Sunday, March 06, 2011

March Regional Arts Roundup

A late attempt to roundup some of the more interesting shows in the wider Northeast Ohio, Western PA region. Many of the ones I mentioned last month are still up and won't be highlighted. It's a big area so lots of stuff isn't mentioned.

The extensive show of 130 of M.C. Escher's prints at the Akron Art Museum running till May 29th is high on my to do list.


Cleveland Museum

FYI, The Cleveland Museum is huge; the closest thing this region has to a Met and there are a number of great shows going on there at any given time. Not to insult Cleveland, but this place alone justifies a trip. A few important shows are coming down there.

In Honor of the Cleveland Arts Prize Closes March 13!

"This exhibition commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Cleveland Arts Prize, featuring some 30 works in all media created by former visual arts prize winners whose work is in the permanent collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art. The museum’s partners in this wide-reaching celebration—MOCA Cleveland, SPACES, and the Sculpture Center—will feature exciting, newly commissioned programs held throughout the summer to draw attention to the excellence of the arts in Cleveland through the lens of the Cleveland Arts Prize. The museum’s exhibition is accompanied by the Annual Awards event for the Cleveland Arts Prize, which will be hosted in the newly renovated Gartner Auditorium on June 26, 2010."

June 13, 2010–March 13, 2011
Sorry, I dropped the ball on telling you about this show.

The Glory of the Painted Page Manuscript
Illuminations from the Permanent Collection
November 6, 2010-April 17, 2011

"The history of manuscript illumination corresponds almost exactly with the epoch we know as the Middle Ages, a vast period of about a thousand years. An illuminated manuscript is a book that was written and decorated by hand sometime between the fall of Rome, in the late 5th century AD, and the perfection of printing technology towards the end of the 15th century. Its texts were written on vellum (animal skin), not paper. These were enlivened by the application of colorful inks, pigments, and gold. In antiquity, literature was thought of as something spoken or heard. The Middle Ages broke with this tradition by considering a literary text as something to be revealed visually to be understood through the written word. Often elaborately decorated in a multitude of styles and formats, illuminated manuscripts flourished in ecclesiastical, monastic, devotional, courtly, legal, and academic contexts throughout the Middle Ages and early Renaissance. This exhibition presents a selection of liturgical, academic, and biblical leaves from the museum’s permanent collection."

MOCA Cleveland

Three contemporary artist shows there, two of which I covered last month.

Javier Téllez : Letter on the Blind, for the Use of Those Who SeeOn view January 28th, 2011 through May 8th, 2011

"Commissioned by Creative Time and Galerie Peter Kilchmann for the 2008 Whitney Biennial, Javier Téllez's stirring film, Letter on the Blind, for the Use of Those Who See (2007) documents six blind people as they touch and respond to a live elephant. Based loosely on an Indian fable, the film balances footage of these interactions with verbal commentary by each subject about his or her blindness. The rawness of the environment - an empty swimming pool in Brooklyn's McCarren Park - sharpens the rich poignancy of the individual's distinct, often profound physical and emotional response to the elephant. A compelling portrayal of non-visual perception through a visual medium, the work probes the value of sight in the interpretation of reality."

Spaces Gallery

Manic Growth
Elizabeth Dunfee

February 11 - April 01, 2011

"Akron-based artist Elizabeth Dunfee uses lyrical painting and mixed-media elements as a means to explore the consistent introduction of synthetic chemicals to our natural environment. Particularly, she weighs the alteration and manipulation of natural elements with the effects that they produce in human bodies. The resulting exhibition, Manic Growth, consisting of a large-scale "painting" environment will be on view at SPACES February 11 through April 1, 2011.

Dunfee employs microscopic cell imagery blown up to wall-sized proportions and then infuses the painting with three-dimensional objects, video and synthetic, "toxic" color to form a tension between the natural and the introduced. Her multi-media collage is a metaphor for the juxtaposition of chemical elements that lead to both beneficial as well as catastrophic results. This installation environment depicts a manic growth where she notes how altering our world for "survival" forms a paradoxical relationship with it."

Camp Cleveland
Machine Project, Emily Lacy, Nate Page, Ezra Buchla, Corey Fogel, Liz Glynn, Asher Hartman, Haruko Tanaka, Adam Overton, Laura Steenberge
February 11 - April 01, 2011

Put in plain English these are a loose group of artists who take over the space and create an ongoing series of events, performances, readings and ongoing installation projects.

Spaces Website

Sculpture Center (Cleveland)

Qian Li: No Matter How Hard I Yell and Daniel McDonald: Reluctant Redemption

Exhibition dates: March 11 – April 16, 2011

"Qian Li’s mixed media installations of sculpture and projected video incorporate memories, dreams, and visualizations of her troubled childhood and traditional Chinese background. She constructs a world of desperation, mental and physical pain, anxiety, and restlessness. Three different works will examine separate traumatic instances that have shaped her expression through art. These works take on a therapeutic aspect for the artist but the brutal emotional honesty of the pieces confronts the viewer directly.
To add another dimension of meaning and response to the artwork of No Matter How Hard I Yell, composers of FiveOne, Cleveland’s new music ensemble, are writing original music for solo instruments for each of Li's pieces."

"Daniel McDonald’s sculptures give form to the internal dilemmas he feels from the overlap of his spiritual upbringing and cultural convictions. Never quite comfortable in the socio-cultural environment of his Mormon childhood, McDonald’s works are partially cathartic but he also seeks to relate to the viewer by addressing broader social concerns such as stereotyping, manipulation and self-evaluation. His three sculptures in Reluctant Redemption examine what he deems “faith-promoting” stories, those which are fed to masses in order to create motivation through unconquerable goals and situations. By creating a dialogue with the work, McDonald hopes to create some resolution for his personal fixation while also scrutinizing the correlations and differences between expectations and eventualities."

Sculpture Center Website

Akron Art Museum

M.C. Escher: Impossible RealitiesFebruary 12, 2011 - May 29, 2011

"M.C. Escher: Impossible Realities features 130 works by master printmaker Maurits Cornelis Escher, including woodcuts, lithographs, mezzotints, sculptures, and rare preparatory drawings that provide an in-depth view of the artist's creative processes. Featured in the exhibition are seminal and instantly recognizable works such as Drawing Hands and Reptiles, as well as the extremely rare lithograph stone for the making of Flat Worms.

The exhibition comes from the Herakleidon Museum in Athens, Greece, which houses one of the world's largest collections of Escher works. Akron is one of only two North American venues for this extraordinary loan."

Akron Art Museum website

Erie Art Museum

Hidden in Plain Sight: Art Treasures from Regional Collections
Main Gallery
October 23, 2010 through April 3, 2011

The perfect show for this post!

"Throughout our region—northwest Pennsylvania and neighboring New York and Ohio—are numerous collections containing outstanding works of art. Some, like the art museums in Cleveland and Buffalo, and the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, are well known to visitors from around the country; however, dozens of collections exist in small museums, historical societies, colleges, libraries and other institutions. These collections are often unknown to their local audience, let alone within the region. To celebrate the grand opening of the new galleries, the Museum has borrowed artworks from these various collections, providing an opportunity for our audience to sample the treasures that can be found throughout the region.

The exhibition features sculptures, paintings, drawings, Native American artifacts, furniture and more. Highlights include works by American artists Benjamin West, Gilbert Stuart, Ralph Albert Blakelock, Jasper Francis Cropsey, Thomas Hart Benton, Adolf Dehn, Walter Ufer and many others. Native American works include a rare, early Navajo serape, a painted parfleche and a set of pictograph drawings. Works created in the region include a portrait done by John James Audubon during a sojourn to Meadville, a wonderful collection of carved and painted folk art birds by a Crawford County farmer and sculptures by Marion Sanford. Crafts enthusiasts will enjoy Japanese pottery and baskets, a Calder weaving, a Wendell Castle table, sculptural ceramics by Daniel Rhodes and Ken Ferguson, and an unusual late 18th century Windsor chair. Many of these treasures have never been exhibited outside of their home institutions; some have never been exhibited at all."

Erie Art Museum website

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