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CLEVELAND | arts | music | performance | entertainment

A different kind of tension


John W. Carlson’s art unveils a uniquely gestural and gripping world Spring/Summer 2016 | Canvas | 1

Where Where

SCIENCE SCIENCE Comes Comes ALIVE! ALIVE! • Cool Hands-On • Cool Hands-On Exhibits Exhibits • Amazing Science • Amazing Science Demonstrations Demonstrations • OMNIMAX®® • OMNIMAX Theater Theater • NASA Glenn • NASA Glenn Visitor Center Visitor Center

Now--September September55 Now Great times inspire great minds.

Great times inspire great minds.


Plane speaking

Intuition and a ground-up process inform the art of Jenniffer Omaitz

“Sifting currents” by Jenniffer Omaitz; mixed media installation, 2015. Courtesy of the artist.


6 Editor’s note

Editor Michael C. Butz introduces Canvas 2.0

8 Events calendar

Plan visits to numerous art, music and cultural festivals in the coming months

10 Channel vision

Former Devo frontman Mark Mothersbaugh’s homecoming marked by his ‘Myopia,’ on view at MOCA Cleveland and the Akron Art Museum

14 A different kind of tension

John W. Carlson’s art unveils a uniquely gestural and gripping world

26 The fine art of buying On the cover CLEVELAND | arts | music | performance | entertainment


John W. Carlson keeps a self portrait at his desk in his Cleveland studio. Photo by Michael C. Butz.

Northeast Ohio’s market for art is rising; for those who haven’t yet navigated the challenging but rewarding landscape, now is the time to buy in

28 Reel-time revival

From Hollywood productions to Northeast Ohio-made indie films, moviemaking on the ‘Third Coast’ is a growing industry and art form

30 Grand boulevard of the arts

A different kind of tension

John W. Carlson’s art unveils a uniquely gestural and gripping world Spring/Summer 2016 | Canvas | 1

4 | Canvas | Spring/Summer 2016

Longtime businesses coupled with an infusion of festivals help Larchmere maintain its status as an arts capital of Northeast Ohio

34 Listings

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


Open Door Policy is good for all eternity.

Lake View Cemetery has been celebrating life and, of course, the afterlife for nearly 150 years. Which includes welcoming any and all denominations to our 285 acres of exceptional, affordable, and highly reverential resting places. Stop by anytime. Stay as long as you like.

Your Grounds for Life. 12316 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio | 216-421-2665 |

Fresh coat on Canvas Welcome to the new Canvas. Sure, Canvas is relatively new to begin with – four issues over two years – but there’s no time like the present, as they say, to make meaningful changes that offer readers a new and improved experience. Probably the most noticeable and tangible change is the magazine’s size. Canvas has grown from its digest size to its new 7½-by-10½-inch format, which we think will better showcase the art and artists we feature. We also think the larger format – and the unique shape – will help Canvas stand out on magazine racks or shelves at the many museums, galleries, restaurants, bars and other businesses at which Canvas can be found. Canvas’ content will largely look familiar, but we continue to strive to offer a more complete picture of the region’s creative community. In this issue, that takes the shape of an article about the film industry – including insights from local actors – by Bob Abelman, the theater critic for Canvas’ sister publication, the Cleveland Jewish News. But Canvas’ changes go well beyond the printed page. Knowing there’s much more to cover in Northeast Ohio’s arts scene than what we can fit in two yearly issues of the magazine, we’ve stepped up Canvas’ digital offerings. First and foremost is a revitalized website, which offers Canvas readers more timely updates on what’s taking place in the region. Visit for previews and reviews of arts exhibitions and shows as well as Abelman’s reviews of theater productions from throughout the region. Secondly, we launched a biweekly e-newsletter to keep you informed about gallery receptions, exhibition openings, cultural events and musical offerings. Sign up for this free service by visiting Lastly, to tie together these digital offerings, we created a Twitter account. Followers of @CanvasCLE will get timely news about what Canvas is working on, including updates on everything mentioned above. If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to check out all of these new digital offerings. I hope you like them! Please let me know what you think about the changes and additions to Canvas by dropping me a line at

Editor Michael C. Butz Art Director Jon Larson

Cleveland Jewish Publication Company President & CEO Kevin S. Adelstein Vice President of Sales Adam Mandell CJN Managing Editor Bob Jacob Controller Tracy DiDomenico Manager of Digital Marketing Rebecca Fellenbaum Events Manager Gina Lloyd Editorial Kristen Mott Jonah L. Rosenblum Ed Wittenberg Carlo Wolff Digital Content Producer Noelle Bye Custom Publishing Manager Paul Bram Advertising Marcia Bakst Marilyn Evans Ron Greenbaum Andy Isaacs Adam Jacob Nell V. Kirman Sherry Tilson Design Frida Kon Jessica Roth Stephen Valentine Business & Circulation Diane Adams Tammie Crawford Abby Royer Subscriber Services 216-342-5185/

Canvas Editor

6 | Canvas | Spring/Summer 2016

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Events Calendar












- Canton First Friday - MIX at CMA - Walk All Over Waterloo - Summer Art Walk in Little Italy


- Bal IngĂŠnieux - Downtown Akron Artwalk - Masterpieces on Main Art & Wine Festival


- Art in the Village (Lyndhurst)


- Walkabout Tremont - 2nd Friday Art Hop (Hudson) - Hip 2B Square: Fear No Art


- Parade the Circle


- Art by the Falls (Chagrin Falls) - Crocker Park Fine Art Fair


- Third Fridays at 78th Street Studios


- Shaker Heights Art & Music Festival


- BAYarts Art & Music Festival - Clifton Arts & Musicfest - Larchmere PorchFest

- Canton First Friday - MIX at CMA - Walk All Over Waterloo - Boston Mills Artfest Show 2 - Downtown Akron Artwalk - Larchmere Festival


- Walkabout Tremont - 2nd Friday Art Hop (Hudson)


- Cain Park Arts Festival


- Music in the Valley Folk & Wine Festival - Summer Festival of the Arts (Youngstown)


- Taste of Tremont


- Third Fridays at 78th Street Studios


- Painesville Party in the Park


- Headlands BeachFest - Willoughby ArtsFest


- Akron Arts Expo

- Vintage Ohio Wine Festival


- Weapons of Mass Creation


- Downtown Akron Artwalk - Lakewood Arts Festival


- Warehouse District Street Festival - Discover Cedar-Fairmount Summer Festival


- Walkabout Tremont - 2nd Friday Art Hop (Hudson)


- Third Fridays at 78th Street Studios


- The Flats Festival of the Arts


- Highland Square Porch Rokr


- Boston Mills Artfest Show 1


- Walkabout Tremont - 2nd Friday Art Hop (Hudson)


- Art in the Park (Kent)


- Berea Arts Fest


- Greater Cleveland Urban Film Festival


- Third Fridays at 78th Street Studios


- Blue Sky Folk Festival - Sparx City Hop


- CMA Chalk Festival - Tremont Arts & Cultural Festival


- IngenuityFest


- Music on the Porches! (Peninsula)

- Burning River Fest - Cleveland Garlic Festival - One World Day

- Tri-C JazzFest

- Canton First Friday - MIX at CMA - Walk All Over Waterloo - Downtown Akron Artwalk





Photo: CMA Solstice 2015, image by David A. Brichford, courtesy of the Cleveland Museum of Art

Want to stay connected with frequent updates about museum exhibitions, gallery receptions and events? Sign up for the biweekly Canvas e-newsletter at


- CMA Solstice - Waterloo Arts Fest

- Canton First Friday - MIX at CMA - Walk All Over Waterloo

Dates of annual and monthly events subject to change. Canvas lists as many events as possible, however suggestions can be emailed to

8 | Canvas | Spring/Summer 2016






Northeast Ohio native and former Devo frontman Mark Mothersbaugh’s homecoming marked by his multidimensional ‘Myopia,’ on view at both MOCA Cleveland and the Akron Art Museum By Carlo Wolff


ark Mothersbaugh and his friend, Jerry Casale, talked music and tried to make sense of a broken world after the Ohio National Guard fatally shot four of their fellow Kent State University students on May 4, 1970. The killings unnerved Mothersbaugh, an Akron native who’d done his fair share of Vietnam War protest. Both he and Ravenna man Casale were visual art students at Kent State, and both were interested in pop culture. Their most famous product, which the two helped form in the early 1970s, was the rock group Devo. “I still have nightmares and daydreams about Akron,” Mothersbaugh says, evoking the early Northeast Ohio underground rock

scene. “But Cleveland also represents our first foray into the world, getting in a car with some amps in the back seat and driving up to the Flats and going to Pirate’s Cove and going, ‘Omigosh, who’s this band Pere Ubu? Who are these people?’ “These guys are kindred souls,” he recalls thinking. “Finding out there’s somebody called Rocket from the Tombs, the Dead Boys … we were all still under the gravity of Ohio, all of us. And Akron is kind of a Cleveland wannabe (in) the same way Cleveland, when I was a kid, was kind of a Detroit wannabe. Akron always wanted to be as cool as Cleveland.” Both Ohio cities are cool for Mothersbaugh these days. His impact on pop culture – by no means exclusively musical – will be on display

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in “Myopia,” a precedentsetting solo retrospective coming in late May to both the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland and the Akron Art Museum. Mothersbaugh’s musical heritage will be the focus at MOCA Cleveland. The show will spotlight experimentation, performance and sound, including documentation of Devo’s first performance and Mothersbaugh’s experimentation with manipulated musical instruments. Simultaneously, the Akron Art Museum will spotlight his career in the visual arts, including recent sculpture, rugs and a collection of 30,000 postcard-sized drawings. Seeing both – discounted tickets will be good at both institutions – is highly recommended. Mothersbaugh, who was extremely near-sighted

as a child, is a protean artist with a ridiculously multifaceted solo career; the younger generation is more likely to know him for his non-Devo work. “He is made of creativity,” Megan Lykins Reich, deputy director of programs and engagement at MOCA Cleveland, says of Mothersbaugh. “He can pull everything off,” she adds, noting her conversations with Mothersbaugh start in one place and end up somewhere totally unexpected. “How did I get here? Where am I?” Reich asks herself after a phone engagement with Mothersbaugh. “He’s so creative and so gracious with it.” “He is a creative genius,” concurs Mark Masuoka, executive director of the Akron Art Museum. “When people get a chance to experience

the visual arts portion of the exhibition, they will truly understand how amazing he is, especially as a visual artist. “He’s touched our lives and we don’t even know it,” Masuoka adds, noting the Akron Art Museum plans to work with Mothersbaugh after “Myopia” ends its local run. “This is very much a homecoming for me,” Mothersbaugh says of “Myopia” in a freewheeling, hour-long interview from Mutato Muzika, his Hollywood-based music production company. “Whether anybody’s aware of me or of Devo, we’re very much stamped with Ohio, so we are considered emissaries by everybody else even if you guys (Northeast Ohio residents) don’t think so. To come back and do the show here to me has such a nice feeling. It’s like bringing it all back home in a literal sense.” “Home” was scary to this peace-loving Ohio boy at Kent State at the dawn of the ’70s. “I just couldn’t for the life of me think of anybody I would shoot with a gun or blow up with a bomb,” he says. “How do you keep making progress in a good way? Who changes things?” One way is advertising. Another is art. Around that turbulent time, Burger King ran a commercial using Pachelbel’s “Canon,” a famous baroque organ piece. Mothersbaugh evokes it by singing “hold the pickles,” bemoaning how “they took a beautiful piece of music and turned it into a burger commercial.” He deplored the cultural predation but admired the sophistication. “The kind of music was important because the way they used music, it was a subversive delivery system,” and not good for you, he says. “Then you saw within minutes they sell you sugar with bubbles for 75 cents or a dollar and you’ve got a can of gook. And they look so


happy.” He thought advertising techniques “were really sophisticated and interesting and much more powerful than the very naïve idea of hippies to hold a sign up and think somebody cares.” So he began to look for the right way to close the gap between spirituality and science and between the synthetic and the authentic. And with Casale and Mothersbaugh’s brothers Jim and Bob, all devotees of 20th century Pop Art, all came together as the musical group Devo. Punk, new wave, experimental, rock – Devo was all of the above. Its heyday was the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s, it was an early, prominent presence in the Cleveland-Akron underground music scene, and it scored a big hit in 1980 with “Whip It,” a very catchy, hot piece of synth pop. “In the 40 years that have transpired since then (the founding of Devo, which he dates to 1974), I’ve remained a gallery and museum exhibiting visual artist,” Mothersbaugh says. “But because of the high visibility of both Devo and working in the entertainment industry, you wouldn’t know that I’ve scored about 140 movies, television shows and video games.” He has written scores for Rugrats movies and Wes Anderson films; for TV shows from “Hotel Malibu” to “Big Love”; and for video games including “Crash Bandicoot” and “The Sims 2.” Mothersbaugh’s experience with the corporate record business left a bad taste, so he went on his own as a visual artist, securing art shows all over the world by contacting smaller galleries that advertised in the avantgarde magazine Juxtapoz and pricing his work, like low-edition multiple prints, “so first-time art buyers could say, ‘Hmm, will I buy a keg of beer for my party or buy my first piece of art?’”

Previous page: Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia, 30,000 postcards, installation view. Photo: Trevor Brown. Courtesy of the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. Above: Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia, installation view, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, 2014. Photo: Trevor Brown. Below: Mark Mothersbaugh, self portrait. Courtesy of Mutato Muzika.

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Clockwise, from left: Mark Mothersbaugh, Bulbous Politico Gets a Hand, 2004, woven nylon fibers, 48 x 72 inches. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Ron Pollard; DEVO. Art Direction: David Allen. Backdrop silkscreen: Phyllis Cohen. Photo: Jules Bates; Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia, Roli Polis installation view. Photo: Trevor Brown. Courtesy of the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.

His smaller shows “would always be with people who were really in love with art,” he says. “I really thought museums were these big, well-funded creampuff projects for the rich and I discounted them until through Adam Lerner (curator of the original “Myopia,” at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver), I started seeing the mechanisms by which they work. “I realized these big museums with beautiful buildings and really nice collections of art are kind of more like an NPR station, constantly hustling to keep going through next year to keep the lights on. “This project has changed my respect and certainly my level of knowledge about how museums work,” he added, noting that with its Northeast Ohio double play, “Myopia” will have been in four museums now, “and they’re all different but the thing they have in common is the crews,” aspiring artists or simply people who “just love the joy of being that third party to the triangle: The artist, the art work and the audience.” “I find these people at museums that are incredibly inspiring to me,” he said. Akron “is a beautiful museum. If you like the show in Cleveland, you should really just go to give it a shot. Maybe we can figure out a way to get us there. Or we could all walk there. I need the exercise.” “What better way for us to welcome him back, celebrate his art and celebrate him?” says the Akron Art Museum’s Masuoka. “That’s really what the exhibition is about, but also I think it’s a sort of poignant statement about his creativity and that he is an amazing artist.” The joint show promises to be exceptional, suggests MOCA Cleveland’s Reich. Not only will the displays showcase a protean pop-culture figure, they represent the first time the two institutions have worked together. “(Mothersbaugh) is the exemplary kind of contemporary artist, working in a hybrid way across many disciplines successfully without hesitation, and able to carry on a consistent aesthetic across these different practices,” says Reich, noting the “Myopia” show in Cleveland will feature a Scion car with two back sides and “sculptural instruments” Mothersbaugh calls Orchestrions. “Everything he does is very ‘Mark’ in this palpable, incredible way.”

On view MOCA Cleveland: May 27 – Aug. 28

A free opening night party and concert will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. May 27 on Toby’s Plaza outside of MOCA Cleveland. Mark Mothersbaugh will be on hand to perform on his six-sided keyboard, followed by a Mothersbaugh DJ set. For more information, call 216-421-8671 or visit

12 | Canvas | Spring/Summer 2016

Akron Art Museum: May 29 – Aug. 28 An Artist Talk with Mark Mothersbaugh and Adam Lerner will be held at 2 p.m. May 28 at the Akron-Summit County Public Library. A free opening party will immediately follow from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Akron Art Museum. For more information, call 330-376-9185 or visit

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June 10-25

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216.771.5862 or visit @CanvasCle

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A differen kind of tension

14 | Canvas | Spring/Summer 2016

nt n

John W. Carlson’s art unveils a uniquely gestural and gripping world Story by Carlo Wolff Photography by Michael C. Butz


he walls of John W. Carlson’s studio in the ArtCraft Building in Cleveland pulse with life. There are pictures of folks Carlson has extracted from the media. Some canvases depict people he knows, his vigorous artistry transforming them into images more emblematic than realistic. There are haunting blacks-and-whites; there’s color, too, as Carlson emerges into happiness. There’s a painting in progress in his central work area, its background orange, its foreground four women; one, skirted where the others wear pants, stands off to the side. It evokes a shattered Greek chorus. It strikes memorable, sadly provocative poses. It’s both recessive and in your face; that’s Carlson’s dynamic. “I think of it as the definition of haiku, which is sudden awareness of beauty by the meeting of opposite or incongruous terms,” he says of his art. “It’s achieved through gesture,” he adds, sculpting the air with his hands. “I’m all about the gesture, and I think within the gesture there’s an emotional component. One viewer might look at it as a dangerous gesture and take the emotional content with that, whereas another person might see it as a more benign gesture and respond to it with a different emotion.” Carlson talks of “striking a match,” of “breaking a space” in his head. He aims to interrupt the viewer’s flow, demanding a new kind of engagement. Perhaps that’s why his paintings, dominated by the human shape, pop so strongly despite a purposeful lack of definition. They have the immediacy of a news bulletin, leaving interpretation up to the viewer. “I don’t want them to walk away in the standard three seconds; I’d like them to be able to experience an emotion they may never have,” he says. Carlson throttles the viewer through recontextualization, plundering what he sees on the street and what he screens and reads for images to embed in his paintings. It’s up to the viewer to answer the questions of identity and emotion that he raises. He points to a painting called “In the Afternoon.” The man looks as if he has fallen off a bed or been abandoned on the street. His head has no facial features, a regular in Carlson’s work. Is he resting or dead? The somber, black-and-white painting suggests that “ambiguity” could be Carlson’s middle name. “One of my collectors referred to one of my works as ‘beautifully disturbing,’ and that’s a loaded comment. I loved it,” Carlson says. “To be disturbed doesn’t have to be, ‘Oh, I saw a baby on the railroad tracks.’ It doesn’t have to be this bad thing,” he continues. “A lot of words take on connotations more heavily toward one side than the other; like my poet friend said, ‘If I had to say the one word that encapsulates your work, I’d say tension.’ Ugliness can be beautiful, and tension isn’t always Excedrin headache No. 52. Tension keeps the viewer engaged.”

Garbage and guitars

The second oldest of five brothers, Carlson is the son of a former millwright at General Motors and a stay-at-home mother. His parents always encouraged his artistic ambitions, and small books about classical painters that a priest brought to the Carlson home in Ashtabula kindled young Carlson’s artistic flame. “There was one on El Greco, one on Fra Angelico, Raphael,” he recalls. “I just pored over those books, visually memorized the paintings in them. They just had a huge (impact), like the striking of the match of me really wanting to make things


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like that. I don’t know how else to explain the significance, the joy I got from those books.” Carlson, who cites influences such as Egon Schiele and Franz Kline, began his artistic career by studying a book on how to draw horses, creating work that drew on equestrian art by the French masters Edgar Degas and Theodore Gericault. Carlson inhaled art daily in Catholic schools in Ashtabula, and then spent a year and a half studying at the long-defunct Cooper School of Art in Cleveland. Meanwhile, as he pursued his gritty, figurative muse, he worked at jobs that allowed him to provide for his family. “The lion’s share of my working career was working for the city of Ashtabula, first off as a garbage man, a job I thoroughly enjoyed,” he says. “I loved knowing where every street in the city was, I loved knowing that Mrs. Smith would always put a couple of bottles of beer next to the can for us.” The camaraderie was great; so was coming across the occasional treasure, like old 78-rpm records. But in the mid-’80s, tired of having to bend over every five or six yards, Carlson went to work in the city’s wastewater treatment plant. Life was tricky for a man balancing domestic responsibilities with boundless creative drive. Turns out painting isn’t Carlson’s only artistic talent. He’s a rock ’n’ roller. Between 1976 and 1987, Carlson, who looks like he stepped off a new wave album cover, played guitar in bands such as Wildlife, The F-100s, Bridgestreet and the Execs; the last even recorded an EP at Kirk Yano’s After Hours Studios. Carlson did no painting during that span, though he designed some band posters. He still picks up the guitar every day. But he never made the leap to a musical career because that “would have required me to quit my job,” he says. “I knew in my heart of hearts if you really want to be like the bands you want to emulate, you have to go on the road and put all your energies into it. You don’t do that with a 9-to5 job.”

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Or while you’re raising a family, including two boys from the second of his three marriages. One, Ryan, lost his life to drugs five years ago. Ryan was 26. “My Grief,” a powerful oil-and-charcoal self-portrait he produced two years ago that now rests atop a bookcase in his studio, attests to the depth of Carlson’s sadness. Art had to wait until it was all he had – and wanted – to do. That time came in 2005, when having earned enough to retire early, Carlson embarked on his second, profoundly artistic career.

Contemporary Carlson

Today, the 61-year-old Carlson lives in Lakewood, and one of his works – a charcoal drawing entitled “Viewpoint” – lives at the Erie Art Museum as part of its permanent collection. Several works are at home in his studio. “Car,” an oil painting of a round-shouldered 1940s automobile, looks like it’s about to be consumed by fire. “Rescue” depicts a girl, hair wild and expression despairing, pushing through a kind of yellow storm. With full frontal foreground and suggestive background, Carlson’s paintings, which sell for $250 to $4,500, grip. That’s his intent. Works in progress are at the heart of his studio space. There’s also a kind of anteroom with a sofa where this jazz lover with the rock ’n’ roll hair can groove to Yusef Lateef, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis and Charles Mingus. Carlson reserves the long, narrow part of his Cleveland workplace for scores of paintings he’s made in the past decadeplus, slotted into bins against the wall. They speak to his prolificacy, work ethic and a love of art. “John was the first nonphotographic/fine art artist who has exhibited at the Print Room,” says Shari Wilkins, owner of the Cleveland Print Room, a workshop and exhibition space dedicated to analog photography that neighbors Carlson’s studio

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Lead page: John W. Carlson holds his palette self-portrait standing inside his ArtCraft Building studio. Previous page: Carlson’s workspace, including some of his monoprints hanging on the wall. Above: “In the Afternoon,” 30x40 inches, oil and charcoal on canvas; image courtesy of the artist. Right: “Little One,” 36x28 inches, oil and charcoal on canvas; image courtesy of the artist. in the ArtCraft Building. “I liked John’s work from the start because of its ability to evoke emotion along with an expression of cinematic quality that I appreciate.” Carlson’s work, interwoven with Wilkins’ vernacular photography (or “found photography”) was displayed in the Print Room’s “Destruction of Form” show in July 2015. Those works also were on view earlier this year at BAYarts in Bay Village, at which Carlson teaches art courses. Carlson also teaches at Valley Art Center, and recently opened the doors to his studio for a public tour, suggesting he’s as welcoming to artistic newcomers as fellow artists in Cleveland were to him when he emigrated from Ashtabula. “I felt welcomed when I first arrived here 10 years ago. I mean, warmly welcomed,” he says. “It was time to be a little fish in a big pond. I was a big deal in Ashtabula, as far as that goes. They picked one of my pieces to be the cover of the Ashtabula County Visitors’ Guide.” Now, Carlson eyes an even bigger pond: New York City. In late March, one of his drawings, “Struggle,” was on view at Trygve Lie Gallery in NYC. It was part of the 2016 #TwitterArtExhibit, a show involving various artists and mixed media that showcases postcard art and benefits Foster Pride’s “Handmade” Program, which supports the creativity of young women in foster care. Carlson uses such Big Apple opportunities to network. He considers a full-on New York showing of his work – as yet unrealized – the ultimate goal. “That’s the holy grail.”

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On View Point of View

“Point of View,” featuring new works by John W. Carlson, Sarah Curry, Brian Mouhlas and Douglas Max Utter, will be on view from July 15 through Sept. 16 at HEDGE Gallery, which represents Carlson, at 78th Street Studios in Cleveland. A solo Carlson show is scheduled for May 2017 at the Massillon Museum of Art.

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Plane Intuition and a ground-up process inform the art of Jenniffer Omaitz

Story by Carlo Wolff Photography by Michael C. Butz

20 | Canvas | Spring/Summer 2016


or the decisively hands-on Jenniffer Omaitz, process is important, whether it involves building startling, three-dimensional work or mixing her own pigments for paintings. The rubble from this artist’s installations, at floor level of the studio space at her home in Kent, cohabits with her paintings – all planes, perspectives and texture – on the walls, showing her progression over the past 15 years. “I think one informs the other,” the soft-spoken Omaitz says of her different kinds of expression. “I find that doing both allows me to feel a little more full as an artist.” Omaitz assembles her constructions from the ground up, knows how to get the discount at local hardware stores for supplies, and customizes the blends for her acrylics and oils. Procedure and result matter equally to her. If that seems contradictory, attribute it to the ambiguity this nonobjective, abstract artist so profoundly leverages. Alchemy fascinates her, too. So do transformation and evolution, both in her art and in herself.

Artistic process

Omaitz’s art is muscular, explosive. It’s also as palpable as the workspaces in the home she shares with her husband, Steve Collier, and their dogs Juneau, an Alaskan Malamute, and Yukio, an Akita. Take “Currents,” an installation recently displayed at “Hypothetical Constructs & Translucent Boundaries,” a show she shared with Cleveland Heights artist Andy Curlowe at the Klemm Gallery at Siena Heights University in Adrian, Mich. The site-specific installation, a mash-up of mesh, industrial labeling, tape, cutup paper and what appear to


be blocks of silver packaging material, is abstract, for sure; it also hints at a kind of urban topography, conjuring the mess and promise of city life. “The House That Art Built,” another installation there, resembles a house, complete with stories (the physical and the mental kind), roof and doors. It’s also a house of crazy angles, unstable yet inviting, a house after a tornado. There’s sharp humor at work here. Curlowe loved watching Omaitz assemble her installations. “During our install, I was able to witness Jen’s unique and intuitive installation build process,” he writes in an email. “It was transformative to see from start to finish her installation evolution, from unloading her car – packed to the brim with found and made material – to seeing her paint, tack, glue and weave all of these elements into the wall installations for our exhibition. “It was positively fantastic to see her completed installations, but as a fellow artist, truly compelling to see how she did it.” During a wall tour of her home, the thoughtful, deliberate Omaitz points to “Building Something out of Nothing,” a work of stripes, daubs and translucencies, its planes in combative dance. Its title vamps on “Building Nothing Out of Something,” the name of a 2000 anthology by indie rockers Modest Mouse. Noting the painting is not too “plasticky,” Omaitz says, “it’s very gestural, it’s very expressive, it’s very free. I put on some music and kind of let myself go; intuition plays a big part in the initiation of the painting. “If I want to do something in one piece, I can force it or let it happen,” she says, calling her process organic. “I’ve come to the realization that I need to let it happen

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“If I want to do something in one piece, I can force it or let it happen. I’ve come to the realization that I need to let it happen for it to be authentic. … It has to have that, ‘Oh, I’ve never seen that before in my work’ moment.” for it to be authentic. … It has to have that, ‘Oh, I’ve never seen that before in my work’ moment.”

Creative beginnings

As the child of a single mother (both her parents are deceased), Omaitz grew up with beauty – literally. Her mother owned and ran a beauty shop in Mayfield Heights for 21 years, including the ones Omaitz spent at Brush High School in Lyndhurst, where she regularly won awards for her art. “My mom urged me to follow my dreams and stay creative – and really nurtured that; I think that’s partially how I gravitated toward that skill,” she says. “I grew up watching women and men come in and be transformed in the span of 20, 30 minutes,” she adds. “I think watching this transformation from this idea of beauty to this other idea of beauty right in front of me all the time was really … it had an impact on me.” Omaitz also wanted to stand out; couldn’t help it, seeing as her mother, Ginnette, stamped her only child with a name with two sets of consonants. As a little girl, Omaitz was always looking for a souvenir labeled “Jenniffer,” with two F’s. She finally found one, a pencil. She’s sure the “Jenniffer” in the wood was a typo. What wasn’t a typo but her choice was changing her last name. “I changed the S to a Z. You don’t get famous unless you have a Z,” she quips. Why visual arts rather than, say, theater? “It’s just easy for me to have a pencil in my hand and a piece of paper in front of me. That was just something my mom always kind of gave me (at the salon) and I would just sit there and start to sketch all these women who were sitting in their chairs or occasionally a man sitting in a chair. … Oftentimes I wasn’t as skilled when I was younger and people would say, ‘Oh, Jenniffer, you’re doing a horrible job, I don’t want to see it.’ But later on, people would say, ‘Please draw my portrait, please, please draw my portrait.’ I still do it to this day when I teach figurative drawing.” Those early portrait forays helped refine her creative path. “I had that conversation very early in my life,” she adds,

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Previous page: “Currents,” 2016, mixed media installation. Courtesy of the artist. Above: Jenniffer Omaitz discusses her marbling – a creative endeavor she undertakes in her spare time – while in her studio in Kent. Below: “Building Something Out of Nothing,” 2015, acrylic on canvas, 30x36 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

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Left: “Looking Past the Frame,” 2015, acrylic on canvas, 22x30 inches. Right: “The House that Art Built,” 2016, mixed media installation. Both images courtesy of the artist.

referencing her comprehension of beauty. Art school – she attended the Cleveland Institute of Art when it was a fiveyear school, graduating during what’s known as “The Era,” which also featured such graduates as Amy Casey and Robert Goodman – only quickened her gravitation toward an artistic community that continues to nurture her. A 2002 graduate of CIA with a BFA in painting, Omaitz also studied at the Lacoste School of the Arts in Lacoste, France, in 2000 and earned a Master of Fine Arts in painting at Kent State University in 2009.

Schools of thought

Education clearly matters to her, too. The only Ohio artist to participate in midwestartiststudios. com, an arts education project funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, Omaitz thinks “it’s really important to keep the education of the arts alive. I want to teach, I want to be part of that process and I believe in the power and the dynamics of the arts.” Serving her last month as visiting college lecturer at the University of Akron’s Mary Schiller Myers School of Art, where she was senior lecturer from 2010 to 2015, Omaitz also was on the adjunct faculty at Kent State University and the Cleveland Institute of Art from 2011 to 2015. “Over several years I had an opportunity to see the work that flowed from her students’ efforts,” Richard Fiorelli, a

24 | Canvas | Spring/Summer 2016

professor in the Foundation Department at CIA who is retiring this year, says of Omaitz, his former student. “She has a natural ability to bring out the best in her students. The walls were filled with strong work from her students on a consistent basis. “I have a wonderful memory of Jen requiring/encouraging her drawing students to eat with chopsticks so that they would develop greater dexterity and finger control. I loved the idea. Nudging students outside of their own personal comfort zone. Flap your wings and fly. Such are the moments of a gifted teacher and artist. Chopsticks and drawing dexterity! Very cool.” Even when she relaxes, Omaitz is on the creative hunt. She does marbling, modern variations on a printmaking process hundreds of years old. She creates mono prints. She investigates book art. And she participates in several shows a year. Last year, there were two major ones. One was “Shifting Spaces,” at a gallery in Denver, where she lived in 2006. The other was “Folding Gesture,” at Robert Maschke’s 1point618 Gallery in the Gordon Square Arts District of Cleveland’s Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood, where she regularly shows. Her paintings cost between $400 and $7,000, depending on size. “I don’t know if you can make a living out of art here,” Omaitz says of Northeast Ohio. “But you can live as an artist. It depends on the kind of art you make.” Count on Omaitz to make art edgy.


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Northeast Ohio’s market for art is rising; for those who haven’t yet navigated the challenging but rewarding landscape, now is the time to buy in Story and photo by Michael C. Butz

Some observers indicate more red dots like this one, which indicate a piece of art has been sold, are popping up around Northeast Ohio.


igh-quality art has become increasingly popular in Greater Cleveland. Art lovers swarm 78th Street Studios every third Friday, art walks in Tremont and Waterloo clog the streets, and even the artists themselves are justified in congratulations, both self and to each other. But do the traffic and art’s newfound popularity translate to sales? It’s one thing to create art, and there’s no shortage of that in the region. It’s another to market it, and that’s gotten easier, with new galleries popping up and increased arts coverage in weekly newspapers and magazines like this one. But there’s a bottom line to art, too, because after the artist creates – the painting’s ready to hang, the sculpture screams for a living room to call home – he or she has to sell it. Art is an expression. It’s a profession. It’s also a business. With the quality of the art escalating and the outlets proliferating, the Cleveland art scene seems to be thriving, even booming. Artists are eager to sell their work. Are Northeast Ohioans buying? Anecdotally, at least, the answer seems to be “yes,” according to two longtime keepers of Cleveland’s art scene. “I’m going to say more people are buying local art just from the sense I get from artists,” says Joan Perch, exhibition coordinator at the Stocker Arts Center at Lorain County Community College. She also once owned a commercial

26 | Canvas | Spring/Summer 2016

gallery, ArtMetro, in downtown Cleveland, and founded the RED DOT Project, a nonprofit that sells and markets the art of its artist members. “A lot of artists I knew and represented are doing well with selling their work,” Perch says. Dan Bush, owner and developer of 78th Street Studios, a veritable beehive of creativity in Cleveland’s Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood, sees the same trend. Bush – with encouragement from Bill Scheele of Kokoon Gallery, who said to him several years ago, “This place is boring, we need to have a party” – helped launch Third Fridays, a regularly recurring arts bazaar. Third Fridays quickly grew from a quarterly event to a monthly event, and in terms of participation, 78th Street Studios has seen it grow from “a couple of hundred” people visiting 30 to 40 businesses to “between roughly 1,500 and 2,000 people” visiting the building’s more than 60 businesses. “I’m constantly astounded by two things,” Bush says. “One is that people keep coming, which is great. … The second thing is that people are buying art in Cleveland, Ohio. It’s beyond good – it’s astounding. And being someone who enjoys that, I certainly enjoy the fact that there are other people like me out there.” But are there ever really enough art sales? Certainly not, and accordingly, both Perch and Bush see room for growth

“It really just goes back to the fact it’s art, you can’t eat it. Technically, you could heat your house with it if you had to, but people don’t have to enjoy it and they don’t have to engage in it, and I’m just thrilled that they do – and that I get to be a part of it.” Dan Bush, 78th Street Studios –­ if not necessarily in terms of quantity of pieces purchased, then in terms of the volume of buyers – and have advice for those who haven’t yet made the leap from art socializer to art shopper. “It’s OK to take a while, it’s not like walking into a grocery store,” says Perch of the virgin art buyer. Perch, whose background includes arts education and nurturing new art-buying clients, suggests newcomers engage in a process they’re likely already good at: making acquaintances. “It’s all about relationship-building. It’s about personal relationships and trusting the artist and the dealer,” she says. “In the galleries at Lorain County Community College, I often talk to anyone coming in. You really need to start a conversation and a dialogue. That’s where art is – the art is telling you something.” That dialogue – that exchange of thoughts and emotions – can continue for years as the art hangs on the buyer’s walls for years. What develops following a purchase is a symbiotic relationship between art and buyer, as well as artist and buyer. “Those pieces of art remind you of the people you know and the things you’ve learned about them and learned about their art,” Perch says. “If you purchase something that’s made by


hand, and you get to know (the artist), and you’re helping someone making a living in a creative endeavor, there’s a sense of accomplishment. “When buying a piece of jewelry or ceramics, a small print, a painting, you’re not only supporting the artist, you’re supporting the gallery,” she adds. “It’s important to support those galleries, too.” Of course, when supporting artists and galleries, one’s financial ability to do so comes into play. After all, art isn’t functional – not in the same way furniture or a home appliance is. As a result, some struggle with justifying a potential art purchase. “It really just goes back to the fact it’s art, you can’t eat it,” Bush quips. “Technically, you could heat your house with it if you had to, but people don’t have to enjoy it and they don’t have to engage in it, and I’m just thrilled that they do – and that I get to be a part of it.” Set a budget but be prepared to exceed it, if only slightly. In Northeast Ohio, many galleries and events offer works at a wide range of price points. “Not everyone is going to be buying a $3,500 or $35,000 painting, but we’ve got anything from those price points down to a $35 pair of earrings – and everybody can walk away with a piece of art in their hands,”

Bush says of Third Fridays. “It’s a good experience for everybody.” And while “you can’t eat art,” there’s a monetarily unquantifiable value to it. “Don’t be afraid to get in where you’re comfortable, and look for a price point at which you’re willing to get in,” Perch says. “Once you have some successful acquisitions, you’re ready to build on it. A lot of times, clients like to start with something smaller.” Starting small helps some overcome what might be considered an intimidating process, from figuring out what you like to knowing the tricks of the trade. Unless you’ve been raised in a family that buys art, you might not know where to start. Is there a right or wrong way to buy art? “If you like something, there’s not a wrong approach,” Bush says. “I actually have sold art here; I’ve just talked to people. It’s not my business, by any means, but it’s certainly exciting to see somebody walk away with something you can tell they really enjoy. I have a handful of friends I’ve gotten involved with and it’s really fun to see how engaged they are in collecting and learning about the artists they enjoy.” Some consider buying art risky, and in a sense, it is – but so is making art. Artists take risks, as do those who buy their work. But with risks come rewards.

“I was just talking to some art students about doing something different. We’re working with different technology that artists can use, and they’re a little uncomfortable. And I told them to step out of their comfort zone; that’s what artists do,” Perch says. “People need to trust themselves a little more. Just trust yourself. People can get to know a whole lot more than they think they can.” “I enjoy seeing people buying art, not purely for selfish reasons,” says Bush, who’s been collecting for 30 years and focuses on Cleveland School art. “I know how much I enjoy it and how it makes me feel, and I want to share that with people. I know a lot of people who have that same itch. So it does my heart good when I see somebody pulling the trigger on something.” From first-time buyers to “loyal customers” eagerly awaiting new work from artists they’ve long targeted, Northeast Ohio’s art scene is gaining traction. “Cleveland is a very solid hometown town, and yes, people do support their friends, and they do support their artists and they do support the scene,” Bush says. “There is a really solid art scene in Cleveland right now. It’s not bringing top dollar, it’s not bringing New York or LA figures. I would venture to say, however, that it should be.”

Spring/Summer 2016 | Canvas | 27


ons to i t c u d o pr , ywood l l o ie films H d n i m o e r d F is hio-ma O t s Coast’ a d e r i h t h r T ‘ No rm on the g n i k d art fboelman a n a m e y i r v t A us mo By Bob ing ind w o r g a


he “Third Coast.” That sure sounds better than “mistake on the lake.” Cleveland’s new and improved moniker comes courtesy of its recent emergence as a hub for international, regional and local movie making and exhibition. And it’s not just Cleveland. There has been an onslaught of high-profile films hosted by Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus, including “Draft Day,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “The Ides of March,” “Carol” and “The Avengers.” Those films and others have created more than 1,700 full-time equivalent jobs and generated more than $400 million in spending in Northeast Ohio in the past five years, according to a recent study conducted by the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University. During the “Avengers” shoot, for example, locals were hired for location scouting, camera operation and loading, electrical and construction crews, as well as security, signage, catering and cleanup. Local actors have been cast as extras and in featured speaking and nonspeaking roles in such recent releases as “My Blind Brother,” “The Bronze,” “With This Ring” and “The Bye Bye Man.” Much of the praise for this development goes to the Ohio film credit incentive program, created in 2009. The Ohio Develop-

ment Services Agency offers refundable credits to film companies for up to a quarter of what they spend in the state and 35 percent for Ohio resident wages, with a cap set at $5 million per film and $20 million per year. A consulting firm called Film Production Capital, which rates states by their film production incentives, gave Ohio three stars out of five, which puts the Buckeye State on par with other coastal states known for their moviemaking: New York and California. Earning more stars are places like Louisiana (“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” “Green Lantern”), Georgia (“Lawless,” “The Blind Side”) and North Carolina (“Iron Man 3,” “Hunger Games”), where they offer even greater financial incentives. Because of this, according to Ivan Schwarz, president of the Greater Cleveland Film Commission, Cleveland lost “Ant-Man” and the next two “Avengers” movies to Atlanta, “even though Marvel Studios loves working here.” While we may not yet be attracting as many film production companies as some other states, the Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) has no problem attracting independent films from around the globe and the people who love them. The very first CIFF ran from April 13 through June 2, 1977, showing eight films from seven countries. They were seen by a

28 | Canvas | Spring/Summer 2016

handful of subscribers and their guests. Last year, the CIFF’s 39th, 193 feature films and 238 short films representing 60 countries were seen by 100,204 people over 11 days, making it a go-to destination for independent filmmakers and their fans. Though the festival is truly international in scope, 32 films made by Ohioans were on display at CIFF39 in 2015, warranting their own “Local Heroes” category. This speaks volumes about the quality of the films being made locally in recent years. One of those films, which received its world premiere at the CIFF, was “On a Technicality” – a short film (22 minutes) made on a small budget ($21,000) and shot in three days, though the editing took more than 100 hours. Written by local actor Jeff Grover, who was featured in and co-produced the film, it was directed by Andrew Gorell and co-produced by Steven Hacker, who was also the film’s cinematographer. Their positive CIFF experience and that of Cleveland cast members George Roth, Brian Zoldessy, Scott Miller and Joel Hammer reflect well on the burgeoning cottage industry that is local filmmaking. So does the journey “On a Technicality” took afterward. The entirety of “On a Technicality” takes place in the back booth at Jack’s Deli on Cleveland’s East Side, where five old friends examine the value of friendship dur-

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“Clearly, the moviemaking scene in Northeast Ohio is thinking globally but acting locally.” ing a troubling time – the illness and subsequent death of one of their own – over a series of brunches. Days before the film’s debut, the actors – actually old friends – sat down to chat about the film and did so with the same witty banter that saturates their characters’ exchanges. Canvas: What is it about eating that filmmakers find so intriguing and revealing? It plays such a central role in films like “Chef” (2014), “Waitress” (2007), “Ratatouille” (2007), “Babette’s Feast” (1987), “My Dinner With Andre” (1981) and so many others. Roth: There is something so communal about eating, particularly at a deli. Audiences will automatically find the setting of our film comfortable and the shorthand that we speak between and during mouthfuls to be immediately recognizable. Grover: Also, what people choose to eat and how they eat communicates so much about a person. For filmmakers, one bite is worth a thousand words. Canvas: While having actors confined to a booth is probably a dream for directors (easy to capture on camera) and


costumers (no need for pants), does it create any particular creative challenges for you? Miller: For the record, I believe all of us were wearing pants. Maybe not Joel. Roth: The seating actually helped inform the relationships between these five guys. We developed a more intimate relationship with the fellows sitting next to us, which comes across in the film and makes the friendships seem more realistic. Zoldessy: With so little movement, the focus is on what we say and the emotional connection between us. Miller: And it was nice to know that, no matter what, I was always hitting my mark. Grover: Joel lucked out by being seated in the middle of the booth. We wouldn’t let him out for bathroom breaks which, I think, added some interesting texture to his performance. Hammer: I’m normally an aisle seat kind of guy. In case of fire. Canvas: How does being friends in life inform your portrayal of friends on film? Roth: We’re playing characters, but because our real-life relationships were established

before this film began, our reactions to each other’s scripted dialogue are very authentic. Hammer: Plus we did not have a lot of time to work on this, so being friends allowed us to be authentic without needing a lot of rehearsal. Grover: Although we haven’t known each other since grade school, as have our characters, we still have a chemistry and sense of fun that were captured on camera. Both of those qualities proved to be essential for the story we are telling, particularly when illness intrudes on the inner circle of these five old friends. Canvas: What do you hope to be the audience’s take-away from this film? Miller: This film is about friendship. It’s about sticking it out, being there for each other, supporting each other, belonging. Friendships are families of choice. I hope this movie reminds people to treasure those they have chosen to include in their inner circle. Zoldessy: Yes. Family is broader than blood. Grover: I hope that the audience will be able to imagine the “what ifs” in life and know that good friends will always have their back.

They did. The film was very well received at the CIFF and, bolstered by its success and notoriety, went on to several other festivals, including the New York Independent Film Festival, Cincinnati Film Festival, Kansas City Jewish Film Festival, and NST/SFF on Long Island. Grover and his colleagues are also considering web-based options to make the film easily accessible to others, including Video on Demand, Amazon and VIMEO. Also underway is “On a Technicality II,” a working title, with the same collaborators under the auspices of a new production company, g2h films. There are three other projects in production as well. Clearly, the moviemaking scene in Northeast Ohio is thinking globally but acting locally. Additional proof is House Bill 475, which was recently submitted to the Ohio Legislature and seeks to raise the cap in the tax incentive for visiting filmmakers from $20 million to $75 million. If it passes, perhaps the state will get another star. And just maybe Cleveland will be bumped up in status to the “Second Coast.”

Spring/Summer 2016 | Canvas | 29


OF THE ARTS Longtime businesses – galleries, retailers and restaurants – coupled with an infusion of festivals help Larchmere maintain its status as an arts capital of Northeast Ohio By Jonah L. Rosenblum


archmere, a district that has long stood out for its arts and antiques, as well as its lack of chain stores, has maintained its identity – and charm – even in the face of tremendous change in its surrounding neighborhoods. That’s largely a good thing. It hasn’t experienced the infusion of renowned restaurants that its neighbor, Shaker Square, has, nor has there been an Uptown-like building boom like that of nearby University Circle. But neither has it experienced the decline

that Buckeye, a once-thriving Hungarian neighborhood, has over the years. Instead, Larchmere has maintained its spot as an arts capital of Northeast Ohio. “It is perpetually changing and forever the same,” says Harriett Logan, who has owned Loganberry Books on Larchmere Boulevard for the last 21 years. She says the neighborhood, which straddles Cleveland’s eastern border and Shaker Heights, has been “up and coming” for a long time – “we’ve been on that ledge for

30 | Canvas | Spring/Summer 2016

decades” – and has somehow remained on that ledge. However, the addition of annual festivals like Larchmere PorchFest, the Larchmere Festival and the Holiday Stroll in recent years, and the 2014 completion of an artistic streetscape project overseen by LAND Studio, suggest positive momentum that may just help push the neighborhood over that ledge. Just ask Larchmere denizens Heide Rivchun, owner of Conservation Studios, who says she gets visitors from all over Northeast Ohio, or Michael

Wolf, owner of WOLFS Gallery, who like Logan has witnessed the neighborhood’s ups and downs. “It was the arts and antiques that essentially stabilized the community,” he says. “It’s the reverse of what usually happens.” A walk down Larchmere Boulevard carries one past windows replete with antique chairs, fine paintings and odd collectibles. Every storefront tempts the eye. Most of the buildings are brick and old-fashioned, and certainly the neighborhood is marked, quite proudly, by its

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Lead page: A look at some of the artwork inside WOLFS Gallery. Photo by Jonah L. Rosenblum. Above: The arched bookshelves at Loganberry Books catches customers eyes as soon as they walk in. Photo by Michael C. Butz.

lack of chain institutions. There are outliers – an auto shop tucked in among the galleries – but that’s OK because Larchmere is not about one look, it’s about nooks and crannies and interesting sights. WOLFS is a fitting starting point. Perched on the boulevard’s eastern border, the gallery features a piece of distracting art right on the grassy lawn outside its doors. It’s as if to tell passersby, “Welcome to the art world.” On a Thursday afternoon, Wolf is standing on the gallery’s second-floor open balcony finishing lunch. Paintings and sculptures surround him, many of them spectacular. Among the works are those by Clarence Holbrook Carter and Carl Gaertner. In one case, Carter’s mammoth tarantula painting is mounted just above Gaertner’s pig. It’s spectacular, as if the former is about to munch on the latter. Gaertner’s depiction of Chagrin Falls is another showstopper, not just for the falls, but also for the painting’s unusual portrayal of other painters sitting around the falls.

Beyond WOLFS, the boulevard is lined – for 10 blocks – with small shops selling art, furniture and collectibles. Sometimes, places aren’t that clearly defined. Take Loganberry Books, which has more than 100,000 tomes, some occupying spectacular arched bookshelves. But it also hosts art and music events. The first Wednesday of every month features an art opening. “(The artists) find us, for the most part,” Logan says. The second and third Wednesdays feature community conversations, while the fourth features book club meetings. Not to be outdone, the first Thursday means an open microphone for musicians, the second an open microphone for writers. To some extent, what defines an arts neighborhood is the answer to a simple question: Are there enough institutions for someone to walk around aimlessly and enjoy? “Critical mass is absolutely the key,” Wolf says. It’s the key to Larchmere’s success, though Wolf advises that potential visitors come

32 | Canvas | Spring/Summer 2016

ON STAGE Larchmere PorchFest

The Larchmere PorchFest has grown to become a destination event. The annual festival, scheduled this year from 1 to 10 p.m. June 18, features 30 different musicians playing on porches throughout the neighborhood, along with a couple of headline acts. It is not the only festival in the area – but it’s arguably the most popular. “While there are other annual things, PorchFest is certainly the best,” says Michael Wolf, owner of WOLFS Gallery. Like many things in Larchmere, a boulevard of ambitious and dedicated individual proprietors, its PorchFest is the result of close collaboration among a group of about eight people. “It’s such a pleasure to work with an organization that works,” says Heide Rivchun, owner of Conservation Studios. “It’s a really tight group of people. Everyone takes their job very seriously.” Genres for PorchFest range from Americana to funk, hip-hop, rock and world. – Jonah L. Rosenblum

Thursday through Saturday. Small businesses along Larchmere Boulevard aren’t always open seven days a week. For a while, Larchmere did experience a decline. Businesses, notably Sedlak Interiors, left the neighborhood, and Wolf said there was a time when you couldn’t get into the boulevard’s famed and beloved Academy Tavern on a Friday night, implying that’s no longer the case. And yet he says resilient Larchmere is on the rise once again. Among the promising developments is the move of Holzheimer Interiors Incorporated, a longtime Cleveland designer, to Larchmere. Meanwhile, the

long vacant Sedlak Building is being converted into a mixeduse space, with artisan shops, perhaps including a blacksmith and glassblower, on the first floor and residences above. “Even though it has undergone a lot of transformation, it still maintains its identity as the arts and design district,” Wolf says. “What had transpired over decades is it became less and less known in the region and it’s now being rediscovered by young folks who really had no idea there was such a collection of unique and really fine small shops, galleries and even restaurants.”

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LISTINGS MUSEUMS 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. 23rd St., Cleveland P: 216-721-9020 W:

The Butler Institute of American Art

524 Wick Ave., Youngstown P: 330-743-1107 W: The Butler is known worldwide as “America’s Museum.” Founded in 1919 by Joseph G. Butler Jr., it is America’s first museum devoted entirely to American art. The original structure is considered an architectural masterpiece, and is listed as a landmark on the National Registry of Historic Places. Admission is free.

Canton Museum of Art 1001 Market Ave. N, Canton P: 330-453-7666 W:

The Children’s Museum of Cleveland 3813 Euclid Ave., Cleveland P: 216-791-7114 W:

Cleveland Botanical Garden 11030 East Blvd., Cleveland P: 216-721-1600 W:

Cleveland Cultural Gardens East Boulevard & Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Cleveland W:

Cleveland History Center

The History Center in University Circle 10825 East Blvd., Cleveland P: 216-721-5722 W: The Western Reserve Historical Society’s History Center is located in Cleveland’s thriving University Circle. The History Center features two historic mansions, exhibits featuring historic vehicles and fashion, and the Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel.

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:

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

Great Lakes Science Center

601 Erieside Ave., Cleveland P: 216-694-2000 W: We make science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) come alive! Enjoy hundreds of hands-on exhibits, NASA Glenn Visitor Center, six-story OMNIMAX Theater, daily science demonstrations, educational programs, seasonal camps and family workshops.

Lake View Cemetery

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

Kent State University Museum Rockwell Hall 515 Hilltop Drive, Kent P: 330-672-3450 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: The Massillon Museum, where art and history come together, sparks cultural excitement in Northeast Ohio. Upcoming and ongoing exhibits: “Readapt: Artwork Inspired by the Permanent Collection”; “Echo: The Early History of Sound Recording”; “Paul Brown”; and “The Immel Circus.” Enjoy a unique shop, vintage photo booth, and Anderson’s, the lobby café.

Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland 11400 Euclid Ave., Cleveland P: 216-421-8671 W:

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Pro Football Hall of Fame

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

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

1100 Rock and Roll Blvd., Cleveland P: 216-781-ROCK W: The greatest stories and biggest names in rock ‘n’ roll shine on at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland. The experience includes four theaters, multiple interactive stations and seven floors of exhibits that tell the story of the world’s most powerful art form.

Rockefeller Park Greenhouse 750 E. 88th St., Cleveland P: 216-664-3103 W:

GALLERIES 78th Street Studios

1300 W. 78th St., Cleveland 1305 W. 80th St., Cleveland W: 78th Street Studios is the largest fine arts complex in Northeast Ohio, with more than 60 retail galleries, studios and other creative spaces all under one roof.

All Matters Gallery & Gifts

79 N. Main St., Chagrin Falls P: 440-247-8979 W: Owned by husband and wife Rainer Hildenbrand and Cynthia Gale, the gallery exhibits nature-inspired art and jewelry by more than 55 artists as well as natural gemstone gifts. Its artists celebrate earth’s beauty and wonder in their themes, materials and intent. For more than 25 years, All Matters has been a destination for patrons from 48 states and 19 countries.

Andy Rock Fine Art Services

P: 330-461-2322 E: W: We can provide all the necessary packing, crating, installation and storage needs that your valuable artwork and antiques require. We work with many museums, galleries and private collectors in the Northeast Ohio area as well as forwarders and brokers both nationally and internationally.


Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage

IDENTITY, CULTURE & CONNECTION: See Yourself in the Maltz Museum


ooted in Jewish heritage, the Maltz Museum promotes cross-cultural dialogue and an appreciation for the diversity of the human experience. While the Museum’s core exhibition, An American Story, chronicles the Jewish immigrant experience, the challenges these newcomers faced are similar to those of other groups that sought opportunity in America. The strikingly beautiful artifacts showcased in The Temple-Tifereth Israel Gallery embody Jewish tradition and ritual, but they also highlight the links between Judaism and other faiths. “We take our moniker as a museum of diversity and tolerance to heart,” explains Executive Director Ellen Rudolph. “A cultural hub and a connector of communities, we strive to offer visitors insights into their own lives through others’ experiences.” The Museum brings history to life and connects it with the present day through a packed calendar of thought-provoking public programs and an expansive array of rotating exhibitions. On view now, Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann reveals the secret history behind the daring abduction of a key perpetrator of the Holocaust who mysteriously vanished after World War II. Produced by the Maltz Museum in an unprecedented collaboration with The Mossad – Israeli Secret Intelligence Service and Beit Hatfutsot – The Museum of the Jewish People, Tel Aviv, the world premiere exhibition features multiple interactives, 60 original spy artifacts never before seen outside of Israel, 70 historic photographs and seven films. While the complexity of pre-digital-era espionage with its hand-forged documents, strategic safe houses and surveillance photography is thrilling, the legacy of Eichmann’s 1961 trial packs a punch. “The exhibition asks visitors to consider how such an unremarkable man could suppress his humanity to carry out something so horrific,” says Rudolph. Operation Finale also looks at how the globally broadcast trial empowered survivors to begin sharing their experiences. As Survivor and longtime Maltz Museum volunteer Erika Gold says in an exhibition film, “The reason we talk about the Holocaust now is so it will never happen again.” This fall an exhibition of arresting black-and-white photographs from the Center for Documentary Expression and Art will offer visitors a stirring look at turmoil and triumphs during a critical moment in the country’s history. This Light of Ours (opening September 2016) exposes the struggle against racebased disenfranchisement through the works of nine photographers who lived and worked within the Southern Freedom Movement and documented the experiences of local people and student activists who bravely stood up to change America. “These 150+ images are relevant today,” asserts Rudolph. “Equality issues and cultural divides still face our nation.”

Courtesy of Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage

©1965 Bob Fitch, courtesy of CDEA

©1965 Matt Herron, courtesy of CDEA

LISTINGS The Art Gallery

4134 Erie St., Willoughby P: 440-946-8001 The Art Gallery features local art and artists. The Gallery has a full frame shop in which we archivally frame your art, diplomas, wedding invitations, etc. The Gallery boasts a bead shop where we specialize in gemstones, Czech glass and findings. We make small jewelry repairs. Artists teach classes in silk painting, watercolors and beading.

Bellabor Art Jewelry

178½ N. Main St., Hudson P: 330-289-8884 W: From simple to bold, each piece of one-of-a-kind jewelry is designed for the modern woman who wants to be unique. Custom work is available. The artist is in from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

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.

Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC)

1900 Superior Ave., Suite 130, Cleveland P: 216-575-0331 W:, Through counsel, relationship building, research, programs and advocacy, Community Partnership for Arts and Culture works to strengthen, unify and connect Greater Cleveland’s arts and culture sector. In doing so, it envisions the diverse arts and culture sector as a leading partner in developing community vitality and enlivening the human experience.

Contessa Gallery

Legacy Village 24667 Cedar Road, Lyndhurst P: 216.382.7800 W: Cleveland’s finest gallery, specializing in old and modern masters, as well as the most prominent American and international artists of today. We are redefining fine art in the Midwest and invite you to be a part of it.

The Dairy Barn Arts Center

Gestures – The Fine Art of Giving

8000 Dairy Lane, Athens P: 740-592-4981 W: The Dairy Barn Arts Center invites you to “Mastery: Sustaining Momentum,” a contemporary quilt exhibition featuring 12 Masters and curated by Nancy Crow, on view May 28 through Nov. 27, 2016. Open noon to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays; noon to 8 p.m. Thursdays; closed Mondays.

1150 Linda St., Rocky River P: 440-665-3122 W: The fine art of giving begins at Gestures. We are a shop that features local art, craft and fine handmade jewelry. We offer something for everyone. We have the best selection of Lake Erie Beach Glass jewelry in the city. We are full of art that celebrates Cleveland from photography, paintings and mixed media.

The Dancing Sheep

Glass Bubble Project

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 Artist: Chris Triola, 100% cotton; arts and antiques machine wash and dry 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. Find us on Facebook!

Don Drumm Studios & Gallery

437 Crouse St., Akron P: 330-253-6268 W: Consistently voted among the top contemporary craft galleries in the country, this fascinating, two-building showplace offers unique jewelry, ceramics, glass, sculpture and graphics created by more than 500 top American artists. Also featured are works by internationally renowned metal sculptor Don Drumm, whose collections include one-of-akind sculpture, home accessories, cookware and garden furniture.

The Galleries at CSU

1307 Euclid Ave., Cleveland P: 216-687-2103 W: New exhibitions coming this summer and fall: “Get Out the Vote,” posters from the Design for Democracy initiative (July 7-30); Archie Archie Rand, David and Goliath Rand’s “Sixty Paintings from the Bible” and “To Speak Her Heart,” an illustrated anthology of Jewish women’s prayers and poems” (both Sept. 1 – Oct. 8).

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2421 Bridge Ave., Cleveland P: 216-696-7043 W: The Glass Bubble Project is a glass-blowing and metal works studio located in Ohio City. The GBP creates beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces using recycled materials. Don’t be shy – stop on by! Gallery – Classes – Parties – Corporate Events and Team Building – Custom Design – Demonstrations

Hartshorn Studios – Robert Hartshorn

2342 Professor Ave., Cleveland (Tremont) and 78th Street Studios, ramp level P: 216-403-2734 W: Hartshorn Studios is home to a growing community of full-time working painters, sculptors and photographers serving an international clientele who seek artwork of elegance, craftsmanship and inspiration. The Studios are invested in enriching the community through sharing skills and encouraging other artists. Our locations function both as full-time artists’ workshops and luxury retail galleries.

Lee Heinen Studio

12402 Mayfield Road, Cleveland P: 216-921-4088, 216-469-3288 W: We are fine art painters working in oil or acrylic on canvas and recently on mirrored steel. Our subjects range “The Family That Tweets from figurative to Together,” 36x30 inches, oil on abstract. This is a canvas. Artwork by Lee Heinen. working studio in Little Italy, so it’s best to call before visiting to be sure we’re there.


13015 Larchmere Blvd., Shaker Heights P: 216-795-9800 W: Loganberry Books Annex Gallery features a monthly rotation of local artist exhibitions, with an opening reception on the first Wednesday evening of the month.

LISTINGS 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.

McKay Bricker Framing Black squirrel Gallery & Gifts 141 East Main St., Kent P: 330-673-5058 W: A picture framing shop and home of Black Squirrel Gallery & Gifts. Featuring artisan jewelry, local art, home decor, greeting cards, Black Squirrel items, and of course our awardwinning custom framing. Archival framing to preserve treasured memories. Gift certificates are available. Beautifying area homes and businesses since 1984.

Pennello Gallery

12407 Mayfield Road, Cleveland P: 216-707-9390 W: Pennello Gallery in Little Italy specializes in contemporary American, Canadian and Israeli fine art and craft. You will always find a sophisticated selection, including many one-of-a-kind, studio glass, ceramics, wood, metal, tabletop, sculpture, unique Judaica and paintings in all media. You may call for an appointment to meet with our bridal registry specialists. Find us on Facebook!

The Shaker Historical Society

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. While learning about Shaker Heights history, take a look at the Lissauer Art Gallery, where local artists are featured. Short walk from RTA’s Green Line/Lee Road.


Tricia Kaman Studio/Gallery

Dobama Theatre

Uncommon Art


School House Galleries Little Italy 2026 Murray Hill Road, Unit 202, Cleveland P: 216-559-6478 W: 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, Giclee and canvas prints. She also offers custom-cut silhouettes which make for a special and unique gift. 178½ N. Main St., Hudson P: 216-789-2751 W: uncommon Uncommon Art – a unique blend of art studios, micro gallery and classroom – shows art and jewelry by Dana Giel-Ray, Shannon Casey and Karen Koch. The artists offer classes and private lessons in drawing, painting, mixed media, collage and jewelry making. Visitors are welcome 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.

WOLFS Gallery

13010 Larchmere Blvd., Cleveland P: 216-721-6945 W: WOLFS has proudly been an important part of Cleveland’s art community for more than 35 years. We specialize in fine paintings, sculpture and decorative arts from the 17th century to present day, with a large selection of Cleveland School art. We provide certified accredited appraisals of fine art and antiques, and regularly present art salons.

MUSIC & PERFORMING ARTS Canton Symphony Orchestra – ZimmermanN Symphony Center

2331 17th St. NW, Canton P: 330-452-3434 W: Founded in 1937, the Canton Symphony Orchestra is a fully professional ensemble and organization dedicated to performing concerts that enrich, educate and entertain residents of Stark County and beyond. The orchestra performs classical, pops and a variety of educational music programs in Umstattd Performing Arts Hall and other Stark County venues.

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. Notre Dame College Regina Hall 1857 S. Green Road, South Euclid P: 216.771.5862 W: Upcoming performances: “Beauty and the Beast” (June 10-12, 16-19, 23-25); “Finian’s Rainbow” (July 8-10, 14-17, 21-23); “High School Musical” (July 16); “The Little Mermaid” (Aug. 5-7, 11-14, 18-20).

Porthouse Theatre

3143 O’Neil Road, Cuyahoga Falls P: 330-672-3884 W: Porthouse Theatre is Kent State’s professional theater located on the grounds of Blossom Music Center. Our outdoor, covered theater and extensive grounds provide for a wonderful summer theater experience. Our 2016 season features “Sister Act” (June 16 – July 2); “Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash” (July 7-23); and “Footloose” (July 28 – Aug. 14).

EVENTS 12th Annual Warehouse District Street Festival

Noon to 8 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 7 West Sixth Street and beyond to St. Clair Avenue, downtown Cleveland W: A summertime tradition for Northeast Ohio residents and visitors, the festival offers great food from neighborhood restaurants, excellent bands, an art show, residential open houses, sport team participants, Jasmine Dragon aerialists, the Cutest Dog Contest, children’s activities, architectural tours, the exciting return of Chris Clark’s Bicycle Stunt Show and more! Free admission.

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Legacy Village & Howard Alan Events, Ltd. 25001 Cedar Road, Lyndhurst 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, June 4 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, June 5 P: 561-746-6615 W: One hundred of the finest artists and crafters will converge upon Legacy Village for a two-day juried, outdoor, gallery-style art exhibit and craft showcase. A wide “Tall Ships” - Photography by variety of original Wayne Heim artwork, affordable crafts and unique gifts will be on display and for sale. The event will also feature an interactive children’s art area, live music and wine tasting.


Intersection of Cedar Road and Fairmount Boulevard, Cleveland Heights W: Free Concert on the Green, Thursdays, June 16 and July 21, from 7 to 9 p.m.; 15th Annual Cedar Fairmount Summer Festival and Arts & Craft Show, Sunday, Aug. 7 from noon to 5 p.m. Enjoy arts and crafts, Euclid Beach Rocket Car, clowns, musicians, super heroes, princesses, children’s games, Zoomobile, Adopt-a-Pet, Cleveland Metroparks Nature Tracks and more!


W: The best two weeks of summer! Free family entertainment, charity events, shopping, flea and farmers markets, craft beers, food, vintage auto show, puppy grand prix, and horses, of course! Olympic-style riding by equestrians like Clevelander Jennifer Waxman, 2015 Cleveland Grand Prix winner. July 7-17 at the Cleveland Metroparks Polo Field.


Park Synagogue East 27500 Shaker Blvd., Pepper Pike P: 216-371-2244 W: Don’t miss “EXPRESSIONS: Celebrating Israeli Art at Park,” the amazing work of more than 70 Israeli artists in a variety of mediums and price points. This professionally curated show is open from 1 to 9 p.m. Thursday, May 19; 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, May 20; and 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, May 22.


P: 216-771-1994 W: Take a Hike: Downtown Cleveland Walking Tours, offering five free guided walking tours from the Gateway District, Warehouse District, Playhouse Square, Civic Center and Canal Basin Park each week from May 15 to Sept. 18. Each tour features actors and actresses portraying important Clevelanders from the past. Explore and learn about your city in a whole new way!


4201 W. 42nd St., Cleveland P: 216-570-8201 W: This summer, join us for An Evening in the Falls on second Thursdays from June through August; Walkabout Tremont on second Fridays; Third Fridays at 78th Street Studio on third Fridays; and Old Firehouse Winery Events every Saturday this summer between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Visit our website or call for details.


26900 Cedar Road, Beachwood P: 216-751-7656 W: Wednesdays only, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. June 8 through Sept. 14, 2016. The Cleveland Clinic Beachwood Market features vendors with local, Ohio-grown produce, food products and more!

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P: 216-916-9360 W: The Shaker Heights Arts & Music Festival promises a weekend packed with great food from local restaurants and food trucks, beer and wine, a juried art show, phenomenal musical entertainment and activities for children. Admission is free. Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, June 18 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 19.


Second Weekends in Tremont W: Walkabout Tremont showcases the best of Tremont’s creative side on the second Friday of every month, with extended hours at galleries and shops, restaurant and bar specials, street performers, pop-up art and walking tours. With more than 30 bed & breakfast or Airbnb locations, you can make a weekend of it. Find us on Facebook!


8806 Towpath Road NE, Bolivar P: 330-874-4444 W: Fine casual dining in Zoar’s original tavern and inn. Located on the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath and the Ohio and Erie Scenic Byway, the Canal Tavern of Zoar offers “travelers” on the Canalway and visitors to Zoar excellent food and beverages and our traditional Zoar hospitality.


524 E. Washington St., Chagrin Falls P: 440-247-4884 W: Our introductory offer – $40 for 30 days – is designed to provide new Chagrin Yoga students a great deal in order to get off on the right foot with yoga! Offer includes: 30 days of unlimited yoga and barre, the ability to try all instructors and class styles, and support and guidance from our yoga advisor.

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

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

SAVE THE DATES: 05.20.16 06.17.16 07.15.16

08.19.16 09.16.16 10.21.16

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

11.18.16 12.16.16 01.20.17

02.17.17 03.17.17 04.21.17

05.19.17 06.16.17 07.21.17

Profile for Cleveland Jewish Publication Company

Canvas Spring/Summer 2016  

Cleveland | arts | music | performance | entertainment

Canvas Spring/Summer 2016  

Cleveland | arts | music | performance | entertainment

Profile for cjpc

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