Canvas Spring 2019

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NORTHEAST OHIO | arts | music | performance

Spring 2019

Emerging artists in Northeast Ohio

Featuring Kimberly Chapman Bianca Fields Ella Medicus Alex Overbeck DantĂŠ Rodriguez Antwoine Washington


*B r ad ing m is this si on ad , J wi un th - A yo ug u fo 20 r $ 19 2 . c off od o ec fg an ene va r a sa l pr




JUNE 4 - AUG 18, 2019


This summer we are partnering with Bellefaire Jewish Children’s Bureau to celebrate the power within each of us to help someone when they need us, including recognizing when we need help ourselves. Join us for family-friendly activities and crafts in our special exhibition space, plus a StoryWalk in our core exhibit. Super fun for all ages! 2929 RICHMOND ROAD, BEACHWOOD | 216.593.0575 | MALTZMUSEUM.ORG

Explore 50 years of moCa through a new set of exhibitions that celebrate our history while looking to our future Now at moCa through August 11, 2019 Lee Mingwei, The Moving Garden, 2009/2015, mixed media interactive installation, dimensions variable. Collection of Amy & Leo Shih, Installation view at Taipei Fine Arts Museum, 2015. Courtesy of the artist.

11400 Euclid Avenue Cleveland, Ohio 44106

free daily admission

Open House

Lee Mingwei ■ Sunrise ■ Abe Frajndlich ■ Double Takes ■ Aleksandra Domanović

Open minded Open hearted Open to ideas

at moCa

Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland

Lee Mingwei, The Mending Project, 2009/2015, mixed media interactive installation, dimensions variable. Collection of Amy & Leo Shih, Installation view at Taipei Fine Arts Museum, 2015. Courtesy of the artist.


“Fish Bowl That Never Knows” (detail) by Bianca Fields, 2018; acrylic, oil and spray paint on canvas; 40 x 36 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.

6 Editor’s Note

Michael C. Butz discusses this issue’s stories

8 On Deck


Who’s Next Emerging artists in Northeast Ohio

Noteworthy upcoming openings and events from around Northeast Ohio

10 Touching Tribute

“An Artist’s Path” at Youngstown State University will celebrate the life and art of Marlene Aron

14 Women of vision


moCa Cleveland’s many achievements are reflective of 50 years of visionary female leadership

38 Art Appeal

What makes an exhibition a smash? Officials from the Akron Art Museum, Cleveland Museum of Art and Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage offer insight

42 Events calendar and listings

Plan visits to numerous art, music and cultural festivals in the coming months NORTHEAST OHIO | arts | music | performance

Spring 2019

On the cover Emerging artists in Northeast Ohio

Featuring Kimberly Chapman Bianca Fields Ella Medicus Alex Overbeck Danté Rodriguez

Bianca Fields dons a piece of wearable art made of synthetic grass and other materials. Photo by Michael C. Butz

Antwoine Washington

46 From stage to screen

From London to Cleveland, NT Live offers a new platform for an old art form

50 Curator Corner

The Butler Institute of American Art’s “Snap The Whip” by Winslow Homer

51 Listings

Local listings for museums, galleries, performance arts and more

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think thinkoutside outsidethe thelines lines Every day, Hathaway Brown students of all ages are encouraged to expand their horizons and see the Every day, Hathaway Brown students of all ages are encouraged to expand their horizons and see the world in new and exciting ways. Our outstanding academic curriculum is made more vibrant by hands-on world in new and exciting ways. Our outstanding academic curriculum is made more vibrant by hands-on educational opportunities in all divisions. Creativity and innovation are at the heart of the HB experience, educational opportunities in all divisions. Creativity and innovation are at the heart of the HB experience, and students make their own unique and beautiful marks within and well beyond our classroom walls. and students make their own unique and beautiful marks within and well beyond our classroom walls.

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Editor’s Note

Editor Michael C. Butz Design Manager Stephen Valentine

President, Publisher & CEO Kevin S. Adelstein Vice President of Sales Adam Mandell CJN Managing Editor Bob Jacob



hen Who’s Next was introduced last year as a way for Canvas to showcase emerging Northeast Ohio artists, we weren’t sure how it would be received by readers and the region’s artists and art enthusiasts. To our delight, the response was overwhelmingly positive, and so it was with no hesitation that we decided to bring back Who’s Next for 2019 – with a few new twists we think will make it even better. The most noticeable change comes in the form of an addition – one not found on the pages of the magazine. Instead, you’ll want to head to our website, where you can watch videos of all six artists featured in this year’s Who’s Next section. We’re excited for you to do so as the videos are certain to provide a more personable introduction to this year’s class. Secondly, we slightly expanded the definition of “emerging artist,” already a fairly fluid term, to include a re-emerging artist – someone whose practice has changed so drastically from what he was previously known for we (and others) felt a re-introduction was in order. The third tweak involves our sources for Who’s Next. This year, in addition to seeking input from local arts influencers, I threw my hat in the ring to make an editor’s pick – an artist whose work I feel shouldn’t be missed. Find out who all of this year’s Who’s Next artists are starting on Page 22. Also in this issue, we check in with moCa Cleveland, which this year is celebrating its 50th anniversary – and a proud

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history of strong female leadership along the way. In addition, we go behind the scenes with three of Northeast Ohio’s major institutions – Akron Art Museum, Cleveland Museum of Art and Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage – to find out what goes in to hosting blockbuster exhibitions, the types of shows that have everyone talking and social media abuzz. We also examine the rise of NT Live, a program that broadcasts stage productions from London’s National Theatre to movie houses around the world. NT Live is screened at many Northeast Ohio movie houses, including Cleveland Cinemas’ Cedar Lee Theatre in Cleveland Heights and Chagrin Cinemas in Chagrin Falls. This year, NT Live marks its 10th anniversary. Lastly, it wouldn’t be the spring issue without the annual Canvas events calendar. This comprehensive calendar again lists more than 60 arts- and musicfocused festivals taking place throughout Northeast Ohio this spring, summer and fall. For a printable version of the Canvas events calendar, visit event-calendar. As you can see, there’s plenty to read in this issue of Canvas. If you have an idea or artist you’d like to pitch for a future issue, as always, you’re invited to drop me a line at

Controller Tracy DiDomenico Digital Marketing Manager Cheryl Sadler Events Manager Gina Lloyd Editorial Ed Carroll Jane Kaufman Becky Raspe Alyssa Schmitt Contributing Writers Bob Abelman Kirby Davis Shelbie Goulding Carlo Wolff Columbus Bureau Chief Amanda Koehn Custom Publishing Manager Paul Bram Sales & Marketing Manager Andy Isaacs Advertising Marcia Bakst, Marilyn Evans, Ron Greenbaum, Adam Jacob, Nell V. Kirman, Sherry Tilson Design Larisa DaSilva Lillian Messner Jessica Simon Digital Content Producer Abbie Murphy Business & Circulation Tammie Crawford Abby Royer Display Advertising 216-342-5191 Canvas is published by the Cleveland Jewish Publication Company, 23880 Commerce Park, Suite 1, Beachwood, OH 44122. For general questions, call 216-454-8300.

JUNE 27-29, 2019 P L AY H O U S E S Q UA R E

SINGLE TICKETS ON SALE NOW! Tower of Power | Christian McBride with Avery Sunshine and Nona Hendryx Dianne Reeves and the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra Béla Fleck & The Flecktones featuring Victor Wooten, Roy “Futureman” Wooten and Howard Levy John Scofield’s Combo 66 with Gerald Clayton, Vicente Archer and Bill Stewart Jazz Funk Soul with Jeff Lorber, Everette Harp and Paul Jackson Jr. Sax to the Max with Michael Lington, Vincent Ingala and Paul Taylor Ernie Krivda/Matthew Whitaker | Jamey Haddad’s Under One Sun Helen Sung and Michela Marino Lerman



Regina Carter and Xavier Davis | Akiko/Hamilton/Dechter B-3 Trio


Upcoming openings and events from around Northeast Ohio. Event details provided by the entities featured. Compiled by Kirby Davis

Steve Wagner / Cleveland Public Theatre


“Should I, Or Shouldn’t I?” will explore the question “What is it about rules that make us want to break them?” through work from three local artists: Hadley Conner, who works with film, collage, printmaking and encaustic mediums to explore portraiture and the human presence; Eric Rippert, whose abstract paintings, drawings and photography are derived from an introspective examination and external reality check; and Katy Richards, who aims to create a fluid relationship between materiality and representation within painting. The Shaker Community Gallery is inside Christ Episcopal Church, 3445 Warrensville Center Road, Shaker Heights.

CANTON MUSEUM OF ART “Drafting Dimensions” will feature Midwestern artists – including Malcolm Mobutu Smith, John Balistreri, Lesley Baker, Peter Christian Johnson, Katie Parker and Guy Davis – who primarily work in ceramics but also incorporate painting, drawing or printmaking in their process or allow those

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“Sugar Skull” by Katy Richards. Image courtesy of Shaker Community Gallery. Cleveland Association of Black Storytellers. “Malcolm Mobutu Smith (American). “Beon Cloud Scoop,” 2018. Stoneware, 34 x 29 x 10½ inches. Image copyright © Malcolm. Image courtesy of Canton Museum of Art. disciplines to inform their work. Artists who make work with ceramics often find themselves pigeonholed by the material or by pre-conceived notions of what the purpose or use of an object is. This exhibition seeks to push beyond that and embrace a more modern approach of using the material as a way to communicate. A reception will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. May 3 at 1001 Market Ave. N, Canton.

CLEVELAND PUBLIC THEATRE “Station Hope” is a festival that celebrates Cleveland’s social justice heritage and explores contemporary struggles for freedom and equity held each year on the grounds of Cleveland’s first authenticated Underground Railroad site, St. John’s Episcopal Church in Ohio City. The event will feature art, music and performance inspired by present-day social justice issues from more than 250 artists, including Inlet Dance Theatre, the Cleveland Association of Black Storytellers, CPT’s Brick City Theatre, African American Quilt & Doll

Guild and Julia De Burgos Cultural Arts Center & Talespinner Children’s Theatre. Both in and outside of the historic church, there will be visual art displays and interactive art activities for attendees to learn from and enjoy. This family-friendly event will last from 7 to 10 p.m. May 4 and begin at 2600 Church Ave., Cleveland.

Best in Show winner at the 2018 May Show, “Altered Identity II” by Mark Giangaspero is a 4-foot-tall drawing. Image courtesy of The Gallery at Lakeland. “Weekender” by Arabella Proffer. Image courtesy of YARDS Projects. “Wildflowers and Trees” by Thomas Styczynski. Photo courtesy of Howard Alan Events. YARDS PROJECTS

“Fabulism” will explore the ways in which fantastical elements are incorporated within realistic settings. It will feature work from Danté Rodriguez, Claudio Orso, Laura Bidwell, Arabella Proffer, Kristen Cliffel, Meng Hsuan-Wu, Omid Takavoli and Antwoine Washington and aims to “turn ourselves inside out by turning the world around us outside in.” An opening reception will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. May 9 at 725 Johnson Court, Cleveland.

Boston Mills Artfest

THE GALLERY AT LAKELAND The 10th Annual May Show will take place in The Gallery at Lakeland’s newly remodeled space. This year’s juror is Mary Gray, former director of Ohio Arts Council’s Riffe Gallery in Columbus. She’ll announce winners of more than $4,000 in cash prizes during the opening reception, which will also feature a jazz performance by The FAC-PAC, members of Lakeland’s music department faculty. Dozens of artists – painters, sculptors, photographers, printmakers, jewelers and more – are expected to participate. An artist reception and awards ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. May 16 at Lakeland Community College, 7700 Clocktower Drive, Building D, Kirtland.

HOWARD ALAN EVENTS & AMERICAN CRAFT ENDEAVORS More than 100 artists – from Northeast Ohio as well as across the country – will display their work during the 29th Annual Art in the Village with Craft Marketplace. As it has for many years, the festival will fill the streets of Legacy Village in Lyndhurst with paintings, jewelry, photography, sculptures, ceramics and more. The show features varying price points, making it affordable and accessible to art enthusiasts at any level. There will also be a concurrent craft marketplace. Spend the day perusing great artwork, dining at Legacy Village’s many restaurants and enjoying the day with family and friends. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. June 1 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 2 at 25001 Cedar Road, Lyndhurst.

BOSTON MILLS ARTFEST For two weekends this summer, Boston Mills will hold its 48th annual Artfest, a nationally recognized festival that takes place in scenic Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Both local artists and artists from around the country will have their works – ranging from painting and sculptures to photography and jewelry – available for purchase. The Boston Mills Artfest will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 29; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 30; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 6; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 7. Preview parties for each weekend will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. June 28 and July 5, respectively. The festival takes place at 7100 Riverview Road, Peninsula.


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Touching Tribute “An Artist’s Path” at Youngstown State University will celebrate the life and art of Marlene Aron

By Alyssa Schmitt


arlene Aron’s art captures the timelessness of the earth through a palette of sawdust, beeswax, wood ash and dried leaves, among other natural materials. On canvas, she built up the material layer by layer to create a threedimensional embodiment of her love of nature. In her installations, she meticulously sprinkled different shades of soils and sand around varying sizes of rocks, often in circular patterns that represented layers of memory and time. Aron’s time, however, would be tragically cut short. On Sept. 20, 2018, the day before the Youngstown native’s latest exhibition, “Reflections,” opened at The Reclaimed Room in San Francisco, she was struck and killed by a truck while crossing the street. In celebration of her life and to preserve her memory, Youngstown State University’s Cliffe College of Creative Arts and Communication will host “Marlene Aron: An Artist’s Path” in Bliss Hall’s Judith Rae Solomon Gallery. The exhibition, on view from May 20 to July 13, was

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proposed by Stephanie Smith, a professor of art history at YSU who had known Aron for nearly 30 years. “She was someone who was very dedicated to her craft. She was a fine, fine artist ... (and) this is a way those of us who are here (in Youngstown) can gather and recognize her and kind of remember her,” Smith says. “Keep in mind, she died on the West Coast. It was far away, but she was meaningful to a lot of people more locally.” The exhibition will be a compilation of Aron’s work from The Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown



36th Annual

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Sunday, June 9, 2019 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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Keep your finger on the pulse of the local arts scene at The Art Gallery AMERICAN MADE! ARTIST MADE! LOCAL ARTIST!

Remember The Art Gallery For Gift Gifting Jewelry – Glass – Pictures – Ceramics – Fabric – Classes MIXOLOGY Opening Friday, May 10 through Saturday, June 8, 2019. Come and meet the artists at the opening reception from 6:00 – 9:00 PM on Friday May 10. View unique mixed media art made by local talented artists


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Opposite page:



and private collections. The work will span different phases of her career, including her works on paper and the built-up works on canvas. “She was very much interested in nature and natural material, and her painting would often reflect that interest in natural forms,” says Louis Zona, executive director of The Butler Institute. “The work was just impressive on many, many levels. She was a wonderful artist.” Zona had known Aron since they attended YSU together in the 1960s. He remembered her excelling at school, foreshadowing her ability to make it as a professional artist. He says she embodied what it meant to be creative. In addition to her artwork, she wrote poetry. Her work was “quite significant” and was unlike anyone else’s art, he says. While she had her heroes, her art remained distinct from that of the people she admired. Reusing natural material certainly put her in a different stratum than others, Zona says, though she did use more conventional material, like chalk and paint. With each piece, her appreciation for nature shone through. Zona and Smith both noted Aron’s ability to make any stranger a friend instantly. She was always “on your side,” Zona recalled. “She fascinated me because Marlene was a real free spirit in many ways,” Smith says. “She committed herself so fully to the artistic endeavor. I never knew her to be someone who was looking to be a full-time faculty member at a university. She was someone who worked and recognized the value of working with young people, training them in their artistic careers. But she was so committed to her studio practice and she was willing to make a lot of sacrifices, financial sacrifices and things of that nature, to be able to devote as much of her time to making art.” Even though Aron, 75, moved to California later in her life, her presence remained constant in Youngstown. The Butler Institute, which owns a number of her works, was a place she often felt at home. She referred to the pieces hanging on the walls as old friends. “She was very interested in what was happening here at The Butler Institute, always,” Zona says. “She grew up in the area and her love of art led her to the art museum, Butler Institute. From her childhood, she knew so many of the paintings and identified so much with the artists who are represented here.” While “An Artist’s Path” will rightly pay tribute to an accomplished artist, Aron’s legacy in Youngstown has long been cemented. “She has work in (the Butler Institute’s) collection. That’s significant,” Smith says. “That’s the oldest museum of American art in the county, (and) it’s an important collection. It warms my heart that her work is included in that collection.”

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July 13

July 13 April 26

May 11

April 26 June 8

July 20

June 8

CURRENT EXHIBITION S Y M B I O L O G Y An exhibition of works by George Kozmon and Guy-Vincent exploring the dichotomies of image-making, and the interconnectedness to landscapes, symbols, and people. The images, sizes, and techniques used by the artists range from traditional painting to new media. April 25 - Oct 11

Public Viewing Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm For more info, contact:

Cleveland Convention Art Gallery at the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland


VISION moCa Cleveland’s many achievements are reflective of 50 years of visionary female leadership

Michael C. Butz

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By Jane Kaufman

In 1978, Jill Sands walked into The New Gallery, a purveyor of cutting-edge contemporary art in Cleveland’s University Circle neighborhood, to see a photography show and was so impressed by what she saw that she asked whether there might be a job opening. She walked out as a newly hired gallery assistant, and soon thereafter, became the gallery’s photography curator. At that time, there were just five staff at the gallery, including Marjorie Talalay, one of its three founders. Leading solo, Talalay gave her tiny staff room to grow. “She just let us do our jobs. It was really magnificent,” says Sands, who during her tenure oversaw a seven-week photography lecture series that included Ansel Adams. “She nurtured us that way. She inspired and trusted by giving us this gift of autonomy.” That dynamic is but one example of the visionary, driven and empowering leadership that’s helped the institution – The New Gallery is now known as the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary – define and ascend to its premier place in the international arts scene. And – headed by Talalay for its first 25 years and by current executive director Jill Snyder for the last 22-plus years – nearly all of its leaders, including curators and programming directors, have been women. LAYING THE GROUNDWORK Snyder points out it wasn’t uncommon for women to pioneer contemporary arts institutions. “If you look at the origins of the Whitney Museum (of American Art) and The Guggenheim Museum – museums we’d think of as more established (today) – they were at one point radical, maverick institutions, and invariably, it was women who founded them because the men were more establishment figures,” she says, referring to two prominent New York museums. “(Dating) back to the late 1960s, the majority of those institutions were founded by women because they didn’t have a place in the establishment museum field.”


Talalay, Nina Castelli Sundell and Agnes Gund founded The New Gallery in 1968. While Gund was a silent partner, Sundell and Talalay – who both trailed their husbands to Cleveland and were introduced by a mutual friend – worked closely in leading the gallery until Sundell left Cleveland in 1973. Talalay then led solo, though in close collaboration with husband Anselm, until she retired in 1993. “Nina was more the academic, and Marjorie was more the sales-entrepreneur type, so they were probably a very good complement to one another. Both of them were extraordinary,” Snyder says. “Marjorie had that grit and determination and didn’t accept ‘no,’ and Nina, who was brilliant and trained as an art historian, came from art royalty. Her parents were Leo Castelli and Ileana Sonnabend, who were the pioneers of SoHo (in New York City).” Talalay and Sundell’s collaboration resulted in shows that were groundbreaking for Cleveland at the time, Synder says. In those early years, when Sherman Lee was director of the Cleveland Museum of Art, The New

Gallery offered a radical counterpoint to the venerable museum within walking distance. “In the first decade of The New Gallery, it was a direct portal from New York, and they got all of these vanguard artists who were to become world-renowned icons: Christo, (Andy) Warhol, (Robert) Rauschenberg, (Jasper) Johns, (Roy) Lichtenstein. That was amazing,” she says. “And we weren’t just showing them. Lichtenstein did our first logo. Christo ... wrapped the storefront (of The New Gallery’s original location). These are incredibly iconic moments that quietly happened here in Cleveland, Ohio.” None of which is to say there weren’t also challenges, particularly with finding a suitable home. The gallery first occupied a former dry-cleaning business on the corner of Euclid Avenue and Ford Drive in Cleveland. From there, it moved to a ramshackle former fraternity house on nearby Bellflower Road. In the 1980s, plans to buy a nearby site from Case Western Reserve University fell through, leading to a short-term lease at the

Opposite page: Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland executive director Jill Snyder has led the cutting-edge arts institution for more than 22 of its 50-year history. Above: Marjorie Talalay, left, and Nina Castelli Sundell when The New Gallery opened. Plain Dealer photo, Mitchael J. Zaremba. Image courtesy of moCa Cleveland.

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Above: Marjorie Talalay and Nina Sundell cut the cake at The New Gallery’s 10th anniversary party. Below: Christo at The New Gallery. Both images courtesy of moCa Cleveland.

Galleria in downtown Cleveland while maintaining the Bellflower gallery. Finally, in 1990, the institution – which by then had won nonprofit status and was known as Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art – moved to what was at the time the Cleveland Play House campus at East 86th Street and Carnegie Avenue. “There were many, many meetings that we had to build a self-standing gallery,” recalls Joanne Lewis, who was on the board of trustees of The New Gallery when it was on Bellflower. Talalay enlisted Lewis to put together education programs and to host artists, including Adams and Red Grooms. Lewis also held parties for The New Gallery in the spacious ballroom of her Cleveland Heights home. With a small budget, the Talalays also hosted artists, including Claes Oldenburg, in their Ludlow Road home in Shaker Heights. Through all of those moves and near-constant bootstrapping, Talalay and her team persevered. In fact, there were actually many celebrations along the way. “Anything was an excuse to have a celebration, to have a party,” Sands recalls. “We went full tilt to have fun. So although we were extremely serious about our work, she encouraged us to have fun – so we did.” She also says that while Talalay was a “demanding” and “tough” leader, Sands says she and her colleagues “adored” her. “I think the most profoundly impactful aspect of Marjorie’s leadership was that she gave her small staff complete autonomy to do our jobs with independence and self-expression, and so that left room for us to grow and realize our potential,” she says. REACHING NEW HEIGHTS After Talalay retired, Gary Sangster was hired to replace her. He left after two years. Enter Snyder, who prior to joining moCa in 1996 was director at the Aldrich Museum in Ridgefield, Conn. While in graduate school at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts a few years earlier, Snyder worked at the Guggenheim as executive assistant to director Tom Messer, where she met the art world – including Sundell and Gund, who were both living in New York. Sundell, who was then doing curatorial work, told Snyder about the opening in Cleveland. “She kind of tapped me,” recalls Snyder, adding that Gund was then chair

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Everyday Heroes Activity Center to Return to the Maltz Museum Museum’s Special Exhibition Space turns into Kids Indoor Play Area “What’s Your Everyday Superpower?”


he Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage is proud to announce a summer installation for younger audiences. Back by popular demand, The Everyday Heroes Activity Center will open for the second year in the Museum’s special exhibition gallery space. Children are invited to discover their own everyday superpowers, such as kindness, compassion, listening, and helping through hands-on activities. From Painting Kindness Rocks to Building a Better World Lego Station, children and the big people who love them can explore themes of being an everyday hero. The Everyday Heroes Activity Center will be open during regular Museum hours, June 4 – August 18 (2929 Richmond Road, Beachwood; 216-593-0575; David Schafer, Managing Director of the Maltz Museum said, “In each of us, there is a hero. Inside, we are strong enough, brave enough, and courageous enough to make choices that lift others up. Sometimes, we must even lift ourselves up first so that we can help someone else.” The Everyday Heroes Activity Center will feature interactive stations where children can enjoy books, crafts, movement, and more and is recommended for 10 and under. Examples of stations include:

In addition, guests can participate in an Everyday Hero Story Tour, which is a self-guided, hands-on tour using a new children’s book to explore the Museum’s core exhibition, An American Story. Discover heroic qualities of a family moving to a new country on this newly designed tour created to engage younger audiences. In partnership with Bellefaire Jewish Children’s Bureau on their 150th anniversary, the Museum honors those standing up and speaking out in for children who are vulnerable such as those at-risk and with special needs, through shared thematic programming. Audiences of all ages are invited to join in celebrating the power within each of us to help someone when they need us, including recognizing when we need help ourselves. These two significant Cleveland institutions join together to offer a dynamic documentary film series on the power of positivity, lectures and panel discussions on compassionate living, performances on healing through humor and expression, and gallery talks on exploring Jewish Cleveland Heroes. “There will be something for everyone,” Schafer said. “Now is the time to support diversity and inclusion. Now is the time to be an everyday hero.” Additionally, drop-in tours will also be offered throughout the summer. Starting in June, visitors can drop-in for a docent led tour of the Museum’s most popular group tour now offered as a drop-in, Stop the Hate. These tours are recommended for ages 12 and up. Check the Museum’s website for details on programming and tours as they become available. Special summer pricing offers reduced rates for admission: General (12+) $10; Youth (5-11) $5; Children under 5 are Free. Members are always free. New household memberships are just $55 when joining June through August.

of the Museum of Modern Art. “Then Aggie also kind of reinforced that.” When she took the job, she thought she might stay for three to five years. The evolving challenges of the job have kept her in Cleveland. “I’d like to say that the greatest challenges are those that have energized me the most to overcome them,” she says. “And anyone who knows me knows persistence is part of my nature.” One of Snyder’s crowning achievements has been to conquer the challenge that has beleaguered the institution from the beginning: location. In 2012, she led the effort to relocate moCa from the Cleveland Play House campus to University Circle’s Uptown district. The museum’s Farshid Moussavi-designed building resembles a cut onyx, and upon opening, instantly became one of Cleveland’s architectural jewels. It cost $27 million to build, but moCa raised $35 million, partly to fund a $5 million endowment for the noncollecting museum. Coming full circle, the museum, at the corner of Euclid Avenue and Mayfield Road, stands diagonally across the street from The New Gallery’s original location. Another challenge Snyder has faced over the years has been to build moCa’s audience. “Cleveland has slowly grown in its awareness of contemporary art,” says Snyder, noting that’s not the case for cities of comparable size across the country. “There’s not a large gallery presence here. There weren’t a lot of collectors. And there aren’t any graduate schools within the art schools here. So, the support systems around contemporary art were pretty shallow, and that just meant that we had to do a lot of heavy lifting to both educate and build an audience. Fortunately, I’d say in the last five years we’ve seen more of that sharing.” In what Snyder calls “leaning in” to the issues, two years ago, in partnership with artist-run initiative For Freedoms, moCa launched a series of conversations with artists and civic leaders about social issues called Town Halls. “We’ve done six Town Halls already,” Snyder says, “and the conversations and the topics have revolved around things such as racial inequity, food deserts, immigration, faith and mass incarceration, teens and gun violence, and civil disobedience.” While much of its programming was already free, in March, moCa began

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offering free admission to visitors. In the first weekend, 1,000 people walked through moCa, two-thirds of them firsttime visitors. Free admission is part of a larger initiative called OPEN HOUSE, an ambitious and comprehensive fivepoint plan designed to get more people through the museum’s doors and better connect with them – and better connect them with the art they’re experiencing. While Snyder has led these efforts, she acknowledges she’s had help along the way. She credits Gund and longtime moCa board member Toby Devan Lewis

with guidance along the way, saying the “icons” have “opened a lot of doors.” Snyder considers moCa’s current deputy director, Megan Lykins Reich, “a phenom.” “She is my partner in the strategic vision for the museum,” she says. Snyder is also mindful of the legacy of leadership she’s carrying on. “I do feel like I’m carrying the mantle – in my own way” she says. “I don’t feel as if I’m carrying Marjorie’s mantle, I feel like I’m carrying this institution forward – and it feels like a privilege.”


50TH ANNIVERSARY Gala & Art Auction April 27


Aug. 11

Jan. 20, 2020

C LE VE LA ND AR TIS TR E GIS TR Y .OR G Whether you're an artist or looking to commission or hire one, the free Cleveland Artist Registry is Cleveland's most comprehensive online resource for artists and collectors.


Cleveland Institute of Art

Alumni Exhibition Opening Reception Friday July 12 6–8pm Through August 16


Curated by the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland’s Courtenay Finn, the 2019 Alumni Exhibition will present work from across CIA’s international network of distinguished and emerging alumni. Visit

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29th Annual Art in the Village with Craft Marketplace returns with World-Class Art June 1 - 2 POPULAR EVENT FEATURES MORE THAN 100 FINE ARTISTS AND CRAFT ARTISANS


ocated on the corner of Cedar and Richmond Roads, beautiful Legacy Village will once more transform into an art-lover’s paradise June 1 - 2 during the 29th Annual Art in the Village with Craft Marketplace. One hundred national and local artists are set to display their fine works in a prestigious show encompassing fine jewelry, exquisite works of art and hand-crafted apparel and decor. The festival also includes a full craft market with handmade organic soaps, live plants, tasty edibles, affordable and practical artisan-created works and more. The popular, free event runs from 10 am to 8 pm on Saturday, June 1 and from 10 am to 6 pm on Sunday, June 2. Residents and visitors alike will find something for everyone during this free, two day artistic affair. Ample parking is available and pets on leashes are always welcome. Presented by Howard Alan Events (HAE), producer of the nation’s finest juried art shows, the Annual Art in the Village with Craft Marketplace represents original, hand crafted artwork selected by an independent panel of expert judges from hundreds of applicants. HAE’s careful vetting process also ensures a wide array of mediums and price ranges will be offered during the event.

29th Annual Art in the Village with Craft Marketplace Saturday, June 1 from 10 am to 8 pm Sunday, June 2 from 10 am to 6 pm 25001 Cedar Road, Lyndhurst, OH 44124 Free and open to the public FESTIVAL AT-A-GLANCE: • Juried, first-class outdoor art gallery showcasing local and national artists • Original handmade artwork • 100 national artists and craft artisans • Artists hand-selected by independent panel of expert judges from hundreds of applicants • All artists on site for duration of festival • Vast array of artistic media including paintings, sculptures, photography, ceramics, glass, wood, handmade jewelry, collage, mixed media • Full green market and craft festival • Ample parking available and pets on leashes welcome About Howard Alan Events, Inc.: Howard Alan Events, a Florida-based company, produces the nation’s top juried art and craft shows. Ranked among the Top 100 Art Fairs in the Country by Sunshine Artist Magazine, the 30+ years-established company has overseen art festivals in such noted cities as Aspen, CO; Sarasota, FL; Fort Lauderdale, FL and 40 other destination markets in the nation. For additional information on the 29th Annual Art in the Village and other Howard Alan Events art and craft shows across the country, visit or call 561-746-6615.

Citrine Pendant by artists Glenda & Eric Lundgren



Art in the Village With Craft Marketplace

An Outdoor Art Festival at Legacy Village

June 1st Saturday 10am – 8pm

June 2nd Sunday 10am – 6pm

Legacy Village – 25001 Cedar Rd., Lyndhurst, OH


Media Sponsors

(561) 746-6615



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Emerging artists in Northeast Ohio

Rodriguez @CanvasCLE

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Resides & Creates

Learned BFA from Cleveland Institute of Art (expected May 2019)

Story and photography by Michael C. Butz


o fully appreciate Bianca Fields’ art, it’s best to familiarize yourself both with what’s on the surface and what’s underneath it. The latter is more abstract but more easily recognizable. Underneath the surface – in the psychological sense – are postcards to Fields’ past, replete with identifiable pop culture references

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like Pee-wee Herman, various Muppets or Dr. Seuss characters. A recently completed piece, “Boom Boom,” is a riff on the alphabet-teaching children’s book “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.” “I’m very interested in the feelings of nostalgia. I’m very fascinated in cliché objects and experiences, such as cartoons or such as a book or such as an experience or a stencil of a

To watch a video of Fields, view her profile at letter I used to put this painting together,” she says, the latter note referring to “Boom Boom.” “I’m very fascinated in taking those things and bringing them into our reality once again. By the way I’m painting them allows you to be reminded of my visceral experience of those things.” Fields grew up in Northeast Ohio and counts her creative father as an early artistic influence. “He was a very meticulous drawer and he would always draw pictures of me. It sort of rattled me that he was so good, and that was something I always wanted to become better at,” she says. “He was totally an influence on me.” In high school, she was drawn to painting, enjoying the challenge of formally learning a new medium as well as the experimentation it afforded her. Color provided a new vocabulary, one she continues to employ to project attitudes or feelings and trigger responses among her audience – and herself. “I love color because when thinking about color and talking about color in my artwork, it’s sort of an excuse to be able to talk about feeling and talking about what makes me excited about something or what makes me actually feel something or relate to something,” Fields says. “Color has been one of the most guttural or evocative things for me. Being able to do that with my artwork has become something I’ve been able to apply to real life, and I’ve been able to activate color through that.” That longing to connect, or for genuine connection, also figures prominently. The nostalgia-soaked yearning is at times at odds and also in agreement with the manner in which her generation, she says, is consumed by viewing and presenting itself through the lens of social media. What’s the truth and what’s obscured by filters? The resulting dissension plays out in her art as “visual noise.” “When making a piece or work, or the way that I paint, it may reference abstract expressionism, neo-expressionism, impressionism – things like that, where you’re sort of responding to painting as a thing,” she says. “For me, visual noise is a way of metaphorically responding, like trying to contain this chaotic noise. That’s why I work in these frames and sort of paint in a very goopy, visceral, tangible way, where it’s almost like you’re trying to choke out a noise and mute it but also the noise is there.” How she approaches a painting is a point of pride with Fields. This is where understanding what’s on the surface – in a physical sense – comes into play. She’s a maestro with her materials, starting with the literal foundation on which her pieces take shape. “Surface preparation and building the structure, things such as that, my experience in the wood shop is very important to me. It’s very meditative, and it allows me to care more for the surface I’m working on,” she says. “The surfaces in my pieces are very important and I care for them a lot. Which means that (when) applying gesso, I do that in a very nurturing way. I apply 10 to 12 layers and scrape them off to get the surface to almost be like a dry-erase board. “When I start a painting, that already allows for there to be a mess. So, when I’m painting, the painting already starts drooping down and warping, and that already takes away the preciousness of making what someone would consider a beautiful painting.” This summer, Fields will take her talents to Kansas City, Mo., where she intends to mine artistic material from a landscape other than Northeast Ohio. She also hopes to do the same someday in London by way of a residency. Regardless of


Above: “Boom Boom” (detail), 2019; resin, acrylic, oil and spray paint on canvas; 52 x 84 inches. Opposite page, left: “Applause,” 2018; acrylic, oil and spray paint on canvas; 38 x 38 inches. Opposite page, right: “Post Ghost,” 2018; acrylic, oil and spray paint on canvas; 40 x 36 inches. All images courtesy of the artist. her environs, her art and her techniques are all but certain to continue evolving in intriguing and fascinating ways. “When working on a piece in the past, I was very obsessed with portraiture – taking an image, painting it just as I saw it, trying my best to get it there first and then do all of these extra things that implied my hands were in it, such as laying a picture down and then putting words over it,” she says. “Now, I’m really involved with the paint as a material and less concerned with the actual image. If the original image is still identifiable, then that’s an extra layer to the read.” “Bianca is the real deal. Her paintings are a display, a feast of swashbuckling gesture and varying surfaces and meditations. When you talk with her about her work, she gets excited telling you about all her approaches, journeys and challenges making the canvases. She really throws it all in there – pop culture, nostalgia, politics – and it is her athleticism and confidence that shines in her dance with the paint.” Liz Maugans, director, YARDS Projects at Worthington Yards

Spring 2019 | Canvas | 25


Resides & Creates

Learned BFA from Cleveland Institute of Art

Story and photography by Michael C. Butz


imberly Chapman remembers well the moment she decided to leave behind her 25-year career in marketing to become a full-time artist. The fateful encounter occurred at Ursuline College in Pepper Pike, where she was marketing director. “There’s a woman there I really admire, Sister Diane Pinchot, who came over for lunch one day. When I answered the front door, she had a beautiful pot she’d made and had kiln-fired – I swear it was still warm when she brought it – and I looked at that pot and thought to myself, ‘That’s it, I’m going back to school,’” she says. “It was black with these beautiful metallic blues. I just fell in love with it immediately and thought, ‘This is what I want to do.’ It was almost an immediate decision. She left after lunch and I called CIA.” Fast-forward a few years and she has a BFA in ceramics from the Cleveland Institute of Art. And Sister Pinchot’s pot? It’s now in Chapman’s home studio. Nearly as swift and certain as her decision to pursue art has been her ascension within the local arts scene. Within the first four months of 2019, her work had already been accepted into shows at Valley Art Center in Chagrin Falls, Heights Arts in Cleveland Heights and BAYarts in Bay Village – and with good reason. Her porcelain work is hauntingly beautiful. It’s both eerie and elegant, as moonlight and shadows, and its unearthly aura captivates. Chapman’s connection to the clay and her craft is evident in every piece. “There’s something about clay, there’s something about ceramics – it’s very tactile. You always have to touch it; you always have to hold it in your hands and feel it,” she says of her medium of

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choice. “It’s so personal. Clay is a very personal medium. ... It has such an incredible capacity for memory.” Chapman’s work is turning heads across Northeast Ohio. In fact, one of her pieces was recently awarded best in show at the BAYarts Annual Juried Exhibition. “I always thought if I could get best of show maybe just once in a lifetime, wouldn’t that be amazing?” she says. “The jurors for that show really gave me a vote of confidence I don’t think I had before. So, you start skipping around thinking, ‘Wow, this might be possible for me to be a ceramic artist and to show my work and to have a message.’”

Above: Right:

Opposite page:

Messages are central to Chapman’s art. The piece that won was from her “‘A’ is for Active, ‘S’ is for Shooter” series consisting of three pieces named “Sitting Duck,” “Be Brave” and “M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E Gas Mask” – costumed figures that represent children’s vulnerability and uncertainty at school that offer poignant commentary on the state of school safety. Other narratives include domestic violence and immigration. “What I’m most interested in is looking at situations where people are in a very difficult situation and how they survive. How do the asylum seekers survive these terrible trips they make to come to America or other countries in search of a better world? How do parents survive after losing children who’ve been killed in a shooting spree at school?” she says. “One of the things I’ve always been interested in is what’s left behind. When everything is over and finished, what’s left behind? What are the feelings that are left behind? What are the actions one might take with what’s left behind? I think I really like looking at struggle and human nature. How can you persevere against impossible odds or sorrow or loss?” Chapman’s early success may make it easy to forget her art career is so young or overlook the fact that she earned her BFA not as a 20-something but at the same time she became a grandmother. “Balancing beauty with the macabre, Kim’s nonfunctional porcelain sculpture centers on ‘what’s left behind.’ Childhood and ancestral memories loom large with a strong sense of home. Kim has an affinity for pure white, translucent porcelain clay because of its soft, sculptural and ethereal nature.” Mary Urbas, gallery coordinator and exhibition curator, Lakeland Community College


Her age and experience were assets. A strong work ethic and skills honed during her previous career – organization, writing, networking – have all helped her as an artist. She says she’s an advocate for education at any age and encourages others considering late-in-life career changes to become a nontraditional student like she was. “Go for it,” Chapman says. “If you have the opportunity to go back to school, take it, because there’s nothing like it in the world. It will expand your horizons and make you a better artist.”



June 9

May 23 June 7-28

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Resides & Creates

Learned BFA from Southern University A&M College in Baton Rouge, La.

Story and photography by Michael C. Butz


ntwoine Washington is an artistic dual threat. A skilled portraitist, his precise, life-like drawings pull people in with rich detail and invite them to relate to the subjects. His paintings, with topics ripped from the day’s headlines, are more visceral, and when he wants them to be, less refined, yet they convey equally compelling messages to viewers. It’s a powerful combination of talents. “I always say it’s like, using basketball terms, you got a basketball player who can play street ball and he can play in the NBA,” he says. “When I really want to get personal with a piece, or intimate with it, I’ll draw it. It’ll take me longer, and I’m really just fleshing everything out. But when I paint, I use my painting as, like, a lot of emotion. I just want to get it out and I don’t want to waste a lot of time. I want people to see the emotion in it.” In other words, his paintings earn him a game at Rucker Park in Harlem, his drawings – his primary passion – get him on the court at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Washington grew up in Pontiac, Mich., and from an early age, he drew Saturday morning cartoon characters for fun. Despite showing promise, he never thought about pursuing art professionally. “How I grew up in a poor neighborhood, art wasn’t seen as a way out. You either rapped or you played basketball – those were the popular things,” he says. “I stuck with art. I always said I wanted to go to college and do the art thing in hopes it would eventually take me there.” Even in college, however, Washington often had to be pushed by professors to enter his work in shows or pursue a

28 | Canvas | Spring 2019 career in art. Instead, he says he took on 9-to-5 jobs in order to “make some money,” the most recent of which was as a United States Postal Service mail carrier – a job that left him feeling unfulfilled. To fill the creative hole, he’d come home from work to draw and paint, often posting the results on social media. The chorus of those encouraging him to focus solely on art – his wife, his friends, even his co-workers – grew louder, and he eventually decided to pursue art full time. The results? Fulfilling. In the first Northeast Ohio show Washington’s work was included, the Artists Archives of the Western Reserve’s “New Now 2018,” he received the People’s Choice Award – Honorable Mention as voted on by viewers. Not long after, he was awarded an honorable mention award at Valley Art Center’s 47th Annual Juried Art Exhibit. Amid those successes, Washington endured what could’ve been a serious setback. In November 2018, he suffered a stroke that left the entire right side of his body numb, including the hand he uses to draw and paint. He persevered and has since regained full use of his hand. He also gained a renewed sense of confidence. “I feel like I gained an actual super power with that,” he says. “At first, I’d second guess myself, but I think maybe that part of my brain died and made me feel like, ‘Hey, screw it, I’m going to just go for it and try it and see what happens.’ It gave me ... (a sense of) no fear. That super power of ‘no fear,’ I feel like that’s what happened after that.” From the beginning, Washington’s art has been rooted in personal experience and representative of his surroundings. The 1992 assault on Malice Green by two white Detroit police officers that killed Green, who was black, left a mark. “That always stuck with me,” he says. “I always said if I ever did art and was able to go into museums and do it professionally, that I’d paint about those types of things.” Among the topics he explores in his art is the parallel he sees between antebellum slavery and the disproportionate imprisonment of African-Americans in the United States. It’s a complex subject, he admits, but one – like others – he hopes to make “more digestible” to a broader audience through his art. Washington says his goal isn’t necessarily to change minds, it’s to get people to listen. “I’m just trying to be a voice for the voiceless,” he says. “Sometimes, people in the black community don’t have an opportunity to tell their stories. So, if I’m going to be in front of people, I feel like, ‘Hey, this is me, I’m letting you know what’s going on around me. These are the people talking through me, from my ancestors to now.’ “When viewing my art, just give it a chance. … Because I talk about some heavy stuff, some people probably are afraid to latch onto it, but don’t be afraid to look past the racial element and find something in it for yourself. A lot of times,



“Antwoine Washington’s art succeeds in bridging cultural divides. Its subject matter is urgent, its delivery impassioned and its ability to spark important conversations significant. On several levels, it connects – and Northeast Ohio is fortunate to be home to an artist of his caliber and potential.”


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like I say, I always speak from my perspective, but you can also get something from it because we all go through the same stuff. We’re all human, so we go through human stuff.”



May 9

June 28

May 18-19 Sept. 20

Nov. 16

Michael C. Butz, editor, Canvas


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Resides & Creates

Learned BA from Cleveland State University

Story and photography by Michael C. Butz


anté Rodriguez isn’t new to the scene. He emerged as an artist several years ago, receiving an honorable mention at the Cleveland Museum of Art’s prestigious “The NEO Show” in 2005 and even co-founding his own gallery, Wall Eye Gallery, which showcased artists from 2009 to 2011 in Cleveland’s Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood. Now, the draftsman is re-emerging with experimental and potentially transformative techniques. His art has long grappled with identity – still does. But his focus has shifted from solely exploring personal, relational themes to examining his process and approach to drawing. He’s challenging the identity of his art. “Throughout art history, people have always questioned the idea of painting. ‘What is painting?’” says Rodriguez, noting the degree of experimentation the medium allows. “I want to do the same thing for drawing. I want people to question the reality of what I’m presenting, if it’s a drawing, if it’s a sculpture. The new work is related to that. Just, think differently. Shift your thinking a little bit. It still can be considered a work of art, for sure. A drawing? Maybe, maybe not.” His boundary pushing can be seen in his “fur drawings,” recent works in which he cuts intricate designs into canvases of faux fur. The concept was inspired by his mother, a beautician. “I was thinking, ‘What else can I use to draw?’ And I was thinking about barbers – they cut into people’s hair, but it’s temporary. So, can we make it permanent?” he says. “I was just drawing with clippers instead of charcoal.” Rodriguez’s latest body of work involves yet another unique medium: charcoal mixed with linseed oil. He’s applying

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To watch a video of Rodriguez, view his profile at “Through his search for better understanding his identity, his journey has brought him into multiple art mediums. If you viewed his work during the CAN Triennial, you would see Stephen Bivens brightly colored faux fur works that were intricately shaved and layered. Also around that time, he dedicated time completing a mural next to Astoria Market in Detroit-Shoreway that depicts of Xochipilli, the Aztec god of beauty, poetry and dance. His homage is beautifully rendered in his striking color palette and the piece seems to undulate on the wall. We have been collectors of his work for years. We’ve seen his ideas change, but each time we see something new, we see something more refined and interesting.” Adam Tully & John Farina, owners, Maria Neil Art Project his “charcoal paint,” as he calls it, to found wood panels, metal objects, paper and fiber to conceal the identity of its form in a uniform black coating. The masking darkness of that medium is intentional. In stark contrast to an earlier series consisting of brightly colored portraits of various Latino identities or his vibrant 2018 mural “La Ofrenda De Xochipilli” in the Gordon Square Arts District, both of which outwardly celebrate Latino culture, these new works – his Black Sun Series – convey sorrow, gloom and introspection stemming from personal hardships. The relatable emotions emanate from his canvas and swirl in viewers’ minds and hearts. “I’ve been going through a dark period of my life for the past year-and-a-half that has culminated in ending of my marriage,” he says, adding he’s also still coming to terms with learning at 21 he was adopted. “I’m also learning about how many of us adoptees experience trauma when we are separated from our birth mothers at birth. “So, this new work is delving into my subconscious to face a reality that I’ve been fearful of facing. Between the trauma of discovering late in life my adoptive status to my current divorce, this new series of work has taken on a therapeutic nature of healing for me,” he says. “The feeling of covering objects or boards in black is symbolic of my memories and feelings buried deep in my subconscious.” In that way, art is a safe space for Rodriguez. In the wake of learning of his adoption, as he wrestled with questions of identity and belonging (he was raised by a Puerto Rican family in Lorain but learned he was born in Mexico), art afforded him an opportunity to express himself and share his journey. When he isn’t making art, Rodriguez is helping display it at the Cleveland Museum of Art, where he’s a mount maker within the exhibition and design department. In that role, he makes armature, custom brackets or whatever other support structures might be needed to make safe the relics the museum receives and displays. Rodriguez credits having so many different materials in his hands at CMA with challenging him to try different things in his own practice – one of many inspirations that lead him to continually reinvent himself and his artwork “One of the biggest critiques I got from one of the professors I loved was, ‘Danté, you have to pick a style and focus,’” he says. “You know, I’m not interested in creating a brand of


Above: “Self-Portrait,” 2017, charcoal and linseed oil on Yupo paper. Opposite page: “Being 12,” 2017, charcoal and linseed oil on Yupo paper. my art, I’m just interested in exploring what I’m feeling, what I’m thinking – because how I thought 10 years ago is totally different from now. We’re constantly growing and always gaining new knowledge or insight, and I want my work to express that. ... I don’t want to be stuck.”


DANTÉ RODRIGUEZ • “Fabulism” will be on view from May 9 to June 28 at YARDS Projects in Worthington Yards, 725 Johnson Court, Cleveland. • “Unidos per el Arte” will be on view from May 17 to June 21 in Gallery 215 at 78th Street Studios, 1300 W. 78th St., Cleveland. • “America’s Well-Armed Militias” will be on view from Aug. 16 to Sept. 27 at SPACES, 2900 Detroit Ave., Cleveland.

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Resides & Creates

Learned BFA from Cleveland Institute of Art

Story and photography by Michael C. Butz


o indulge in an Alex Overbeck drawing is to enter another world – a complex, multi-layered world in which fantastical creatures traverse landscapes of perfectly patterned shapes and rich, vibrant hues, a world in which tranquility arises from collision between organization and disorder. The scenes are surreal and unpacking them becomes an enveloping – and satisfying – endeavor. “It becomes kind of a submersive experience just on this piece of paper,” Overbeck says. “I enjoy that. I enjoy the fact that you can play with everything there in your own way. I’m not really aiming to say anything specific, but I do want people to find a little bit of themselves in the work.” In each piece exists liminal spaces where it isn’t necessarily clear what’s happening but something about it is intriguing. It’s from those spaces Overbeck’s art connects emotionally. “I try to find this weird middle ground between serenity and mania. That feeling of peace you get from that meditative aspect, meditation, or just in finding some sort of balance in yourself, and then also, the absolute insanity we live in on a day-to-day basis,” she says. “I guess it’s a way of processing that – the insanity I feel inside myself, but I think everybody feels (that) from time to time.” Drawing has been an interest of Overbeck’s as far back as her childhood in North Muskegon, Mich. Her mother tells her she drew her first face when she was 3 years old. “It looked like an alien, I won’t lie,” she says, “but it had eyes, an actual head, hair and everything – it’s just really squiggly.” But when she attended and graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy, a fine arts boarding school in Michigan, it was as a vocalperformance major, and in college, she continued to pursue music.

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She left school after a couple of years and later worked in the catering business around Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. While at work, she’d often see Cleveland Institute of Art students carrying their work around the neighborhood, which inspired her to pursue a career in art. When she graduated in May 2018, her BFA was in both drawing and painting. “I’ve always been more of a drawer than a painter,” she says, “but I wanted to double major in painting and drawing. Drawing


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was a strong skill set I had but I wanted to strengthen my understanding of color and material handling.” Overbeck still sings, and in fact, her creativity doesn’t end there. In recent years, she became interested in flow arts – namely hula-hooping. To pursue those interests, she joined Anadano, a group of artists that performs and puts on workshops at festivals. In some ways, she says, hula-hooping provides a brief respite from drawing and painting. Being an architect of artistic worlds can be draining and exacting work. As Overbeck begins to execute an idea, she has a sense of what she hopes takes shape but acknowledges the process is pretty open-ended. It begins with general, gestural mark-making with loose ink and unfolds from there. “Alex’s densely detailed, variegated drawings are portals to secret universes. The profuse mark-making and plays on spatial depth and scale shifts are a primer on world creating. Alex’s work never hesitates to get astounded reactions from viewers. Utilizing chance and gravity as stepping-off points, the artist meticulously builds kaleidoscopic mindscapes where the unexpected is always just around the corner.” Tony Ingrisano, assistant professor, Cleveland Institute of Art


“It’s a lot of repetitious mark-making, mostly because I love the way it looks. I think it’s stunning. Dot stippling is pretty common, a lot of cross-hatching with some shading. You’ll see it in a lot of this work. It’s all done by hand,” she explains. “It has this sort of ‘staticky realism’ to it with all the accumulated marks, it has this really cool optical effect I’m attracted to.” Along the way, and in every piece, she says, she discovers something new. That dynamic stokes her creative fire and encourages her to expand her artistic practice. “I’m always trying to push it in a different way, experiment a little bit,” she says. “There’s so much play with it. I get to play with colors, I get to do whatever I want on this blank surface, and I feel like that’s the most rewarding aspect of it. “It can be frustrating at times, especially when I’m on deadline and I’m like pushing myself to work hours and hours and hours at a time just to finish it, but seeing the finished result gives me that feeling of satisfaction that I made something beautiful, something cool. ... That’s a good feeling.”



June 9

Spring 2019 | Canvas | 33


Resides & Creates

Learned BFA from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in Alfred, N.Y.

Story and photography by Michael C. Butz


lla Medicus wants to make you question your surroundings. Her largely sculpture-based practice revolves around manipulating the mundane to toy with your sense of familiarity and challenge your notions of worth and functionality. Her artistic distortion is aimed at everyday objects ranging from elongated bar codes and Amazon boxes to mechanized plastic grocery bags. Each is recognizable but no longer operational – at least not in their customary way, and that’s the idea. The objects often take on new meanings. For example, that motor-powered plastic bag moved around a gallery floor and was playfully anthropomorphized by viewers rather than avoided, as a wind-blown plastic bag on the street – similar in appearance – might be. That’s the type of re-evaluative, perspective-shifting interaction Medicus seeks. In a show on view through May at The Sculpture Center in Cleveland, “SubFunction,” she employs a vending machine filled with snack-like objects to explore themes of worth and the value of art. “The objects are technically art objects that are being sold out of (the vending machine) because I’ve altered them, and when you think about buying art, there’s a whole realm of who has access to buying art, who’s selling art (and) what are the prices,” she says. “Putting little objects into a vending machine is like saying, ‘Anyone can buy this.’” In the same show, she uses side-by-side gumball dispensers – one filled with plastic capsules of American soil, the other filled with capsules of soil from Paris, where she recently completed a monthlong residency at the Cité Internationale des

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Left: Above:

Opposite page:

Arts – to question Americans’ idealized perceptions of The City of Lights. “Things from Paris are seen as romantic and special, so I was thinking, ‘How can I talk about that?’” she says. “I was looking a lot at things that were on the ground – the actual soil, litter, things that were discarded – and thinking, ‘What if those things are put on a pedestal instead of the automatic ones, like the Eiffel Tower?’” Sculpture is the conduit for Medicus’ conceptually nuanced projects but it wasn’t her first medium of interest. “I thought I was going to be a painter when I went to college, but then I was exposed to sculpture during my schooling and started realizing it made more sense to my mind and I could use objects in different ways,” she says, noting another favored medium is video. “Every project I do is different. When someone asks, ‘What kind of artist are you?’ it’s hard for me to say I’m a sculptor or I’m a video artist because everything is really fluid to me. It really depends on what message I want to have – that’s what determines the medium.” Process is important to Medicus. She credits conversations with peers – whether her classmates when in school or current artistic collaborator, Eric D. Charlton – with helping her projects take shape. That isn’t to say there haven’t been growing pains. She acknowledges her overall creative process is something to which she’s still adjusting. “I had a hard time understanding and accepting the way that I work, which is very sporadic. I’ll have an idea or be influenced by something I see, and then things kind of come together,” she says. “I used to think that to be an artist you had to be in your studio laboring away for hours over one thing, and I used to


beat myself up about that because I saw a lot of people who did that in school and in life but I could never really make myself do that. And then I realized, ‘OK, I don’t have to do that and can work the way I actually work,’ which is pretty random, and with strange inspiration, suddenly, and then for a while, nothing. (laughs) I’m coming to terms with that.” If other budding artists are facing similar struggles, Medicus hopes they can follow her example. “For young artists, if (you) feel stuck in ‘you have to work this one way’ (or) ‘you have to make your work look like it’s made by one person,’ you don’t have to do that. It doesn’t matter. You can do whatever you want – and you should do whatever you want because that’s where something interesting will happen.” “Ella Medicus’ artwork flirts with both humor and the sublime, subtly tweaking mundane objects to unexpected and often hilarious effect. Her work is quiet and initially unassuming, but closer inspection reveals the artist’s subverted sense of humor through mimicry or manipulation of everyday materials.” Gianna Commito, professor of painting and drawing, Kent State University



Spring 2019 | Canvas | 35

A “Nick Cave: Feat.,” the latest blockbuster exhibition at the Akron Art Museum, remains on view there through June 2. Left: Nick Cave, Soundsuit, 2013, mixed media including mannequin, ceramic birds and metal flowers, 96½ x 37 x 43 in., private collection, © Nick Cave, installation photo: Mike Crupi Photography.

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Art What makes an exhibition a smash? Officials from the Akron

Art Museum, Cleveland Museum of Art and Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage offer insight By Carlo Wolff



ick one: An art show is a hit when a) tickets are immediately impossible to get; b) you have to stand in line to get into the museum; c) once inside, you’re in a long queue to check out an installation; d) the museum is wall-to-wall crowded at an opening reception bursting with people taking selfies; or e) it’s the talk of the town or trending on social media.

Pick any or all, because at least one characterizes a blockbuster show like “Feat.,” a mind-bending show by Chicago imagineer Nick Cave running through June 2 at the Akron Art Museum, or “Infinity Mirrors,” the immersive exhibition by Japanese visionary Yayoi Kusama mounted last summer at the Cleveland Museum of Art. The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage hopes all of those markers come into play for “Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music,” a September 2019 to February 2020 show coming to the Beachwood institution from the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, where it was organized. While CMA and the Akron museum are more broadly based than the Maltz Museum, which is dedicated to Jewish culture, spokespeople for all three want their shows to have the broadest appeal possible. REACHING AUDIENCES How to effect that varies by institution, but planning years out is not only key, it’s the norm. Other variables include show availability, cost, community impact, whether the originating muse-


um is willing to loan out the show and whether the art is sturdy enough to travel. “We want to do shows that have broad audience appeal, shows that will be popular,” says Emily Liebert, contemporary art curator at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Such shows typically feature artists “who are well-known or household names or have themes with a lot of relevance to what people are thinking about, to the zeitgeist.” Costs of a show, “blockbuster” or lesser, involves securing the loan, research, travel associated with acquiring it, programming and marketing. The process starts with a suggestion. “Each curator in the museum has a specialty, so they propose exhibitions that fall within their specialty,” Liebert says. The museum director, the exhibition department and the curator ultimately determine the positioning of the show in the museum. Was the success of the Kusama show a surprise? “I didn’t think at the beginning of the Kusama tour it was anticipated how popular it would be,” Liebert says. But she also notes that the show, which attracted more than 120,000 visitors from all over the United States and 23 other countries, “was

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Jessi Melcer / Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage “Leonard Bernstein: The Power Of Music,” shown here at National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, where it originated, will be on view this fall at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Beachwood. very popular” when it opened where it originated: The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. The only Midwestern museum to host the Kusama show, CMA featured seven of the artist’s “infinity mirror rooms,” including the Cleveland exclusive, “Where the Lights in My Heart Go.” CAPTURING IMAGINATIONS At the Maltz Museum, David Schafer, managing director, and Lindsay Miller, manager of collections & exhibitions, regularly bat around ideas for exhibitions they learn about online, through friends of the museum who act as “informal scouts,” and as Miller says, by “keeping an eye out for anything that sounds like it fits in with our mission.” Is there an audience? Can we afford it? Those are the bottom-line questions, Miller says. Among other considerations: travel, installation, insurance and marketing. Whether originating at the Maltz Museum or not, show costs range from $100,000 for something smaller to $2 million for an ambitious show the Maltz creates, she says. She and Schafer both hope “Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music” is a smash hit like the massively collabora-

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tive “Violins of Hope” in late 2015, the ecumenical “A Blessing to One Another: Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People” (most of summer 2012) and the internationally planned “Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann” (late February to late July 2016). “Violins” drew more than 15,000, the Eichmann show drew 15,000, and the pope exhibit drew 11,000. “‘Violins of Hope’ captured the imagination of Northeast Ohio,” Schafer says. “We knew it was going to be a successful show, but it exceeded our expectations, with people coming back two and three times to see it.” A first for the Maltz Museum, it originated there and involved collaboration among the museum, Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Orchestra. Another totally unexpected blockbuster, says Schafer, was “Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People,” a show originating from Xavier University in Cincinnati. It had been traveling for seven years and the Maltz Museum was contacted to be the last U.S. venue to host it; it’s now in Poland, “gifted to the people of Poland.” It had broad appeal, drawing from all over the Northeast. Like “Violins,” “Operation Finale,”

which focused on the capture of key Nazi mechanic Adolf Eichmann, joined various parties, including the Maltz Museum; Beit Hatfusot – The Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv, where it originated; and the Mossad, Israel’s security force. The Maltz Museum customized it. There is no in-house curator at the Maltz, so it turns to different ones depending on the project, Schafer says. The National Museum of American Jewish History is curating the Bernstein exhibition, which was on view there last year. The Maltz will be its third showing. Miller says the installation will require the construction of interior walls, something that also had to be done for the Eichmann exhibit. SERVING COMMUNITIES Like CMA’s Liebert, Ellen Rudolph, chief curator at the Akron Art Museum, wants to present shows with broad appeal, but that also speak to social issues. “While potential attendance numbers are an important measure in considering an exhibition, we don’t differentiate between blockbuster and non-blockbuster exhibitions,” says Rudolph, who joined the Akron museum in 2017 from the Maltz Museum, where she had been

executive director. “We always seek to present the most relevant, interesting and high-quality work for the community we serve.” A long-time fan of Cave, Rudolph learned his show was available while discussing the possibility of another one with the chief curator of the Frist Art Museum in Nashville, where “Feat.” was on exhibit for nearly eight months starting in late November 2017. “We felt Nick Cave’s work was the right fit for the Akron Art Museum because it combines visual wonder, found objects that are familiar and personal to many people, and an immersive experience for viewers. And the social justice aspect of the work offers the opportunity to utilize the art as a catalyst for conversation, so it’s visually exciting, speaks to Akron as a maker community and has deep meaning that relates to our world today.” Cost is always a major factor, and Akron “can’t show three very expensive shows in one year, so we have to spread out that resource investment,” says Rudolph, who worked with the museum director and the design and marketing departments to position the Cave show within the museum’s overall program. “We tease out themes of the work, identify potential stakeholders and look at how we can best engage our community through a variety of programs including talks, performances and hands-on activities.” All these executives suggest locale also influences the decision to mount a show, and they hope an exhibition plays well to the hometown crowd – and beyond. Still, as places vary, so do the marketing and programming of art. “A blockbuster for The Met (The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City) is very different for the Akron Art Museum,” Rudolph says. “Blockbusters are typically associated with household-name artists that have worldwide appeal and are expected to bring in masses of audiences, and in turn, profits from admission fees, memberships purchased, store merchandise (sold), and food and beverage sales. “Publicity certainly goes along with that – both in the media and in social media. Today, it’s the cachet of posting selfies in front of – or inside – certain artworks. Attendance and publicity go hand-in-hand and are key to defining the success of an exhibition for sure, but so are other variables, such as the imprint an exhibition leaves on the community.”


Above: Below:


BUZZ-GENERATING BLOCKBUSTERS Ongoing exhibitions attracting large audiences and upcoming exhibitions expected to make a big splash include: Akron Art Museum

June 2

June 29

Cleveland Museum of Art Sept. 22 Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage May 12

July 7

June 30


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Events Calendar


(first Fridays) (second Fridays)



Ingenuity Cleveland Dreamer’s Bal 18 Art Fur Animals 18 BAYarts Get Out! Festival 18-19 Rooms To Let: CLE 18-19 Cleveland Asian Festival 31-2 Little Italy Summer Art Walk JUNE 1

Main Street Kent Art & Wine Festival 1-2 Art in the Village with Craft Marketplace 1-2 Hessler Street Fair 7-8 Canton Blues Fest 8 Parade the Circle 8-9 LaureLive 8-9 Valley Art Center’s Art by the Falls 11 Hip 2B Square 13-15 Avon Duck Tape Festival

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15 15 15

BAYarts Art & Music Festival Larchmere PorchFest Wildwood Fine Arts & Wine Festival 21-22 Burning River Fest 22 Cleveland Museum of Art Solstice 27-29 Tri-C JazzFest 28-30 Boston Mills Artfest Show 1 29 Waterloo Arts Fest JULY 5-7 Boston Mills Artfest Show 2 6 Larchmere Festival 12-14 Cain Park Arts Festival 13-14 Music in the Valley Folk & Wine Festival 13-14 YSU Summer Festival of the Arts 15 Medina Art in the Park 15-21 Medina County Arts Week 19-21 Painesville Party in the Park 20 Willoughby ArtsFest 20 Headlands BeachFest 23-10 ADF in CLE Summer Dance Festival 26-27 Summer Market (Avon Lake) 27-28 Akron Arts Expo AUGUST 3 Lakewood Arts Festival 4 Chardon Arts Festival 4 Nature Arts Festival (Geauga Park District) 5 Warehouse District Street Festival 11 Cedar Fairmount Summer Festival 17 art-A-palooza (Green) 17 Blue Sky Folk Festival

Presented by

17 Painesville Art in the Park 17 PorchRokr Music and Art Festival 17 SPARX City Hop 17-18 Flats Festival of the Arts 23-25 Rubber City Jazz & Blues Festival 24-25 Cleveland Garlic Festival 25-26 Art on the Green (Hudson) SEPTEMBER 5-15 Cleveland Jewish FilmFest 7-8 Kent Art in the Park 8 Berea Arts Fest 12-14 Heights Music Hop 12-20 Greater Cleveland Urban Film Festival 14 Rocky River Fall Arts Festival 14-15 CMA Chalk Festival 15 Wooster Arts Jazz Fest 20-21 FireFish Festival 21 Music on the Porches (Peninsula) 21-22 Tremont Arts & Culture Festival 22 Ohio City Street Festival 27-29 IngenuityFest 2019: Dreamscapes OCTOBER 2-6 Chagrin Documentary Film Fest 3-6 Ohio Mart (Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens)


Dates of events listed above subject to change. To stay connected with frequent updates about events, museum exhibitions and gallery receptions, sign up for the biweekly Canvas e-newsletter at

Events Calendar

Presented by

48TH ANNUAL BOSTON MILLS ARTFEST 7100 Riverview Road, Peninsula Friday to Sunday, June 28-30 Friday to Sunday, July 5-7 P: 800-875-4241 W: IG: @bmbw_av Nationally recognized, the 48th Annual Boston Mills Artfest takes place over two weekends – June 28-30 and July 5-7 – featuring a variety of artists from around the country showcasing various mediums and styles. Food, wine and craft beer also available. It’s the best way to celebrate summer and fine art!

CLEVELAND HISTORY DAYS Friday, June 21, to Sunday, June 30 Phone: 216-520-1825 Website: Ten days and almost 40 ways to explore and experience Cleveland’s history! For more information, call or visit our website.

DANCECLEVELAND ADF in CLE Summer Dance Festival & National Dance Day Playhouse Square, 1501 Euclid Ave., Cleveland Tuesday, July 23, to Saturday, Aug. 10 P: 216-241-6000 (tickets) W: (tickets, registration) FB:

HUDSON GALLERY HOP June 14, Aug. 9, Oct. 4 and Dec. 13: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. P: 234-284-9019 W: FB: The Hudson Gallery Hop is an interactive event that promotes the arts and encourages creativity in all. Visit Hudson Fine Art & Framing, Fair Trade on Main, Uncommon ART, The Red Twig and Standing Rock Gallery. The Hop runs 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on June 14, Aug. 9, Oct. 4 and Dec. 13.


Celebrate National Dance Day during American Dance Festival in Cleveland (ADF in CLE)! Join us at Playhouse Square July 27 for free community dance classes starting at 10 a.m., student dance showcase and a ticketed performance of Philadelphia’s premier contemporary ballet company, BalletX, at 7:30 p.m. in the Ohio Theatre, followed by a Silent Disco on the plaza!

Event listings are provided by advertisers.

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Events Calendar

Presented by

Inclusion Vases by artist Dustin Wagner.

HOWARD ALAN EVENTS 29th Annual Art in the Village with Craft Marketplace Saturday, June 1: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, June 2: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Legacy Village, 25001 Cedar Road, Lyndhurst P: 561-746-6615 W: FB: Join us for the 29th Annual Art in the Village with Craft Marketplace. Hundreds of artists will display their works, encompassing fine jewelry, exquisite works of art, and handcrafted apparel and décor. The festival also includes a craft market with handmade organic soaps, live plants, tasty edibles, affordable and practical artisancreated works and more. Free and open to the public.

NORTHCOAST PROMOTIONS, INC. P.O. Box 609401, Cleveland P: 216-570-8201 W: Northcoast Promotions, Inc. specializes in art shows, craft fairs and festivals. Please visit us at Walkabout Tremont Second Fridays, Third Fridays at 78th Street Studios and every Saturday from Memorial Day to Labor Day at The Old Firehouse Winery in Geneva-on-the-Lake. Visit our website for more events and details.

NORTH UNION FARMERS MARKET Legacy Village, 25001 Cedar Road, Lyndhurst P: 216-751-7656 W: FB: Don’t miss North Union Farmers Market at Legacy Village on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 16 through Sept. 29 in the Capital Grille parking lot! Freshly grown fruits and vegetables from your favorite farmers. Bakers will serve up crusty artisan baked goods, while local artists display handcrafted clothing, jewelry, artwork and more.

VALLEY ART CENTER’S 36TH ANNUAL ART BY THE FALLS Saturday and Sunday, June 8-9 P: 440-247-7507 W: In scenic Riverside Park in downtown Chagrin Falls. More than 120 fine artists and craftspeople presenting thousands of works to fall in love with. Demos, live performances, food trucks and vendors. Visit for more information.

TAKE A HIKE: CLEVELAND WALKING TOURS Tuesday, May 14, to Sunday, Sept. 15 P: 216-771-1994 W: Take a Hike®, a program of The Historic Gateway District Development Corp., offers six free 90-minute guided walking tours: Civic Center, Warehouse District, Playhouse Square, Gateway District, University Circle and Canal Basin Park. Tours feature actors portraying important Clevelanders from the past. Explore and learn about your city in a whole new way!

Event listings are provided by advertisers.

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Donna Coleman: The Three Graces and Other Beauties painting

April 27–June 16, 2019 Treacy Ziegler: States of Waiting u sculpture

June 22–August 11, 2019 Picturing Light: The Paintings of Richard Vaux painting



DRAFTING Dimensions Contemporary Midwest Ceramics On View

5/03/19 through 7/21/19


Experience American ceramics in a bold new exhibition! Five acclaimed artists push the boundaries of clay sculpture with dramatic design, color, and form often inspired through painting, drawing, or printmaking. DRAFTING Dimensions lets you discover the creative process and the expression of ideas in vivid new fashion. AL S O O N V I E W. . . Betw een Wo r l d s: John Jude Palencar Malcolm Mobutu Smith (American). Beon Cloud Scoop, 2018. Stoneware, 34 x 29 x 10 ½ in. Image copyright © Malcolm Mobutu Smith. SPON S ORE D B Y:

The Hoover Foundation

O r g an i zed Amb i g u i ty: G ri dworks of Davi d K unt zm an F o o d fo r T h o u g h t: Cel ebrat i ng F ood i n A rt @CanvasCLE

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Tom Wren / NT Live


TO SCREEN From London to Cleveland, NT Live offers a new platform for an old art form By Bob Abelman


he notion that art imitates life – that creative work reflects and refracts the world around us – is as old as Aristotle’s “Poetics” (c. 335 B.C.), the earliest surviving treatise on the imaginative process. A less romantic observation, but one that is just as true, is that art often imitates art, where the original imaginative idea of one person is emulated reverentially, borrowed unceremoniously or pilfered outright by someone else. While this practice is no doubt as old as Aristotle, it is most famously traced to William Shakespeare, who turned the pages of others’ literary works into bits and pieces of his own. It’s well known that Shakespeare took from Geoffrey Chaucer, Edmond Spenser and Arthur Brooke, among other poets. And recently, a long-forgotten, handwritten document from 1576 by one George North has been found to be the likely source for more than 20 monologues and key passages from Shakespeare’s plays, including “Macbeth,” “King

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Lear,” “Henry VI” and the “Now is the winter of our discontent” soliloquy from “Richard III.” Ironically, IMDb – an online database of films, television programs, home videos, video games and internet streams – lists 1,095 entries that emulate, borrow from or pilfer in some form the works of Shakespeare. This number is steadily increasing thanks to the National Theatre in London which, in June will celebrate its 10th year of adapting theatrical productions for the big screen – an endeavor that has included much of Shakespeare’s canon. “Immature poets imitate, mature poets steal, bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different,” noted author T. S. Eliot, who is

known to have borrowed an occasional phrase, line or reference himself. FROM STAGE TO SCREEN Films rooted in works from the page and the stage have attracted film audiences for decades and account for nearly two-thirds of Oscar Best Picture winners. Some plays turned into movies – including “Arsenic and Old Lace” (1944), “Dial M For Murder” (1954) and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (1966) – have become film classics. But stage-to-screen adaptations have not escaped the watchful eye of theater critics who argue that the effusion of drama and sense of spontaneity that sweeps across the stage during a live performance is lost on film. And rich dialogue – the bread and butter of stage plays – easily morphs into dull moments in this more visually demanding medium. Stage-to-screen storytelling has also been harshly criticized for turning the playwright’s work into a product that

best defines the vision of its Hollywood director. Even the films just cited are more often recognized as the works of Frank Capra, Alfred Hitchcock and Mike Nichols than that of Joseph Kesselring, Frederick Knott and Edward Albee, respectively. Author Virginia Woolf deplored the oversimplification of literary work in its transposition to film, calling the upstart movie industry a “parasite,” literature its “prey” and stage productions its “victim” in a 1926 article in The New Republic. The transference of musical theater to the big screen seems to have fared better, but even the highly successful 2012 film version of the Broadway musical “Les Misérables” – which earned $148 million domestic and $283 million worldwide – was met by disparaging reviews regarding its cinematic storytelling. The New York Times called out the overt intrusion of the camera, noting the film’s “inability to leave any lily ungilded” and the failure to “direct a scene without tilting or hurtling or throwing the camera around.” New York magazine called its production values a “tasteless bombardment” and The Hollywood Reporter referred to the film’s visual approach as “laboriously repetitive.” Critics haven’t been any kinder to recent efforts to bring live musical theater to the small screen, including NBC’s broadcasts of “The Sound of Music” (“As lifeless as those alpine backdrops,” Variety), “Peter Pan” (“Fails to take flight,” NY Daily News) and “The Wiz” (“A hot mess,” The Daily Beast). The highly promoted $10 million production of “Hairspray Live!” in 2016 employed 13 digital cameras, a cast and crew of 700, and the massive soundstages of Universal Studios in California. And yet, with only 8.9 million viewers, it was the lowest rated of all the live broadcast musicals to date. That is, until Fox’s presentation of “Rent” this past January, which attracted only 3.1 million viewers. Fraught with what Time magazine referred to as “dizzying camera angles,” “hyperactive editing (that) rarely allowed for a moment’s pause for reaction shots or to let songs sink in,” and “a swooping Steadicam (that) killed the emotional impact of the show,” the production led to NBC pulling the live-TV treatment of “Hair” from its upcoming spring schedule. Clearly, art imitating art isn’t always an equitable exchange.


Ludovic Des Cognets / NT Live Above: A behind-the-scenes look at the NT Live Production of “Hamlet.” Below: A behind-the-scenes look at the NT Live Production of “The Tragedy of King Richard the Second.” Opposite page: A behind-the-scenes look at the NT Live Production of “The Madness of King George III.”

Marc Brenner / NT Live NT LIVE AND CLEVELAND CINEMAS The National Theatre in London has attempted to bridge this chasm in storytelling modalities and overcome the complexities of live productions by taking a different approach to adapting stage productions for the big screen, called NT Live. And Cleveland Cinemas, which is owned by Jon Forman of JRF Management in Cleveland Heights and operates a total of 40 screens at six locations in Northeast Ohio, has been one of its local beneficiaries. Inspired by the Metropolitan Opera, which had pioneered the concept in 2006, the National Theatre launched a live broadcast of its 2009 production of Jean Racine’s tragedy “Phèdre” to local cinemas. It did so with the intention of capturing the integrity of the stage work and replicate, as much as possible, the experience of actually sitting in the theater watching a live performance. The NT Live broadcast was seen by more

than 50,000 people, which doubled in one night the audience for the play’s entire three-month run. “I recall watching that show myself,” says Dave Huffman, Cleveland Cinemas’ director of marketing. “There was a decent crowd for it and we felt like we were off to a good start.” Since then, NT Live has broadcast live more than 40 productions while being performed in front of an in-house audience at the National Theatre, and on occasion, other theaters in the UK, the U.S. and elsewhere. To date, its broadcasts have been experienced by nearly 9 million people in more than 2,500 venues around the world, including the Cedar Lee Theatre in Cleveland Heights and Chagrin Cinemas in Chagrin Falls. Marketing researchers have found that, far from cannibalizing audiences of local professional theater, NT Live has on average grown audiences for

Spring 2019 | Canvas | 47

local theaters in London and reported a 6.4 percent increase in local theater attendance in areas nearest an NT Live screening in the year following the broadcasts. Art imitating art, it seems, can be synergistic. “And we find that they can attract people to our (independent and foreign film) theater that may not otherwise come to us,” Huffman says. “While most of the NT Live films skew a bit older, reflective of the theater-going crowd, when we’ve shown things like Danny Boyle’s ‘Frankenstein’ (featuring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller), we definitely see a younger crowd.” METHOD BEHIND THE MADNESS Five to eight high-definition digital cameras, including one that offers gentle tracking shots, are strategically positioned throughout the National Theatre so as to be unobtrusive in their presence and relatively inconspicuous in their coverage. Shots from various camera positions are subtly cut live into a single feed by a camera director, giving the cinema audience access to the best seat in the house at all times. For these productions, the theater itself is transformed into something of a live TV studio, and while adjustments are made for lighting, sound and makeup, few changes are made in staging in order to preserve the integrity of the original theatrical design and transpose the stage picture to the screen as effectively as possible. At most, the camera offers heightened intimacy and accentuNT Live

ates the nuances of the actors’ performances and the stage director’s vision. And the actors are always reminded that they are doing a stage performance, not making a movie. Satellites allow the productions to be filmed live and simulcast across the UK and Europe. In the U.S. and Canada, the majority of venues show it on the same day as the live filming while others in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Mexico, India, Russia, Japan, China, Sweden and South America show it on a delayed basis within a few weeks of the original broadcast. NT Live productions are seen in 65 countries. The National Theatre produces about 25 new productions each year, which vary from Shakespeare and classics to new plays, so the goal of NT Live is to offer a microcosm of its repertoire and showcase the diversity of what the theater can do. “We used to think the ultimate success was someone seeing an NT Live, then coming to the theater,” says executive producer David Sabel on the NT Live website. “Now we see it as a success in its own right. Our audience isn’t just about the bricks and mortar. It’s much, much bigger than that.” Early on, NT Live encountered skepticism about how the live broadcast would work. “Most people, and I mean myself included,” adds Sabel, “believed that theater when it’s filmed becomes very static, very deadening and it’s so the antithesis of the art form.” Not anymore.


NT LIVE IN NORTHEAST OHIO Upcoming NT Live broadcasts and the Cleveland-area cinemas showing them: “All About Eve” May 7 May 12 at Cedar Lee Theatre in Cleveland Heights “All About Eve,” the stage adaptation of Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s Oscar-winning 1950 backstage film classic, touches on celebrity, gossip, roaring ego, ambition, vanity and insecurity. It tells the story of Margo Channing, a legendary star of the theater, and her biggest fan, the young and beautiful Eve. “The Audience” June 3 at Cinemark Tinseltown USA and XD in North Canton, Cinemark at Valley View and XD in Valley View, Atlas Cinemas Great Lakes Stadium 16 in Mentor, Regal Cinemas Crocker Park Stadium 16 & IMAX in Westlake, Regal Hudson Cinema 10 in Hudson, Regal Richmond Town Square Stadium 20 in Richmond Heights and Silverspot Cinema Orange Village in Orange June 4 at Cedar Lee Theatre in Cleveland Heights and Chagrin Cinemas in Chagrin Falls For 60 years, the queen has met with each of her 12 prime ministers in a private weekly meeting. This meeting is known as The Audience. Through these private audiences, we see glimpses of the woman behind the crown and witness the moments that shaped a monarch. Academy Award winner Helen Mirren plays Queen Elizabeth II. “Hamlet” July 8 at Cinemark Tinseltown USA and XD in North Canton, Cinemark at Valley View and XD in Valley View, Atlas Cinemas Great Lakes Stadium 16 in Mentor, Regal Cinemas Crocker Park Stadium 16 & IMAX in Westlake, Regal Hudson Cinema 10 in Hudson, Regal Richmond Town Square Stadium 20 in Richmond Heights and Silverspot Cinema Orange Village in Orange July 9 July 14 at Cedar Lee Theatre in Cleveland Heights and Chagrin Cinemas in Chagrin Falls

Benedict Cumberbatch in “Hamlet”

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Benedict Cumberbatch takes on the title role in Shakespeare’s great tragedy. As a country arms itself for war, a family tears itself apart. Forced to avenge his father’s death but paralyzed by the task ahead, Hamlet rages against the impossibility of his predicament, threatening both his sanity and the security of the state.


Tickets at


oil paintings sculpture photography mixed media porcelain jewelry glass wood more



Bright Water Lilies of Color by Isabelle Dup uy

1 4 Bell Street

Chagrin Falls

Mon Closed Tues-Thurs 1 0 -6

8 4 4 .BE.GIFTS Fri 1 0 -5

Sat 1 0 -6 Sun 1 2 -5

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CURATOR CORNER “Snap The Whip” by Winslow Homer

By Becky Raspe Most everyone has fond memories of partaking in childhood activities, from reading beloved books to playing outside with friends. Winslow Homer focuses on the latter in one of his most celebrated paintings, “Snap The Whip,” which depicts a group of boys playing a game by the same name – a game that to this day remains a favorite during elementary school recesses across the country. The boys, who are running hand-inhand in a lush open field in front of a red schoolhouse, are the embodiment of innocence. Not only was such an idealistic depiction welcomed by post-Civil War Americans, it continues to resonate today thanks to the simplicity it portrays and nostalgia it invokes. “Snap The Whip” is a highlight of the main collection of The Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown. Louis A. Zona, the museum’s executive director and chief curator, shared his thoughts about the 19th century piece. Canvas: What makes this piece noteworthy? What stands out to you, and what should viewers note when they see it at the museum? Zona: The painting was painted by Winslow Homer in 1872. He is considered by most historians as America’s greatest 19th century painter, and “Snap The Whip” is considered to be his greatest work.

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What response or emotions does this piece invoke? Zona: Homer was to painting what Mark Twain was to literature. It shows what life was like in America after the Civil War. Homer has captured the wonders of youth at a special moment in time. What’s noteworthy about the materials the artist used or process he employed for this piece? Zona: Homer was a master painter. He utilized traditional material – oil on linen canvas and organic varnish. How does this piece fit into the artist’s larger body of work? Where was he in his career when this piece was created? Zona: Homer was born in 1836 and died in 1910. “Snap The Whip” was painted by him at mid-career in 1872. He was much celebrated in his lifetime as America’s greatest artist throughout his career and after. What was happening in the art world – or the world in general – at the time that might’ve influenced this piece? Zona: America had just lived through a horrible Civil War. “Snap The Whip” is what post-war serenity looked like. Even during the war, Homer presented a picture of what was happening on the home front while the war raged on.

Along those lines, how might this piece have influenced or inspired other artists after they saw it? Zona: Homer was considered to be America’s premier painter in his lifetime. Artists were drawn to his work – then and now. He was a great influence on the art of his day and present day. What makes this piece relevant today? Zona: It shows great art is timeless. It speaks of universal concepts we all can relate to. Anything else you’d like to mention about this piece? Zona: “Snap The Whip” is the centerpiece of a collection which is considered one of America’s premier collections of American art.


“SNAP THE WHIP” Artist: Winslow Homer (1836 -1910) Details: “Snap The Whip,” 1872; oil on canvas; 22 x 36 inches; signed, lower right. Image courtesy of The Butler Institute of American Art. Acquired: Purchased by the museum’s founder Joseph G. Butler Jr. in 1919 and is part of the museum’s main collection. Find it: “Snap The Whip” hangs in The Butler’s Cushwa Gallery on a wall featuring the museum’s late 19th century “genre” works.



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

ALLEN MEMORIAL ART MUSEUM 87 N. Main St., Oberlin P: 440-775-8665 W:

ARTISTS ARCHIVES OF THE WESTERN RESERVE 1834 E. 123rd St., Cleveland P: 216-721-9020 W: FB: ArtistsArchivesoftheWesternReserve

The Artists Archives of the Western Reserve is a regional museum that preserves “Ghosts in the representational bodies of work created by Museum” painting Ohio visual artists. Through ongoing by Ken Nevadomi. research, exhibition and educational programs, it documents and promotes this cultural heritage for the benefit of the public. Open Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. THE BUTLER INSTITUTE OF AMERICAN ART 524 Wick Ave., Youngstown P: 330-743-1107 W:

CANTON MUSEUM OF ART 1001 Market Ave. N, Canton P: 330-453-7666 W:

CLEVELAND HISTORY CENTER 10825 East Blvd., Cleveland P: 216-721-5722 W:

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

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

COLLEGE OF WOOSTER ART MUSEUM 1220 Beall Ave., Wooster P: 330-263-2495 W:

CRAWFORD AUTO AVIATION COLLECTION The History Center in University Circle 10825 East Blvd., Cleveland P: 216-721-5722 W:

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

KENT STATE UNIVERSITY MUSEUM Rockwell Hall, 515 Hilltop Drive, Kent P: 330-672-3450 W:

LAKE VIEW CEMETERY 12316 Euclid Ave., Cleveland P: 216-421-2665 W:

MALTZ MUSEUM OF JEWISH HERITAGE 2929 Richmond Road, Beachwood P: 216-593-0575 W:

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. MASSILLON MUSEUM 121 Lincoln Way East, Massillon P: 330-833-4061 W: FB:

Where art and history come together! “A Heritage of Harvest” (6/22 to 10/13); Donna Coleman (5/4 to 6/16); Treacy Donna Coleman, Ziegler (6/22 to 8/11); Richard Vaux (8/17 “Fire Walkers,” oil to 10/6); “Paul Brown: Lessons from the on canvas. Bench” (through 7/7); “125th Anniversary of the Greatest High School Rivalry” (5/4 to 1/12/20). Tuesday to Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 2 to 5 p.m. Always free. MCDONOUGH MUSEUM OF ART 525 Wick Ave., Youngstown P: 330-941-1400 W:

MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART CLEVELAND 11400 Euclid Ave., Cleveland P: 216-421-8671 W:

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

The Shaker Historical Society tells the story of Shaker Heights’ past, present and future, from the North Union Shakers to the Van Sweringens. Visit the Lissauer Art Gallery, which features local artists. A short walk from RTA Green Line’s Lee Road station. Open first Saturday of the month from noon to 5 p.m. Hours subject to change. Please call ahead. Listings are provided by advertisers and as a courtesy to readers.


Spring 2019 | Canvas | 51




300 Lakeside Ave., Cleveland P: 216-928-1600 W:

38721 Mentor Ave., Suite 1, Willoughby P: 440-946-8001

The Art Gallery in Willoughby specializes in quality custom framing and exhibits original work by local artists. The Gallery features handmade jewelry, glassware and other artist-made gift items, plus a full bead shop, The Beaded Lady. ARTICLE/ART IN CLEVELAND

The “SYMBIOLOGY” exhibit, featuring more than 45 mixedmedia works by Guy-Vincent and George Kozmon, will be on display April 25 to Oct. 11 in the Convention Center Art Gallery, located on the concourse level of the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free. THE DANCING SHEEP

15316 Waterloo Road, Cleveland P: 440-655-6954 FB:

Article/Art In Cleveland gallery, studio and classroom in the Waterloo Arts District provides local artists a supportive community environment for creative growth and artistic development. Visit our gallery shows and open studio evenings each first Friday of the month during “Walk All Over Waterloo.” Check our facebook page for gallery openings and art activities. BE.GALLERY 14 Bell St., Chagrin Falls P: 844-234-4387 W: FB:

Located in the heart of Chagrin Falls, 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! THE BONFOEY GALLERY 1710 Euclid Ave., Cleveland P: 216-621-0178 W:

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. CLEVELAND PRINT ROOM 2550 Superior Ave., Cleveland P: 216-802-9441 W: FB:

The Cleveland Print Room wants to advance the art and appreciation of the photographic image in all its forms by providing affordable access to a community darkroom and workspace, gallery exhibitions, educational programs and collaborative outreach.

12712 Larchmere Blvd., Cleveland P: 216-229-5770

A destination for those seeking the unique in clothing, gifts and shopping experience or wanting to share the upbeat vitality and offbeat charm of Cleveland’s premier 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.

Hand-painted and quilted acrylic on vinyl handbag by Roxanna Ahlborn. FLUX METAL ARTS

8827 Mentor Ave., Mentor P: 440-205-1770 W:

Our gallery features an inspiring mix of unique handcrafted artisan jewelry and decorative metalwork created by 25 local emerging and established artists. Flux Metal Arts is also a small teaching studio dedicated to offering an engaging variety of jewelry and metalsmithing classes, open studio bench rental and is your source for specialty jewelry tools and supplies. FRAMED GALLERY 15813 Waterloo Road, Cleveland P: 216-832-5101 W:

Located in the emerging art scene of the Waterloo Arts District, Framed Gallery is an exclusive African American Art gallery in Cleveland. This gallery displays emerging, mid-career and established artists creating contemporary works on paper, paintings, graphite drawings and assemblage. LEE HEINEN STUDIO 12402 Mayfield Road, Cleveland P: 216-921-4088, 216-469-3288 W: FB:

We are fine art painters working in oil on canvas or acrylic on canvas. Subject matter ranges “Love,” 36 x 36 from figurative to abstract. Usually we work by inches, oil on appointment, but we welcome visitors during canvas by Lee the LITTLE ITALY ART WALK, Friday, May 31 Heinen. (5 to 9 p.m.), Saturday, June 1 (noon to 9 p.m.) and Sunday, June 2 (noon to 5 p.m.).

Listings are provided by advertisers and as a courtesy to readers.

52 | Canvas | Spring 2019

Connect with Don’t miss a chance to be included in an upcoming issue of Canvas! In 2019, we’re highlighting the region’s dynamic visual arts and performing arts scenes and provide readers across Northeast Ohio with all they need to know to get the most out of what the region’s arts institutions have to offer.

Stay connected with frequent updates about museum exhibitions, gallery receptions, stage performances, events and show reviews, by subscribing to the free biweekly Canvas e-newsletter!

Canvas is distributed to hundreds of dining, retail and artistic locations throughout Northeast Ohio. For advertising opportunities, contact Adam Mandell, vice president of sales, at 216-342-5191 or

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NORTHEAST OHIO | arts | music | performance

Spring 2019

NORTHEAST OHIO | arts | music | performance

NORTHEAST OHIO | arts | music | performance

Fall 2018

Spring 2018

Emerging artists in Northeast Ohio

Featuring Kimberly Chapman Bianca Fields


Ella Medicus Alex Overbeck Danté Rodriguez Antwoine Washington

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Emerging artists in Northeast Ohio

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Spring 2019 | Canvas | 53

LISTINGS LOGANBERRY 13015 Larchmere Blvd., Shaker Heights P: 216-795-9800 W:

ARTISTS JOHN W. CARLSON 15121 Clifton Blvd., #2, Lakewood P: 440-812-4681 W: IG: @johnwcarlson

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:

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

“Sarah,” 20 x 16, oil on canvas by Tricia Kaman.

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

PERFORMING ARTS DOBAMA THEATRE 2340 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights P: 216-932-3396 W:

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. GROUNDWORKS DANCETHEATER 13125 Shaker Square, Suite 102, Cleveland P: 216-751-0088 W: FB:

GroundWorks DanceTheater presents their annual benefit, “It Takes Two: A Party Like No Other!” Attendees will enjoy dinner and dancing in the CMA Atrium – the majestic centerpiece of the Cleveland Museum of Art’s expansion and renovation. The benefit will take place at 7 p.m. April 27. More at

John W. Carlson often combines traditional oils with alkyd, charcoal and graphite. Working mostly on large canvases, he applies his medium without sacrificing subtle emotional details. This method allows him to control the negative space, which is vital to the ambiguity that runs through all of the work.

“Dark Was The Night” 2018, “36 x 48” oil and charcoal on canvas by John W. Carlson.

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

Our introductory offer – $59 in 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. CLEVELAND ARTIST REGISTRY Gordon Square Arts District P.O. Box 602560, Cleveland P: 216-930-4566 W:

Gordon Square Arts District is proud to offer, Cleveland’s premier searchable artist database. The registry is a collection of artistic talent creating, designing and performing in Cleveland. Artists connect with opportunities to work, collaborate and engage with the community. Individuals and businesses can easily find, hire and commission artists. LORI DIEMER, FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHER LORI DIEMER PHOTO TOURS, LLC P: 440-942-0604 W: W:

FINE ART photography for your home, office or healing space. Photo travel and tours for photography enthusiasts. Solo exhibits: May 3-29 at Finestra Gallery, 4046 Erie St., Willoughby. Opening reception the evening of May 3. Also, May 1 to June 3 at Holden Arboretum Corning Visitor Center, 9500 Sperry Road, Kirtland.

Listings are provided by advertisers and as a courtesy to readers.

54 | Canvas | Spring 2019

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