Art festivals to return in full force for summer
By Alyssa Schmitt
Summer is fast approaching, meaning sunshine-filled days and more time outside are just around the corner. And for those living in Northeast Ohio, that also means the start of festival season.
Throw a stone in any direction and it’s bound to land on one of the unique festivals hosted throughout the Cleveland area. From jazz-filled concerts, family-geared activities and exhibitors with art in an array of media, there’s an art festival out there that matches the interests of any patron this June and July.
ART IN THE VILLAGE
Returning to Legacy Village in Lyndhurst for its 32nd year is Art in the Village with Craft Marketplace, presented by Howard Alan Events.
This year’s festival will run from June 3-4 and boasts about 100 artists exhibiting their work across various mediums like paintings, jewelry, photography, sculptures and ceramics, among others. Additionally, the festival will host a craft marketplace separate from the art side of the festival.
When talking about the event, Howard Alan, show director and president of Howard Alan Events, says the COVID-19 pandemic was a setback to the industry and even canceled the festival in 2020. However, things are returning to normal, he says. The festival went on in 2021 and 2022.
“The artists are getting back on their feet now,” he says. “Understand, they lost two years of business.”
What’s unique with artists in this show, Alan says, is the relationship between the artists and Northeast Ohio patrons.
“Because the people in Cleveland are so artsy and so educated about the arts, they understand what’s involved – the process, the materials that are needed, how much time it takes to do it – and they have a really great respect level of the artists,” he says. “They really appreciate the fact that (the artists are) coming to Cleveland … from all over the country.”
If you go
10 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 3
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 4
Legacy Village, 25001 Cedar Road, Lyndhurst
Free admission | artfestival.com
ART BY THE FALLS
Situated near the two waterfalls that run through Chagrin Falls, Art by the Falls, a fine art and contemporary craft festival presented by Valley Art Center, returns June 10-11.
The annual festival in Riverside Park will feature approximately 130 artists, an increase from the previous year’s 120. Artists showcase a variety of work including paintings, photography, sculptures, jewelry and mixed media, and provide visitors the opportunity to meet the artists.
The festival will also continue a project it started in 2022, explains Rebecca Gruss, executive director of Valley Art Center.
“Last year we started a tradition, which we’re continuing this year, which is having an interactive art project at the festival where attendees can come up and participate in a public art project,” Gruss says.
This year’s project will be a large-scale weaving piece using plastic bags, led by Rosemary Anderson, a Kent State University studio arts student. The project plays into Valley Art Center’s theme of environmental sustainability which has been a focus of the organization this year.
“We have several instructors here at the art center who are very passionate about recycling and environmental sustainability,” Gruss says. “Having people who are passionate about that helps encourage the organization overall to take better positions in that realm, and we can all do better.”
Visitors will also see this theme in the form of water bottle fill stations throughout the festival to help reduce plastic waste. And to help improve this year’s buying experience, Gruss adds there will be a curbside pickup area for those who purchase large pieces of art.
If you go
10 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 10
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 11
Riverside Park in Chagrin Falls
Free admission | valleyartcenter.org/artbythefalls
Founded in 1980, the Tri-C JazzFest’s mission fosters the history and nurtures the future of jazz, providing educational opportunities for visitors while bringing world-class jazz to Cleveland’s Playhouse Square.
The festival will feature eight ticketed concerts inside Playhouse Square theaters during its run from June 22-24, along with free outdoor concerts on the plaza from 3 p.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday.
“We have our own unique experience,” says festival director Terri Pontremoli. “The ticketed concerts are held in beautiful, historic theaters at Playhouse Square, and the plaza activities are available to the whole community. The festival is scheduled in such a way that if you purchase a pass, you can enjoy all the indoor concerts and still have time to be outside for food and concerts by local musicians.”
While the JazzFest has called Cleveland home for decades, its ever-changing lineup keeps the festival unique each year, Pontremoli explains.
Among that lineup is this year’s Grammy Award-winning Best New Artist Samara Joy, Herbie Hancock, Trombone Shorty, African artists Angélique Kidjo and Richard Bona, Christian McBride, Braxton Cook, Dominick Farinacci, Norman Brown, Gerald Albright and Dan Wilson’s tribute to Stevie Wonder.
New this year will be cooking demonstrations – along with free samples – with Cuyahoga Community College’s culinary arts program, which will host demos where musicians act as sous chefs for the featured area chefs. Jam sessions will also take place after hours at Bin 216 on Friday and Saturday.
If you go
Playhouse Square, 1501 Euclid Ave., Cleveland
Passes to all concerts $250; single tickets to shows range from $32 to $85. Outdoor concerts are free. | tri-c.edu/jazzfest
CAIN PARK ARTS FESTIVAL
For more than four decades, the Cain Park Arts Festival has brought hundreds of artists from across the country to Cleveland Heights.
With artwork ranging from pottery and woodworking to fiber art and multimedia and everything in between, there’s something for everyone at this year’s festival, running from July 7-9.
Coupled with the festival, music is performed on the park’s stages with kid-focused performances on Saturday and Sunday.
“We’re just capitalizing on what’s worked in the past,” says Erin Miller, general manager of Cain Park. “There’s a lot of great art, great music, great food, great people, lovely park.”
The three-day juried event is in part curated by Northeast Ohio artist George Kozmon, whose work is featured in the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Akron Art Museum and the Butler Institute of American Art, among other locations around the world.
For Miller, what makes this festival unique is the distinctive touch the city leaves on it by taking place in one of its parks nestled between neighborhoods.
“Because it’s in a residential park and it’s produced by the city of Cleveland Heights, there’s a personal feel to it,” she says. “We welcome the artists and all of the patrons into Cain Park as if we are welcoming them into our home.”
If you go
3 p.m. to 8 p.m. July 7
10 a.m. to 8 p.m. July 8
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 9
Cain Park, 14591 Superior Road, Cleveland Heights
Free admission | cainpark.com