time for college, he didn’t want to go to art school. Instead, he enrolled at Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo., about 200 miles northwest of St. Louis. “A small town of 16,000 meant there wasn’t much of a contemporary art scene, so I didn’t have any aspirations or even know what contemporary art was,” he says. “My friends and I would take field trips to Chicago and New York to go see galleries, but we didn’t know what we were doing.” It was that “naive experience of art” that led Kuehnle and his friends to found the Tom Thumb Gallery, an alternative space – set up in the house they were renting – where they hoped to create chaos. Activities included Improve the Art nights, where attendees were given bottles of spray paint to use to upgrade bad art, and events at which participants could swing at old TVs and other technology with sledgehammers.

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ON VIEW WIGGLE, GIGGLE, JIGGLE

Jimmy Kuehnle’s latest work, “Wiggle, Giggle, Jiggle,” will be on view in the Akron Art Museum’s Beatrice Knapp McDowell Grand Lobby and the Mary S. and David C. Corbin Foundation Gallery through Feb. 19, 2017. For more information, call 330-376-9185 or visit akronartmuseum.org.

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Fall/Winter 2016 | Canvas | 9


“Please, No Smash” (2015) at the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland; kinetic inflatable. Courtesy of the artist. Tom Thumb represents an early example of Kuehnle’s penchant for participatory art. It engaged people in ways that existing art institutions hadn’t, not only for students, but also for the art faculty who eventually attended. Once, even the provost stopped by, and now some 20 years later, the gallery still exists at Truman State. It’s a Kuehnle legacy. “That really gave us a taste for, ‘Wow, if you do art, other people enjoy it.’ As primitive as that experience was, that’s how I got into studying art,” he says. “It was a lot of fun, and we learned a lot about organization and collaboration – all that stuff your faculty wants you to learn in your curriculum.” After graduating in 2001 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in sculpture, Kuehnle went to Japan to teach English and make art. He returned stateside in 2004, and by 2006, he’d earned a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture from the University of Texas at San Antonio. “I thought it might be interesting to teach art – I liked the teaching part, I just didn’t like teaching English – but little did I know that teaching in higher education is a hard job to get,” he said. “I got lucky.” Kuehnle spent another year at UT as adjunct faculty before returning to Japan, this time as a Fulbright Graduate Research Fellow to research public art and practice sculpture. He then spent a couple of years “hopping around residencies and gaining experience in the studio and in exhibiting so that I had something to actually teach” before landing a job in 2010 as visiting assistant professor at the University of Alabama Huntsville. He arrived in Northeast Ohio in 2011 after being hired as an assistant professor by the Cleveland Institute of Art, where he still teaches today. OF BIKES AND SUITS Performance is central to Kuehnle’s art, and early in his career, those performances took place on bicycles. Frames for the “F-Bike” and “ART Bike” spelled out messages for bystanders as he rode them around San Antonio wearing outlandish costumes he tailored for himself, and then there was “The Bike That Draws,” a Rube

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Goldberg machine on wheels that allows a second rider’s pedaling to draw a picture. That 2005 creation remains one of his favorites. From there, Kuehnle transitioned to using cathode ray tube TVs – “because everyone was buying flat-screens and you could buy them for pennies on the dollar” – for video sculptures and installations. This phase was short-lived, however. “I remember one time driving to Houston for an installation at Project Row Houses, and I had a trailer with plywood sides heaped over with televisions, video cameras and all this equipment, and I was like, just carrying it in to do the installation, ‘This is a lot of work.’ I thought that as an artist, I wouldn’t be digging ditches,” he quips. Sewing costumes for bicycle performances eventually led Kuehnle to dabble in sewing together wearable inflatable suits, which were easier to transport – a relevant concern when he returned to Japan for his Fulbright. “The original idea was to have these small, duffel bag-sized objects that were battery-powered and allowed me to pop out of a train station or hop off my bike and do a performance,” he says, equating his new approach to having a concert set list. “Bands have a repertoire of albums and songs they can show up and play. It takes a lot of work to get there – they’ve done all this studio work – but then they have this finished product at any time,” he explains. “So, that was my way of having a song or an album.” In that sense, Kuehnle is a one-man band while wearing his colorful, impossible-to-miss inflatable suits, but he says they take on their own personas. “For example, ‘Big Red’ was this one I made in Japan, and I found out it liked to spin around in circles a lot, cross intersections diagonally and try to get into storefronts,” he says. “And since it would blow around in the wind so much, I made one smaller called ‘You Wear What I Wear,’ and it really likes to get inside different telephone poles or gas station pumps and smash into everything. It really enjoys going into spaces where people don’t expect it to come, and it can run really fast – so that one is a lot of fun.”

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Top: Jimmy Kuehnle wears “You Wear What I Wear” in 2009 in Chicago. Courtesy of the artist. Right: Kuehnle, center, during install “Wiggle, Giggle, Jiggle” at the Akron Art Museum. Kuehnle’s inflatables didn’t stay duffel bag-sized for long. By 2010, they’d become stationary – as public installations – and they’d grown. They include “Amphibious Inflatable Suit” in 2014 at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark., a Loch Ness Monster-sized inflatable that resided in a pond and wasn’t a suit at all; “Please, No Smash” in 2015 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, which occupied MOCA’s fourstory entryway; and “Tongue in Cheek” earlier this year at The Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, N.Y., a portion of which protruded from the tower windows of the museum’s Glenview Mansion. Not wanting to lose the interactive nature of the suits, Kuehnle tries to surround his audience with his installations. He also incorporates kinetic elements – lights, sequencing, inflation/deflation – that in a sense transform his installations into living, breathing organisms, complete with an electronic pulse. It’s no surprise, then, that like with his suits, Kuehnle speaks of his installations as characters he created, not static sculptures. “I think (Kuehnle) has a great deal of talent, and he’s wonderfully articulate about his ideas. His work is fun, interesting, challenging, it occupies considerable space, and it’s bright and colorful,” says Bruce Checefsky, gallery director at CIA’s Reinberger Gallery, where Kuehnle’s work has also been shown. Kuehnle’s inflatables are reminiscent of Claes Oldenburg, Checefsky adds, referring to the sculptor best known for his public installations, including the “Free Stamp” sculpture in downtown Cleveland. “He has this pedigree that reaches back to those Oldenburg sculptures, but also the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” Checefsky says. FORMING RELATIONSHIPS Back at the Akron Art Museum, director of education Alison Caplan also connects Kuehnle to Oldenburg – not only in artistic form, but also in the way “Wiggle, Giggle, Jiggle” and Oldenburg’s “Inverted Q” interact while sharing the museum’s lobby space. Caplan also compliments Kuehnle’s ability to work within diverse architectural settings and to invite museumgoers to look, touch and participate. “When people tend to think about contemporary art, they don’t think of it as playful or accessible to everyone, and he’s

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someone who breaks down that barrier,” she says. “People connect to the work through their body, their own sensibility and the materials he’s using. ... They can connect in a joyful way.” Other museums see the same qualities, as evidenced by Kuehnle’s string of recent exhibitions, all of which have come about, he says, from people just emailing him. In fact, he received another email not long ago and is already working out details of another commission for 2017 or 2018. “I don’t know how to make more people do that,” he jokes, referring to the emails. “I’m at this weird place, but it keeps happening.” Looking ahead, Kuehnle wants to continue working on inflatable installations in order to master the process – at least for now. “I feel I have the suits down. It’s something formulaic that I can always revisit. I’m getting close – I’m not there yet, but I’m getting close – to figuring out how to do the installations,” he says. “There are still a lot of things I’m not satisfied with: kinetics, sequencing, ease of install. If I can figure those out, maybe in a couple of more iterations, I think then my mind might start drifting – but I’m still pretty fully engaged in the site-specific, large-scale installation work.” Whatever comes next for Kuehnle, connecting with others is certain to be at the heart of it – as has consistently been the case for his kinetic installations, bicycle performances and inflatable suit performances. “I want to disarm people. I want them to smile. I want people to talk to me in a way that gets a little beyond small talk – and that happens,” he says. “When I’m struggling with the suits, there’s this symbiotic, emergent behavior with other pedestrians. Not everyone – some people just want you to get out of the way, but a lot of times there are people who want to help,” he continues. “You find they’re coming along with you the whole time, and I find that to be a successful piece – when you form another human relationship with somebody.”

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Northeast Ohioans are familiar with Akron’s reputation as the Rubber Capital of the World. It’s a moniker that hearkens back to the days when trucking, then war and then automobiles fueled America’s need for things like tires, boots and innovative applications of rubber – and in the process employed generations of Akronites. The days when machinery churned day and night and the unmistakable smell of rubber hung in the air are gone, but the city – with good reason – is proud of its lunch-pail past. However, it’s just that: the past. Arts and culture have been part of the next chapter for Akron and surrounding Summit County communities for some time now, but in 2014, a report comprehensively detailing the art scene’s strengths and weaknesses brought greater focus to efforts that would increase their role.

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Momentum surrounding the city’s future as an arts hub has been building ever since, which is something fewer Northeast Ohioans – at least those around Greater Cleveland – may be familiar with than Akron’s industrial past. “Akron and Summit County are in such an interesting and exciting place,” says Nicole Mullet, executive director of ArtsNow, a nonprofit designed to connect arts, culture and community in Summit County. “We’re deciding the narrative we’re going to tell about ourselves moving forward, and I think the arts and culture community is going to be a driving force in how we tell that story.”

ORGANIZATIONALLY SPEAKING ArtsNow was founded in 2015 as a result of that 2014 report, the Arts & Culture Assessment for Summit County, which was based on resident surveys, interviews of institutional leaders and a number of community meetings. Among the report’s findings were a lack of clear leadership in the arts and culture community and a lack of coordinated communication regarding programming available to residents. “We knew there was no lack of things going on, but perhaps there was a lack of understanding about what was going on,” Mullet concedes. Enter ArtsNow and SummitLive365.com, created by ArtsNow to serve as a one-stop shop for anyone interested in the arts by offering events listings, a directory of institutions, artist profiles, educational opportunities and even a classifieds section to help artists find employment or commissions. ArtsNow is also invested in helping artists as entrepreneurs, and it partners with local corporations – among them some of those rubber companies that still call Akron home – to help employees and their families get the most out Summit County’s arts and culture offerings.

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Left: Sculptor Don Drumm stands outside his Akron studio and gallery. Above: Summit Artspace in downtown Akron offers gallery, studio and office space to local artists and arts organziations. Next page: “Single Elvis” by Andy Warhol was on view during the summer at the Firestone Park branch of the Akron-Summit County Public Library in Akron as part of the Akron Art Museum’s Inside|Out program. While downtown Akron can literally and figuratively be considered the center of Summit County’s arts scene, Mullet is quick to point to a strong supporting cast, including: Akron’s Highland Square neighborhood, home to annual festivals of creativity like PorchRokr and Square Fest; Akron’s Merriman Valley neighborhood, a gateway to Cuyahoga Valley National Park and home to Weathervane Playhouse and none too fragile theater; Barberton, where a growing arts district includes Nine Muses Art Gallery and the Art Center on Tuscarawas; and Cuyahoga Falls, where Front Street is home to Studio 2091 Mothersbaugh and Cuyahoga Valley Art Center. “It’s truly a community that’s growing and learning together. It’s a group of people who are very much in it together to see the arts sector thrive in Summit County,” she says. “It’s a very healthy landscape for arts and culture right now, so it’d be wonderful if people from Cleveland took the very short trip down (Interstate) 77 to check us out.”

ANCHOR INSTITUTION From her vantage point as Akron Art Museum’s director of education, Alison Caplan senses the same positive momentum Mullet does. “I think there’s a new vibrancy and interest in the arts downtown – and throughout Akron and Summit County,” she says. “I feel like (the museum is) a connecting place for people, whether you’re an art maker or someone who wants to plug in to activities.” As one of the biggest players in Akron’s art scene, the museum is well positioned to better connect with the community. It’s been doing so through its Free Thursdays, when no admis-

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sion fee and later hours are meant to make it easier for people to visit; its Inside|Out program, in which prints of works from the museum’s permanent collection are erected in various neighborhoods in the county; and its new Bud and Susie Rogers Garden, an inviting space that opened in July that can host exhibition opening receptions and other events. Currently in the works is an arts library in collaboration with its downtown neighbor, the Akron-Summit County Public Library. “It will contain original works of art from artists in the region that people will be able to check out for three to four weeks and hang on their wall,” Caplan says. “The idea is that you don’t have to be a well-off person to collect art works from artists in our region, that there are so many ways you can participate in the local arts economy.” Caplan also feels it’s important for the museum to flex its artistic muscle to attract national and international figures to the region, which it did recently when it hosted Theaster Gates, an acclaimed artist, musician, community organizer, urban planner and cultural entrepreneur from Chicago. “We brought him here to lead conversations with the community, so I think besides being local and working with local groups, we also try to think globally,” Caplan says. “I think sometimes we get into a bubble in Akron, where we love local things and local things are awesome, but if we bring in an artist to work on a mural from Chicago, that’s really amazing because that artist can hire out local artists to contribute, and they learn from that experience – and it’ll bring more people into the community to see the works.” Overall, Caplan feels Akron’s art scene is “pretty accessible,” pointing to the monthly Downtown Akron Art Walk (first Saturdays) and the artwork that’s popped up in and

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Fall/Winter 2016 | Canvas | 17


around the Summit Metro Parks and Cuyahoga Valley National Park. And like Mullet, she says it’s accessible to those from Greater Cleveland, too. “I think there’s a stigma with driving to Akron, which is crazy,” says Caplan, who speaks from experience as a former Case Western Reserve University grad student. “I’ve lived in Cleveland, and if you drive from the East Side to the West Side, you’re pretty much going to spend as much time in your car, so it’s really not as far as you think it is to Akron.”

GALLERY PERSPECTIVE If anyone can offer a long, profound perspective on Akron’s art scene, it’s Don Drumm, whose prolific career as an artist and craftsman spans decades. Drumm was born in Warren and earned his art degrees from Kent State University. He met his wife Lisa, then an arts teacher at the University of Akron, in 1958, and he opened his first studio in Akron in 1960. “We were sort of the first who attempted to earn a living full-time as practicing artists in the city,” Drumm recalls. In 1970, the couple opened a new studio on Crouse Street, just south of The University of Akron. In 1971, they made part of the studio a gallery, and the enterprise has been growing ever since. Today, there’s a veritable village of Drumm buildings on Crouse – eight, all told, painted in yellows, purples and greens and adorned by his trademark suns – giving visitors the sense they’re in for a unique experience. Along the way, he pioneered the use of cast aluminum as an artistic medium and has flourished as a sculptor. His work can be seen publicly via the number of commissions he’s completed or privately in the homes of generations of Akronites who’ve received one of his pieces as a wedding gift or birthday present. Drumm doesn’t consider himself to be a good teacher – “I prefer to create” – but he values education, and thinks it’s important to Akron’s future in the arts. The Drumms established the Don and Lisa Drumm Endowed Scholarship to support graduates of the Akron Public School System entering The University of Akron’s School of Art. He’d also like to see universities like Akron and Kent State offer artists-to-be more diversified training so that as gallery owners like him age out (he’s 81), there will be a new generation of business-savvy artists to solidify the scene’s future. “Akron U. has a law school, an engineering school, business – all these things would help young artists. They could do some seminars with them or what have you. At least by the

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time they get to their senior year, if they’re going to practice, they’ve got to know about these things,” he says. “You don’t just go out, if you’re a potter and start potting, and say ‘Here I am’ because nobody will hear you. You have to go knocking on doors.” Drumm points to Summit Artspace – a community arts center in downtown Akron that to some extent, provides business and marketing training for artists – as one of the “great things” about the city’s art scene. Toby Ann Weber, Summit Artspace board chair, says that following that 2014 report, the entity that oversaw Summit Artspace, the Akron Area Arts Alliance, conducted a selfassessment in an effort to better serve the community. One of its findings was that it was underutilizing its best asset – its building, a three-story structure just around the corner from the Akron Art Museum that once was home to the Akron Beacon Journal. Since then, AAAA shifted its strategic direction to focus more on Summit Artspace than on some of its other endeavors. While not formally an incubator, the building now does more to serve as a place for artists to lease studio space, for organizations to rent office space, and for various entities to host workshops or educational training. Of course there’s also space to showcase art, from the first-floor gallery to just about any hallway, corner or landing available. “There’s a lot more art in the building,” Weber says. “We’re serving a lot more artists by putting their work up everywhere we can.” Summit Artspace is more than just a resource for artists. In 2017, it’s scheduled to host eight shows in its gallery, all of which will have programming meant to engage audiences – like panels, lectures and workshops – associated with them. Summit Artspace is also home to Crafty Mart, an indie handmade marketplace, and is one of the largest stops on the Downtown Akron Art Walk. Further, Summit Artspace recently took over administrative control of Nine Muses and ACoT in Barberton, which Weber feels will provide more coordinated programming between two artistic outposts that are only about 10 miles apart – another signal that Akron’s art scene is coming together and growing. “There’s certainly a lot more energy, visibility and connectivity among the artist and arts organizations – and our funders are making investments in the arts, which is great to see,” Weber says, adding that changes at Summit Artspace have paralleled those in Akron’s larger arts scene. “If you were in the building two years ago, you wouldn’t recognize it now. There’s a lot more activity. Come and check it out.”

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A tiful

u a be mind The cerebral musings of Dana Oldfather paint profound pictures with ‘universal’ appeal Story and photography by Michael C. Butz

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l

Crouched down

on the paint-splattered hardwood floor of her home studio in Newburgh Heights, Dana Oldfather pauses from pouring a diluted acrylic over a raw Belgian linen to consider what’s next. How will the blues and golds in this painting interact? Where will they settle on an uneven canvas, the result of a janky floor in her 1920s house? What factors should she try to control? Which should she let go of? The 37-year-old admits that sometimes she isn’t sure exactly what she’s looking for during those creative exhales, describing the process as a “weird flow thing where you’re not really in your head.” Truth is, Oldfather actually spends a great deal of time in her head – and once you fully absorb the colors, shapes and designs that provide a sort of concrete splendor to her abstract art and graduate to contemplating what’s underneath it all, her work will spend a great deal of time in your head, too. Rooted in Oldfather’s recent works are tenets of string theory, which, in short, explains how both large objects like planets and small objects (think subatomic particles) move and interact in the universe. It explains things for which quantum mechanics and Einstein’s theory of relativity can’t account. “I am blown away by the idea that tiny particles we originally thought were points or spheres may actually be a loop of string crunched down into a sphere,” she says. “It’s a completely different shape, vibrating and moving and allowing for possibilities previously unthought of.” Heady stuff, to be sure, and not the sort of thing many immediately associate with art. But at the theory’s core is the idea that matter and energy are comprised of strings that split and combine, emitting and absorbing one another – actions depicted by the physical elements created during those creative pauses in Oldfather’s work. Intellectually, one then ponders possible parallels between dimensionality and the many layers of her paintings, and by extension, the layers of one’s own life journey. Skipping brush strokes in her work that suggest the passage of time amplify these thoughts. Matters of science go beyond fascination with Oldfather. In the same way they inspire and inform her art, she hopes her art ignites something meaningful in others. “I’d love for one of my paintings to spark something in some person – regular person, scientist, mathematician, anyone – something latent, something that sits in their brain, nothing that they could even trace back to my work but that helps them to think of something to better humanity,” she says.

She was 7 when her father and mother, Paula Brain, an accountant, divorced, after which she and her brother, Nick, lived with her father in Mentor. The elder Oldfather often relied on the tools of his trade to entertain. “He was like, ‘You guys are being crazy?’ or ‘You’re bored? Here, here’s some sidewalk chalk. Go outside,’” she recalls. “He’d give us this big tin of really great pastels. He’d always set us up with watercolors – you know, nice ones. Artists’ stuff – way too nice for kids to be using.” Her Mentor High School art teachers were quick to pick up on her homegrown artistic talent. After two days in an accelerated class, they wanted to put her a grade ahead in art class. “By the time I was a senior, I had my own open studio class, which was awesome,” she says. “That was a really big encouragement for me, having such a high honor in such a big school like that. I really felt like … it was some kind of validation.” Oldfather’s mother supported her art, too, but when graduation time came, she wanted her daughter to go to college to get a “real job.” “She always wanted me to be an engineer, but she started being supportive after I took a job as a paralegal, and it was crushing my soul,” she recalls. “The work was so hard and I was so stressed out that my mom was like, ‘Just get into the art market. Whatever you have to do. Clean the floors at the museum – anything you can do just to be around that environment. You need to meet these people.’”

POINT OF ORIGIN

STARTING LINE

Oldfather knew she wanted to be an artist at a young age, but not before considering an alternative career path. “For a short while, it was either to be the first female professional baseball player or an artist – until I realized I was terrible at baseball and that was never going to happen,” she says, smiling. “Baseball is really fun, but man I sucked at it. I was really bad.” Oldfather was born in Berea, and she recalls her first oil painting came at age 6 – which might’ve been expected considering her father, Mark Oldfather, and aunt, Gretchen Troibner, are both artists. In fact, both were award winners at the Cleveland Museum of Art’s May Show: Oldfather in 1977, and Troibner in 1981 and 1983.

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“Emerald City 03,” 2016, oil, ink, acrylic and pigment on panel, 16 x 16 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

After about three years as a receptionist/paralegal, Oldfather, by then 21 years old, heeded that advice – at The Bonfoey Gallery in Cleveland. “I remember her coming in the door and hiring her to work here,” recalls Olga Merela, gallery manager and art consultant at Bonfoey. “To see her go through the period of rudimentary drawing and struggling to see whether there was something there for her, and to see where she is now, it’s an evolution. The fact she’s come so far is a wonderful thing.” “We usually don’t see that. By the time an artist gets to us, they already have a career – or they’re not as young,” says Marcia Hall, gallery director and art consultant at Bonfoey, adding that the gallery has handled Oldfather’s work for about

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Dana Oldfather works on “Frothing” in late September at her home studio in Newburgh Heights. 10 years now. “We’ve been able to watch her grow, which has been a great experience.” Bonfoey provided Oldfather, a figurative realist at the time, an environment in which she could learn and focus more on her art, though working by day and painting by night proved exhausting. After a couple of years, she obtained a second job – as a bartender at Frank & Tony’s Place in downtown Willoughby – that helped relieve that exhaustion. A relatively lucrative gig, bartending meant she could work part-time at both jobs, thus affording her full days to paint in her studio. The arrangement worked so well that in 2009, her art was on display at Bonfoey – in what she considers her first “real” exhibition. That ascendancy isn’t to say Oldfather didn’t struggle along the way. When she did, she found it helped to turn to the printed page. “I read a lot of memoirs when I was struggling with finding my own work, and I was struggling to find my place in the art community and place in the market. I mean, we’re always struggling with that, but I was really struggling,” she says. “It helped me to read memoirs of other artists who were successful, especially female artists. To see somebody who looks like me doing what I wanted to do gave me the drive to keep going.” A memoir of note was that of abstract painter Joan Mitchell, who like Oldfather grew up in the Midwest and had an artist father. “My dad was a figurative realist, and he’s a very, very good one. I really identified when reading Joan Mitchell’s biography because her dad was a realist, too. She felt like she wasn’t as good as he was, so she went into abstraction. That way, she couldn’t be compared to him,” she says. “I really identified with that, big time. It’s sort of like when I learned I couldn’t be a baseball player because I couldn’t stand up to all these other kids who are a lot better than me. Same thing. My dad is so

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good. That’s why some people don’t like to look at Picasso too much, because they’re, like, ‘I’m never going to be able to do this like this.’ So, you just have to find what you can do.”

LEARNING PROCESS

Absent from Oldfather’s career is any sort of artistic training via higher education. She’s completely self-taught, following a path suggested by her father, who went to the Kansas City Art Institute but lasted only two semesters. “He felt the teachers were trying to make him be like them instead of him finding his own artistic voice,” she says, explaining that his advice to her was to bypass college to spend time in a studio learning from what she was painting. “It only worked for me because it fit the way that I work. I think most people really need to go to school to get that critical feedback that’s necessary to make it to the next level as an artist,” she says. “For me, it didn’t make sense to go get an MFA, but I think those programs are really important to the arts community – and to keeping the work that’s being made at a certain level. I have to compete with people who are in that realm as well, and that’s important to me, to keep me pushing and keep me trying to get better.” So who then provides that critical feedback to Oldfather? Friends who are fellow artists, like Amber Kempthorn, Amy Casey, Sarah Kabot and Mark Keffer. And then there’s Carrie Moyer, a New York City-based painter whom Oldfather met during a 2011 residency at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vt. Oldfather credits the encounter – and a few “simple” words – with “blowing my practice wide open.” “You can be so close to the images you’re making and thinking about different things that you can ignore something that everyone sees but you. She pointed something out to me that I didn’t notice. She said, ‘Yeah, this is great, and you have a lot of confidence, but where are all the big shapes?’ Like, so

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Fall/Winter 2016 | Canvas | 23


The finished product: “Frothing,” 2016, oil, ink, acrylic, pigment and spray paint on linen, 38 x 48 inches. Courtesy of the artist. simple,” says Oldfather, explaining her work up to that point featured a lot of “tiny, little, itty bitty” elements. “It was one of the ways I could make the abstractions look more real, and it was something I totally didn’t get at all,” she says. “I was using the negative space as the big shape, but it wasn’t really enough. Everything was just kind of hovering out there, so applying the big shapes really allowed me get more depth into the work – and it helped me build up my layers.”

REACHING FOR STARS

With big shapes in place, Oldfather has hit the big time. She’s won awards, like the Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award for 2013. Her work is represented by Bonfoey and Zg Gallery in Chicago. It graces the walls of places like The Bellagio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and is included in both the Pizzuti Collection and The Progressive Art Collection. In 2013, she had a solo show at The Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, which Bonfoey’s Hall and Merela agree was a big deal. “Given Dana’s relative youth, the show at the Butler was amazing in that she’s someone who’s a self-taught artist and risen by the merits of her work,” Merela says. “The exhibition was a vote of confidence in the work she’ll be producing and has already produced.” In 2016, she’s had two solo shows: “Sweet, Sweet, Sweet” at Zg Gallery and “Sugar” at Red Arrow Gallery in Nashville. This year’s saccharine themes are inspired in part by her own sweet tooth – she describes moving wet paint around with her brush like “spreading cake icing” – but also that of her and husband Randall Darling Jr.’s 3-year-old son, Arlo. Oldfather admits she didn’t feel prepared for motherhood. “I read a lot of books, and I talked to as many young moms as I could, but … people don’t want to scare a pregnant lady, you know? So, people don’t say stuff like how hard it is and how alienating it is,” she explains. “And not even alienating like no one wants anything to do with you, it’s just like the way you have to be to keep an infant alive. Just to get through, you have to do and become all of these things that are not natural.”

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Attempts to reconcile these feelings pushed Oldfather into her studio. “I was in such a depressed, drastic, desperate state that it really let me get weird and messy with the work. It pushed it to a new level,” she says. “I can’t tell if it was from the kid or just because of the time, you know, like it was time for that to happen, but I can’t help but feeling the desperation I felt was the emotive push I really needed. “I’m kind of riding the wave of what I learned when my son was an infant, and it’s turning into something else already. My work changes so fast, I’m pulling apart ideas all the time.” Her mind perpetually creating, mining human experiences while exploring the intersection of psychology and cosmology, she’s an artist continually hoping to inspire through her creative pursuits. “My grandest hope is that (my) invented, multidimensional images could play a small, unnoticed part in sparking a scientific idea or concept pertaining to dimensions, our existence or the theory of everything,” she says. “I don’t know how they will or could do this. I don’t know enough about the theories or the math to nail that down. As my friend Amy Casey likes to say, ‘I’m just a painter.’ But … I’m reaching for the stars. Quite literally, I suppose.”

ON VIEW Dana Oldfather • “Thump … Dump, Clump, Lump … Bump!” is on view through Nov. 19 at Bonfoey Gallery in Cleveland. Oldfather curated the exhibition, which features art from Andy Curlowe, Amber Kempthorn, Amy Kligman and Erik Neff. • Oldfather’s work will be part of “Colors|Lines|Layers,” a group exhibition opening in April 2017 at CASS Contemporary Art Space in Tampa, Fla. • “The Replicant & The Rotisseur,” a two-person exhibition featuring Oldfather and Mark Keffer, will be on view from Oct. 27, 2017 through Dec. 9, 2017 at The Galleries at CSU in Cleveland.

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Cleveland Institute of Art Creativity Matters

Living Dangerously Angela Dufresne Nicola Tyson

Opening reception Fri Nov 4, 6:30–8:30pm Visceral and immediate, the paintings of American artist Angela Dufresne and drawings of British-born Nicola Tyson confront the risks of walking the line between figural and abstract work.

Cleveland Institute of Art Reinberger Gallery 11610 Euclid Avenue cia.edu/exhibitions

Nicola Tyson, courtesy the artist and Petzel Gallery

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THE A potent group of smaller stages are growing and strengthening Northeast Ohio’s theater scene around headliner Playhouse Square Story by Bob Abelman Illustration by Jon Larson

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L

ike Broadway in New York and the Loop in Chicago, downtown Cleveland’s Playhouse Square is the hub of the city’s theater scene as well as the nation’s second largest unified performing arts center. Its original five venues – the Ohio Theatre, Palace Theatre, State Theatre, Allen Theatre and Hanna Theatre – were constructed in the early 1920s as houses for vaudeville, movies and legitimate theater. Now fully restored after years of abandonment, fire and vandalism, the historic theaters house top-tier national Broadway tours, serve as the home to Cleveland’s classic theater company, play host to America’s first professional regional theater, and offer concerts, comedy shows and dance performances. Yes, Playhouse Square on Euclid Avenue between East

14th and East 17th streets is thriving. But the true sign of a city’s evolving theater scene can be found on the roads less traveled. It’s there that smaller stages are producing innovative, avant-garde and contemporary plays as well as original works by local playwrights. Every city known for its performing arts has followed this off-the-beaten path. New York’s Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway movements began in the early 1950s as a reaction to the commercial theater that dominated the mid-town area. Located largely on the Lower East Side and the Upper West Side, away

from Time Square, these indie theaters provide an outlet for each new generation of creative artists whose voices are not being heard elsewhere. The 1960s and ’70s saw an explosion of homegrown theaters in Chicago, called “Off-Loop,” which are still performing in unorthodox and inexpensive settings away from the mainstream venues in the city’s downtown Loop area. The 99-Seat Theater scene evolved in Los Angeles during the 1980s, when many of the larger, nonprofit professional theaters found themselves dependent on box office sales for most of their income and

less likely to engage in creative risk-taking. And now, Cleveland’s theater scene is undergoing its own version of an OffBroadway, Off-Loop, 99-Seat Theater movement. Located on the East Side and West Side, away from Playhouse Square, these professional playhouses welcome diverse perspectives not only in who is telling the story and what the story is about, but how the story is told. Some are venturing into the use of immersive, interactive technology for their storytelling that create virtual worlds onstage. Others are blurring the line between theater disciplines. And they are all tapping local talent with distinctive voices. Let’s call these theaters “Outside-the-Square.” Here are a few worth visiting:

BLANK CANVAS THEATRE 78th Street Studios 1305 W. 78th St., Suite 211, Cleveland 440-941-0458 or blankcanvastheatre.com

In search of an identity in Cleveland’s highly diverse performing arts marketplace, the upstart Blank Canvas Theatre has waffled between modern classics, such as “Twelve Angry Men” and “Of Mice and Men,” and cultist musical comedies that include “Debbie Does Dallas,” “Psycho Beach Party” and “Bat Boy.” The theater, in its fifth year, also provides a performance space for founder and artistic director Patrick Ciamacco’s sketch comedy troupe, The Laughter League. This is part of Ciamacco’s master plan to lure younger audiences to the theater via offbeat offerings and then strategically introduce them to the modern classics. “Or vice versa,” he notes. “We Andy Dudik want a typical theatre lover who would normally “Bat Boy: The Musical” was performed in October 2015 at Blank Canvas Theater. only see a classic to enjoy it so much they go outside their comfort zone and show up to have blood splattered on them while watching ‘The Texas Chainsaw Musical.’”

CONVERGENCE-CONTINUUM

Liminis Theater 2440 Scranton Road, Cleveland 216-687-0074 or convergence-continuum.org “Most theaters are like mirrors, reflecting the familiar,” suggests convergencecontinuum mission statement.

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“Everything is nicely laid out for you as you view what is comfortably, safely beyond that wall, confident that you

will be made, indeed are expected, to understand the experience in terms of conventional logic. Aren’t we all tired of that by now?” con-con prides itself on taking risks and confronting conventions, and has done so under the supervision of Clyde Simon, who has served

as artistic director, director, actor and set designer since the theater’s founding in 2000. The immensely intimate Liminis performance space offers an up-close-andpersonal theater experience in an effort to fully engage its audiences’ senses and imaginations.

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MAMAI THEATRE COMPANY Cleveland Masonic Performing Arts Center 3615 Euclid Ave., Cleveland 440-394-8353 or mamaitheatreco.org

Erik Johnson “Three Sisters” was performed in June 2015 by the Mamaí Theatre Company.

PLAYWRIGHTS LOCAL

Waterloo Arts 397 E. 156th St., Cleveland 216-302-8856 or playwrightslocal.org Newly formed Playwrights Local, located in the revitalized North Collinwood neighborhood, is the city’s first theater company exclusively dedicated to new plays by local playwrights. After obtaining nonprofit status and finding a work space at Waterloo Arts, artistic director David Todd and managing

Mamaí is passionate about offering audiences canonical works from dramatic literature. They do so, according to cofounders Bernadette Clemens, Wendy Kriss, Christine McBurney and Derdriu Ring, “without filtering what might be denser, older or more rarely performed out of a fear that contemporary audiences cannot or will not engage with classical playwrights.” Their 2013 inaugural production of “Medea” did just that. “Good classical theater need not be watered down, dumbed down or used as a rare spice to blend into a contemporary season,” says Clemens. Adds McBurney, “For me, one of the biggest

returns from our first season was learning that audiences do respond to plays that do not resemble sitcoms; plays with big ideas, complexity and beautiful language.” Next season, Mamaí will move downtown into the 150-seat Helen Rosenfeld Lewis Bialosky Lab Theatre after having established its reputation just east of the Square. Mamaí is attempting to counter the tendency of many other theaters to make play choices that are heavily weighted toward male casts by ensuring that, for Cleveland’s professional theater community, women will have increasing opportunities to work.

director Tom Hayes created a laboratory environment where directors, actors and dramaturgs provide feedback on new work, as well as space for table readings, rehearsals and public staged readings. In November, the company will orchestrate its second annual two-day Cleveland Playwrights Festival that will feature workshops, panel discussions and staged readings of short works by David Hansen, Lisa Beth Allen, Eric James Dahl, Craig Joseph and Luke Brett. Says Todd, “We want to raise awareness for Cleveland as a playwriting city and add another facet to what is going on in the arts.”

THEATER NINJAS

440-941-1482 or theaterninjas.com Theater Ninjas is the food truck of Cleveland theater; a nomadic company that seeks out new and challenging performance spaces such as the repurposed recording studio at 78th Street Studios. “Working in nontraditional venues gives us an opportunity to reimagine how and why we tell stories,” suggests artistic director Jeremy Paul, “and helps us to create deep, fascinating worlds for the audience to explore.” For instance, “The Excavation” was staged at the Cleveland Museum of Art, where audience members chose their own path through different “exhibits” that used humor, science, tragedy, puppets and multiple artistic disciplines to celebrate cultural legacies, mortality and our deep curiosity about the lives of other people. “It’s the kind of show that couldn’t be done in a traditional theater or by any other company in Cleveland,” says Paul. Other productions have been staged at the Rising Star Anastasia Pantsios Coffee Roastery, the Canopy Collective and the Guide 2 Kulchur bookstore. “Tall Skinny Cruel Cruel Boys” was performed in October and Jon Seydl, former curator at CMA, described Theater Ninjas November 2015 by Theater Ninjas. as operating “on the end of the theater spectrum; the place where theater connects to other forms of performance.”

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NONE TOO FRAGILE

by Derry, called the Bang and the Clatter Theatre, proved too adventurous and bold for downtown Cleveland denizens. This new theater picks up the mantle of providing principle-challenging, character-driven, and often funky storytelling. “Professional indie theater” is the way managing director Jaysen Mercer describes the types of plays they produce. “I believe that we offer our audiences something very unique that may not be possible at larger venues,” suggests Derry, “and that is true, intense intimacy with the artist and his/her material.”

1835 Merriman Road, Akron 330-671-4563 or nonetoofragile.com Promotional ads for none too fragile boast: “We don’t just push the envelope. We lick it.” Shock value is what this theater is known for, starting with the ritual shot of Jameson whiskey that is distributed to audience members before each performance. The Akron-based theater company was created in 2012 by Sean Derry and Alanna Romansky after an earlier experiment

S

everal progressive theaters of note initiated the “Outside-the-Square” movement before it was fashionable. Below are two of the most prominent.

CLEVELAND PUBLIC THEATRE

Steve Wagner

6415 Detroit Ave., Cleveland 216-631-2727 or cptonline.org

Cleveland Public Theatre’s mission is to “raise consciousness and nurture compassion through ground breaking performances.” CPT develops new, adventurous work by Northeast Ohio artists, undertakes nationally significant second and “early” productions of new scripts, and develops devised, ensemble-based theater as well as radical reinterpretations of existing work. Located in the Gordon Square Arts District, CPT was founded in 1981 when James Levin returned from New York City and was determined to form an experimental theater group similar to Off-Broadway’s Cafe LaMama, where he worked as an actor and director. Over the past 10 years, executive artistic director Raymond Bobgan has expanded this mission. “We want people to leave CPT feeling like they have seen something extraordinary – something that they couldn’t have witnessed anywhere else in the region.” The CPT believes that theater can be at the center of community dialogue and, notes Bobgan, “personal transformation.”

“Incendiaries” was performed in January 2016 at Cleveland Public Theatre.

DOBAMA THEATRE

2340 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights 216-932-6838 or dobama.org Founded in 1959 by Donald and Marilyn Bianchi, Barry Silverman and Mark Silverberg, Dobama Theatre has worked consistently to produce innovative plays of consequence. The vast majority of the theater’s productions are regional, American or world premieres of the best contemporary plays by established and emerging playwrights.

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“We honestly don’t go out of our way to do ‘edgy’ material, whatever that means,” says artistic director Nathan Motta. “However, if the material is something that might challenge our audiences – that is, if it’s thought-provoking, moving and relevant, with strong dialogue, layered characters and a unique or interesting premise – that work is certainly not something we’re going to shy away from.” Since its origin, Dobama has always taken risks and, according to Motta, “asked its audiences to take the risk with us. This is an artistic decision we make knowing full well that it may prove challenging in terms of marketing, and in some cases, selling tickets.”

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LISTINGS MUSEUMS AKRON ART MUSEUM 1 S. High St., Akron P: 330-376-9185 W: akronartmuseum.org

On view: “Intersections: Artists Master Line and Space,” through Jan. 15, 2017; “Our Land,” through Feb. 12, 2017; “Jimmy Kuehnle: Wiggle, Giggle, Jiggle,” through Feb. 19, 2017; “Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of Hi-Fructose,” Feb. 11 to May 7, 2017. ALLEN MEMORIAL ART MUSEUM 87 N. Main St., Oberlin P: 440-775-8665 W: oberlin.edu/amam

ARTISTS ARCHIVES OF THE WESTERN RESERVE 1834 E. 23rd St., Cleveland P: 216-721-9020 W: artistsarchives.org

THE BUTLER INSTITUTE OF AMERICAN ART 524 Wick Ave., Youngstown P: 330-743-1107 W: butlerart.com

CRAWFORD AUTO AVIATION COLLECTION

MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART CLEVELAND

The History Center in University Circle 10825 East Blvd., Cleveland P: 216-721-5722 W: wrhs.org

11400 Euclid Ave., Cleveland P: 216-421-8671 W: mocacleveland.org

GREAT LAKES SCIENCE CENTER

2121 George Halas Drive NW, Canton P: 330-456-8207 W: Profootballhof.com

601 Erieside Ave., Cleveland P: 216-694-2000 W: greatscience.com

We make science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) come alive! Enjoy hundreds of hands-on exhibits, NASA Glenn Visitor Center, six-story OMNIMAX Theater, daily science demonstrations, educational programs, seasonal camps and family workshops. LAKE VIEW CEMETERY 12316 Euclid Ave., Cleveland P: 216-421-2665 W: lakeviewcemetery.com

KENT STATE UNIVERSITY MUSEUM Rockwell Hall 515 Hilltop Drive, Kent P: 330-672-3450 W: kent.edu/museum

CANTON MUSEUM OF ART

MALTZ MUSEUM OF JEWISH HERITAGE

1001 Market Ave. N, Canton P: 330-453-7666 W: cantonart.org

2929 Richmond Road, Beachwood P: 216-593-0575 W: maltzmuseum.org

East Boulevard & Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Cleveland W: culturalgardens.org

The Maltz Museum introduces visitors to the beauty and diversity of that heritage in the context of the American experience. It promotes an understanding of Jewish history, religion and culture, and builds bridges of appreciation and understanding with those of other religions, races, cultures and ethnicities. It’s an educational resource for Northeast Ohio’s Jewish and general communities.

CLEVELAND HISTORY CENTER

MASSILLON MUSEUM

The History Center in University Circle 10825 East Blvd., Cleveland P: 216-721-5722 W: wrhs.org

121 Lincoln Way East, Massillon P: 330-833-4061 W: massillonmuseum.org

CLEVELAND BOTANICAL GARDEN 11030 East Blvd., Cleveland P: 216-721-1600 W: cbgarden.org

CLEVELAND CULTURAL GARDENS

CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY 1 Wade Oval Drive, Cleveland P: 216-231-4600 W: cmnh.org

CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART 11150 East Blvd., Cleveland P: 216-421-7340 W: clevelandart.org

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The Massillon Museum, where art and history come together, sparks cultural excitement in Northeast Ohio. Upcoming and ongoing exhibits: “Stark County Artists Exhibition”; “Blind Spot: A Matter of Perception”; “Paul Brown”; and “The Immel Circus.” Enjoy a unique shop, vintage photo booth, and Anderson’s, the lobby café.

PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME

THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME 1100 Rock and Roll Blvd., Cleveland P: 216-781-ROCK W: rockhall.com

ROCKEFELLER PARK GREENHOUSE 750 E. 88th St., Cleveland P: 216-664-3103 W: facebook.com/RockefellerGreenhouse

THE SHAKER HISTORICAL MUSEUM 16740 South Park Blvd., Shaker Heights P: 216-921-1201 W: shakerhistory.org

The Shaker Historical Society tells the story of Shaker Heights’ past, present and future, from the North Union Shakers to the Van Sweringens. While learning about Shaker Heights history, take a look at the Lissauer Art Gallery, where local artists are featured. A short walk from RTA Green Line’s Lee Road station.

GALLERIES 78TH STREET STUDIOS 1300 W. 78th St., Cleveland 1305 W. 80th St., Cleveland W: 78thstreetstudios.com

78th Street Studios is the largest fine arts complex in Northeast Ohio, with more than 60 retail galleries, studios and other creative spaces all under one roof. ANDY ROCK FINE ART SERVICES P: 330-461-2322 E: arockfineart@gmail.com W: arockfineart.com

We can provide all the necessary packing, crating, installation and storage needs that your valuable artwork and antiques require. We work with many museums, galleries and private collectors in the Northeast Ohio area as well as forwarders and brokers nationally and internationally.

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ON VIEW THROUGH JANUARY 15, 2017 Intersections: Artists Master Line and Space is organized by the Akron Art Museum and generously supported in part by the Lehner Family Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council. Special thanks to Hilton Garden Inn – Akron.

COMING FEBRUARY 11 – MAY 17, 2017

TURN THE PAGE: THE FIRST TEN YEARS OF

Wim Delvoye, Cement Truck, 2010, laser-cut stainless steel, 32 x 6 ½ feet x 17 inches, Courtesy of the Artist and Galerie Perrotin. © Studio Wim Delvoye. Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of Hi-Fructose is organized by the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art and made possible by the City of Virginia Beach. Generous funding is provided by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts & the Virginia Tourism Corporation. Major support for the exhibition is provided by Acoustical Sheetmetal, Capital Group Companies, PRA Group, the Fine Family Fund of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation, and other generous donors, as well as grants made possible by the Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, & the Business Consortium for Arts Support. Its presentation in Akron is supported in part by the Ohio Arts Council.

One South High | Akron, OH 44308 | 330.376.9185 | AkronArtMuseum.org


LISTINGS THE ART GALLERY

THE BONFOEY GALLERY

4134 Erie St., Willoughby P: 440-946-8001

1710 Euclid Ave., Cleveland P: 216-621-0178 W: bonfoey.com

The Art Gallery in Willoughby specializes in quality custom framing, and exhibits original work by local artists. The Gallery features handmade jewelry, and special gift items. We have abundant glassware, which makes great giftware. ARTISANS’ CORNER GALLERY 11110 Kinsman Road, Newbury P: 440-739-4128 W: artisanscornergallery.com

Artisans’ Corner Gallery, located in Newbury Center, is filled with a collection of high-quality, affordable art – and a place where local and regional artists can display their work. Paint, glass, ceramics, woodcarving, photography displays and handmade gifts. Classes and demonstrations. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays or by appointment. BE.GALLERY

Northeast Ohio’s leading contemporary art gallery featuring works by the finest regional contemporary artists in a two-floor gallery space. Additional services include framing, gilding, hand carving and finishing, installation, art appraisal, art consultation, art and frame restoration, and fine art shipping. CONTESSA GALLERY Legacy Village 24667 Cedar Road, Lyndhurst P: 216.382.7800 W: contessagallery.com

Cleveland’s finest gallery, specializing in old and modern masters, as well as the most prominent American and international artists of today. We are redefining fine art in the Midwest and invite you to be a part of it. THE DANCING SHEEP 12712 Larchmere Blvd., Cleveland P: 216-229-5770

Located in the heart of Chagrin Falls, be. gallery is a unique collection of exquisite American artisan-created pieces that inspire the soul. With more than 50 artists and in all mediums, fine handcrafted art and gifts with meaning are our specialty. Find that perfect unique gift at be.gallery!

A destination for those seeking the unique in clothing, gifts and shopping experience or wanting to share the upbeat vitality and offbeat charm of Artist: Chris Triola, 100% cotton; Cleveland’s premier machine wash and dry arts and antiques district. The gallery features one-of-a-kind and limited-edition wearable art, contemporary craft and special baby gifts in a relaxed and welcoming setting.

BELLABOR ART JEWELRY

DIBENEDETTO GALLERY

178½ N. Main St., Hudson P: 330-289-8884 W: bellabor.com

The Ohio Design Centre 23533 Mercantile Road, Beachwood P: 216-536-1383 W: pattidibenedetto.com

14 Bell St., Chagrin Falls P: 1-844-234-4387 W: begallery.com

From simple to bold, each piece of one-of-akind jewelry is designed for the modern woman who wants to be unique. Custom work is available. The artist is in from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

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International artist Patti DiBenedetto Corna has been lucky enough to be in the collections of many stars and PANACHE. Ink on canvas. 4’ x 8’ corporations. Her entire body of work is created without the use of traditional paint brushes. The use of a variety of wood and metal tools adds to her unique application of paint and texture.

DICK KLEINMAN FINE ART GALLERY DuneCraft Building 19201 Cranwood Parkway, Warrensville Heights P: 440-600-2127 W: dkfineart.com

Check out our new gallery in the unique DuneCraft Building! We have been the showcase for The Art of Dr. Seuss and important contemporary artists for the past 20 years. We were also honored to be selected as the original Dr. Seuss gallery in the United States. See our website dkfineart.com for more information. DON DRUMM STUDIOS & GALLERY 437 Crouse St., Akron P: 330-253-6268 W: dondrummstudios.com

Consistently voted among the top contemporary craft galleries in the country, this fascinating, two-building showplace offers unique jewelry, ceramics, glass, sculpture and graphics created by more than 500 top American artists. Also featured are works by internationally renowned metal sculptor Don Drumm, whose collections include one-of-akind sculpture, home accessories, cookware and garden furniture. FLUX METAL ARTS 8827 Mentor Ave., Mentor P: 440-205-1770 W: fluxmetalarts.com

Our gallery features an inspiring mix of unique contemporary jewelry and decorative metalwork created by 20 local emerging and established artists. Flux Metal Arts is also a small teaching studio dedicated to offering a variety of jewelry and metalsmith classes, bench rental, and is your source for specialty jewelry tools and supplies. GALLERY W One American Blvd., Westlake W: gallerywcrocker.com

Upcoming: “Beauty in Distinction,” Nov. 3 to Dec. 23, includes work from Zygote Press, Jim Baker and Mark Hartung; “A Curve of Color: Art and Fashion of Samuel Butnik and Bonnie Cashin,” Jan. 5 to Feb. 23, 2017. Gallery hours: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed on Sunday.

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Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage

AND JUSTICE FOR ALL? Exploring Civil Rights Struggles

W

ith its newest exhibition, the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage invites visitors to join in the ongoing fight for equality. Through video, 3-D structures and 157 black-and-white photographs, This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement brings injustices past and present into bold relief while celebrating those who stood up to change America. This Light of Ours features works by Bob Adelman, George Ballis, Bob Fitch, Bob Fletcher, Matt Herron, David Prince, Herbert Randall, Maria Varela and Tamio Wakayamas — nine activist photographers who documented the 1960s clash between institutionalized discrimination and determined resistance by activists and volunteers. “Much like cellphone video and digital media is doing today, these photographs helped catapult longstanding racist practices into the national consciousness, and their power is undeniable,” asserts Maltz Museum executive director Ellen Rudolph. “Pain, fear and hope — the emotions that fueled the movement and are all too familiar today — are palpable in the images.” “This exhibition is very timely,” says museum co-founder Milton Maltz, noting its relevance to recent violence, vigils, protests and voting rights issues across the country. “Ordinary people risked everything to fight for equality in the segregated South of the 1960s. The question this exhibition asks is, 50 years later, who will take up the challenge to right inequities that continue to spark anger across this country? How can we heal this open wound of racial division in America?” Recognizing that discrimination didn’t stop at the MasonDixon line, the Maltz Museum has included content related to Northeast Ohio’s own turmoil and triumphs during the Civil Rights Movement. “The exhibition incorporates the 1966 Hough uprising, the long struggle to desegregate Cleveland’s public schools, the historic 1967 election of Carl Stokes as the first black mayor of a major American city and the groundbreaking role his brother Louis played in the U.S. House of Representatives,” explains Rudolph. “It also includes current efforts in our community to effect change through displays of unity and dissent such as Circle the City with Love and Black Lives Matter.” Rudolph adds, “Shining a light on everyday people who stood up for justice supports our efforts as a museum of diversity and tolerance to empower individuals to end discrimination.” It is as Maltz Museum Trustee Rev. Dr. Otis Moss Jr. — a former regional director of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference and a Selma march participant — stated, “If there is no conscience in a community, we have to be that conscience.” This Light of Ours includes Guide By Cell audio tours for adults and students. Drop-in tours (included with Museum admission) are offered on Tuesdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. Docentled experiences can be arranged for groups of 10 or more with advance notice. For more information, call 216-593-0575 or visit maltzmuseum.org.

A picketer is arrested behind Loveman’s Department Store. ©1963 Bob Adelman, Courtesy CDEA

(Left to right) Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, Bernard Lee, Rev. Martin Luther King, and Hosea Williams confer during a rally in Kelly Ingram Park. ©1965 Bob Fitch, Courtesy CDEA

Cleveland rabbi Arthur Lelyveld receives first aid after being beaten with a tire iron. ©1964 Herbert Randall, Courtesy CDEA


LISTINGS GESTURES – THE FINE ART OF GIVING

THE KOEHN SCULPTORS’ SANCTUARY ON GREEN

1150 Linda St., Rocky River P: 440-665-3122 W: gesturesshop.com

1936 S. Green Road, South Euclid P: 216-691-1936 W: sanctuaryongreen.com

The fine art of giving begins at Gestures. We are a shop that features local art, craft and fine handmade jewelry. We offer something for everyone. We have the best selection of Lake Erie Beach Glass jewelry in the city. We are full of art that celebrates Cleveland from photography, paintings and mixed media.

Join us for our 37th Annual Christmas Open House Oct. 27 through Dec. 27. Thursdays through Sundays 11 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Blown-glass ornaments; German nutcrackers, smokers and steins; Wendt and Kuhn collections; candles and giftware; European-made toys; nativities and angels; and much more. Personalized shopping experience in our century home.

A picture framing shop and home of Black Squirrel Gallery & Gifts. Featuring artisan jewelry, local art, home décor, greeting cards, Black Squirrel items, and of course our award-winning custom framing. Archival framing to preserve treasured memories. Gift certificates are available. Beautifying area homes and businesses since 1984.

LEE HEINEN GALLERY

W: mimismuses.com

THE GLASS ASYLUM 22 W. Orange St., Suite 101, Chagrin Falls P: 440-394-8483 W: theglassasylum.com

As the premier glass-blowing studio in Northeast Ohio, The Glass Asylum produces handcrafted glass art and light fixtures. We also teach classes and host events. Our ultimate goal is to offer multiple outlets for the public and art community to expand their appreciation and knowledge of the art of glass-blowing. HEDGE GALLERY 1300 W. 78th St., Suite 200, Cleveland P: 216-650-4201 W: hedgeartgallery.com

HEDGE Gallery, located in 78th Street Studios: Cleveland’s premier venue to view contemporary work created by established and emerging artists of Northeast Ohio. We specialize in showing some of the most vibrant painters, printmakers, sculptors and fiber artists in the region. Open Tuesday to Friday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Evenings and weekends by appointment.

12402 Mayfield Road, Cleveland P: 216-921-4088 P: 216-469-3288 W: leeheinen.com

We are fine art painters working in oil or acrylic on canvas and recently on mirrored steel. Our subjects range “Thinking About Selfies,” 42x56 from figurative to inches, oil on canvas. Artwork by abstract. This is a Lee Heinen. working studio in Little Italy, so it’s best to call before visiting to be sure we’re there. LOGANBERRY 13015 Larchmere Blvd., Shaker Heights P: 216-795-9800 W: loganberrybooks.com

Loganberry Books Annex Gallery features a monthly rotation of local artist exhibitions, with an opening reception on the first Wednesday evening of the month. M.GENTILE STUDIOS 1588 E. 40th St., 1A, Cleveland P: 216-881-2818 W: mgentilestudios.com

A personalized art resource for individuals, collectors and businesses. We offer assistance in the selection and preservation of artwork in many media. Our archival custom framing services are complemented by our skill in the installation of two- and three-dimensional artwork in a variety of residential and corporate settings.

36 | Canvas | Fall/Winter 2016

MCKAY BRICKER FRAMING BLACK SQUIRREL GALLERY & GIFTS 141 E. Main St., Kent P: 330-673-5058 W: mckaybricker.com

Project1_Layout 1 10/5/2016 11:54 PM Page 1

MIMI’S MUSES Mimi Becker, Ph.D., produces vibrant and unique pieces of artwork in the form of paintings, drawings and doodles. Her formal training is that of an abstract painter, and she expresses herself through line, color, shape and form. PENNELLO GALLERY 12407 Mayfield Road, Cleveland P: 216-707-9390 W: pennellogallery.com Pennello Gallery in Little Italy specializes in contemporary American, Canadian and Israeli fine art and craft. You will always find a sophisticated selection, including many one-of-a-kind, studio glass, ceramics, wood, metal, tabletop, sculpture, unique Judaica and paintings in all media. You may call for an appointment to meet with our bridal registry specialists. Find us on Facebook!

TRICIA KAMAN STUDIO/GALLERY School House Galleries Little Italy 2026 Murray Hill Road, Unit 202, Cleveland P: 216-559-6478 W: triciakaman.com

Tricia’s studio/ gallery is housed in the Historic Little Italy Schoolhouse building. Visits are welcome by “Anita in Black,” 24x24 inches, appointment. The oil. Artwork by Tricia Kaman. studio features Tricia’s original oil paintings, Giclee and canvas prints. She also offers custom-cut silhouettes, which make for a special and unique gift.

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University School

University School raises $108 million to support faculty, students

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ffering tangible evidence of the value that alumni and parents place on a University School education and the teachers who deliver it, the school announced that its recently concluded capital campaign raised more than $108 million. “Early in our outreach, we met one-on-one with more than 300 alumni and parents to find out what they value most about University School,” said campaign chair Henry L. Meyer III, a 1968 US graduate. “The answer by far was the faculty and the impact they have on transforming boys’ lives. Because they are the heart and soul of a University School education, it is essential that we continue to attract and retain outstanding teachers and provide the tools and environment that allow them to be their very best.” Faculty and students are already reaping the benefits of the “We Are US!” campaign through resulting investments in academic and research facilities; interactive technology; research, entrepreneurship and leadership opportunities for students; expanded financial aid and scholarships; enhanced compensation and professional development programs for faculty; upgraded athletic facilities and more. “US boys are curious and thrive for excellence,” said Benjamin Rein, headmaster. “The exceptional education they receive through the commitment, care and compassion of the finest teachers anywhere helps them become leaders in every industry. More importantly, we are making outstanding human beings who become good husbands, fathers and citizens.” University School is a kindergarten to grade 12 all-boys independent school with campuses in Hunting Valley and Shaker Heights. Its multi-year campaign total represents the largest amount ever raised by an independent day school in the Midwest and ranks in the top five among independent day schools nationwide. The single largest component is a new $40 million academic wing on the Hunting Valley Campus, which was fully funded before ground was broken. The 52,000-square-foot facility includes more than 10,000 square feet devoted to science and research, including labs for physics, chemistry, biology and environmental science; 10,000 square feet for hands-on learning, including a robotics and rocketry lab and two computer-aided design classrooms; and academic space devoted to the humanities, including 27 classrooms for English, history, math and language. In addition, extensive renovation of the original classroom building now provides for state-of-the-art facilities for the visual and performing arts. With an additional investment of $1.25 million in faculty compensation, US has become the compensation leader among

independent schools in Northeast Ohio. Campaign funds also supported more than 100 faculty professional development experiences in more than 60 cities in 11 countries on six continents. To help ensure accessibility to a US education for the region’s most promising boys without regard to their family circumstances, the school also doubled the amount of financial aid available to students, including the addition of 17 full-tuition scholarships.


LISTINGS UNCOMMON ART 178½ N. Main St., Hudson P: 216-789-2751 W: uncommonarthudson.com

Uncommon Art – a unique blend of art studios, micro gallery and classroom – shows art and jewelry by Dana Giel-Ray, Shannon Casey and Karen Koch. The artists offer classes and private lessons in drawing, painting, mixed media, collage and jewelry making. Visitors are welcome 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. WOLFS GALLERY 13010 Larchmere Blvd., Cleveland P: 216-721-6945 W: wolfsgallery.com

WOLFS has proudly been an important part of Cleveland’s art community for more than 35 years. We specialize in fine paintings, sculpture and decorative arts from the 17th century to present day, with a large selection of Cleveland School art. We provide certified accredited appraisals of fine art and antiques, and regularly present art salons. WOOD TRADER 13429 Cedar Road, Cleveland Heights P: 216-397-7671 W: woodtraderframing.com

Preserve your unique treasures. Put the final touches on a room with great art and framing. Art will look best and bring joy to you and your space when it’s something personal, something you made, collected, inherited or simply love. The right frame can make a picture perfect for your home.

38 | Canvas | Fall/Winter 2016

MUSIC & PERFORMANCE CANTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA – ZIMMERMANN SYMPHONY CENTER 2331 17th St. NW, Canton P: 330-452-3434 W: cantonsymphony.org

Founded in 1937, the Canton Symphony Orchestra is a fully professional ensemble and organization dedicated to performing concerts that enrich, educate and entertain residents of Stark County and beyond. The orchestra performs classical, pops and a variety of educational programs in Umstattd Performing Arts Hall and other Stark County venues. DOBAMA THEATRE 2340 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights P: 216-932-3396 W: dobama.org

Dobama Theatre’s mission is to premiere the best contemporary plays by established and emerging playwrights in professional productions of the highest quality. Through educational and outreach programming, Dobama Theatre nurtures the development of theater artists and builds new audiences for the arts while provoking an examination of our contemporary world.

EVENTS DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND ALLIANCE Winterfest 2016 W: downtowncleveland.com/winterfest

Downtown Cleveland is the perfect place to kick-off the holiday season! On Saturday, Nov. 26, come Downtown for Winterfest, presented by Huntington, in the new Public Square! This all-day holiday celebration starts at 1 p.m. with free horse and carriage rides, children’s activities, holiday shopping and ends with the annual lighting of Downtown at 6 p.m.

FOOD & DRINK CANAL TAVERN OF ZOAR 8806 Towpath Road NE, Bolivar P: 330-874-4444 W: canaltavernofzoar.com

Fine casual dining in Zoar’s original tavern and inn. Located on the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath and the Ohio and Erie Scenic Byway, the Canal Tavern of Zoar offers “travelers” on the Canalway and visitors to Zoar excellent food and beverages and our traditional Zoar hospitality.

FRIENDS OF CANVAS CHAGRIN YOGA 524 E. Washington St., Chagrin Falls P: 440-247-4884 W: chagrinyoga.com

Our introductory offer – $40 for 30 days – is designed to provide new Chagrin Yoga students a great deal in order to get off on the right foot with yoga! Offer includes: 30 days of unlimited yoga and barre, the ability to try all instructors and class styles, and support and guidance from our yoga advisor.

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“The Best Arts Event in Cleveland.” —Scene Magazine “The Mother of all Art Walks.” —Boston Globe

Come see the largest fine art complex in the region with over 60 galleries, studios, and other creative spaces all under one roof! On THIRD FRIDAYS, the whole building comes alive from 5 - 9PM for the most fascinating art walk you’ve ever experienced. Industrial spaces are available inside our property for your own benefit, corporate meeting, wedding or birthday bash! See the web site for details.

SAVE THE DATES:

10.21.16 11.18.16 12.16.16

1300 W. 78th St. at the west end of the Gordon Square Arts District

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For boys, grades K-12 For grades K-12 K-12 For boys, grades

Responsibility, Loyalty, Consideration Responsibility, Loyalty, Consideration Responsibility, Consideration

Driven by over 125 years of excellence in boys’ education, Drivenopens byover over 125 years years excellence in Driven by 125 of excellence in boys’ boys’ education, University School doors to exciting possibilities, to education, new ways of thinking, University School opens doors doors to exciting possibilities, new ways ofofthinking, University School opens to possibilities, to new ways thinking, and to enduring relationships that will standto the test of time. andto toenduring enduring relationships relationships that that will and will stand stand the thetest testof oftime. time.

LEARNMORE MOREAT AT OUR OUR PARENT PARENT OPEN HOUSE EVENTS: LEARN OPEN HOUSE EVENTS: LEARN MORE AT OUR PARENT OPEN HOUSE EVENTS: GRADES K-8 GRADES K-8 Thursday, November 17 GRADES K-8 Thursday, November 17 Thursday, November 17

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GRADES 9-12 GRADES 9-12 Thursday, November GRADES 9-12 10 Thursday, November 10 Thursday, November 10

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Canvas Fall/Winter 2016  

Northeast Ohio | arts | music | performance | entertainment

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