On deck

Event details provided by the entities featured. Compiled by Becky Raspe.

Editor’s note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, museums and galleries may change how exhibitions are able to be seen and might not allow in-person visitation. Visit their websites for updated information regarding exhibition visitation prior to visiting. 

Valley Art Center

50th anniversary programming | Through May 21

Valley Art Center in Chagrin Falls is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and with it will exhibit work by its alumni and begin a community art project in May.

On view through May 12, the center is hosting an exhibition celebrating alumni who have gone on to successful artistic careers over its first half century. “Illustrious Alum” will feature the work of artists who got their start at VAC, such as Judith Brandon, a mixed-media landscape artist; H. Craig Hanna, a landscape and figurative painter; Jeremy Galante, an animation artist; Kate Kaman, a sculptor; and Judy Takacs, a figurative painter.

And for the community art installation, internationally known fiber artist Carol Hummel will wrap the trees in front of the VAC building in color. “Fantastic at Fifty – Valley Art Center’s Anniversary Community Art Project” asks volunteers to create crocheted circles to encase the trees in vibrant spring colors. The display will be installed from May 15-21, and will be accessible to the public throughout this year.

Valley Art Center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. The center is at 155 Bell St. For more information on upcoming programming, visit valleyartcenter.org.

Above: “Love Denied” by Dale Goode. Oil, latex and enamel on canvas, 96 x 1.5 x 62.75 inches. | Photo / Aireonna McCall

HEDGE Gallery

Dale Goode – “Paintings and Printmaking” | Through June 18

Cleveland artist Dale Goode’s work will be on display as a satellite exhibition at HEDGE Gallery at the 78th Street Studios in Cleveland’s Edgewater neighborhood. The exhibition, which features some of Goode’s more recent paintings and prints, employs both figurative and abstract works on paper, as well as some of his older, never-before-seen paintings on canvas. Goode’s work is created with layers of bold color and expressive mark making, using varieties of paint including oils, enamel, acrylic and latex combined with other found materials. He also works on large-scale sculptures that influence his painting and printmaking.

Shown in the Suite 215 Gallery, hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays, and noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays, or by appointment. 

HEDGE Gallery is at 1300 W. 78th St. Visit it online at hedgeartgallery.com. For more information, contact Hilary Gent at hilary@hedgeartgallery.com or 216-650-4201.

Above: “still waters run deep / fall in your ways” (2021) by Shikeith. Site-specific installation commissioned by moCa Cleveland as part of “Imagine Otherwise.” | Photo / Field Studio.

Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland

“Imagine Otherwise” | Through June 6

As part of a three-location installation, “Imagine Otherwise” is a group exhibition on display at moCa Cleveland that expresses the boundlessness and fierceness of Black imagination and love, despite ongoing anti-Black violence and demonstrations. Using Christina Sharpe’s book “In the Wake: On Blackness and Being,” the show features work by artists Shikeith, Imani Dennison, Amber N. Ford and Antwoine Washington. The multi-media exhibition, which also has work on display at ThirdSpace Action Lab in Cleveland’s Glenville neighborhood and Museum of Creative Human Art in Lakewood, spotlights Black pathways to self-determination and collective liberation through various artistic media. Organized by La Tanya S. Autry, founder of the Black Literation Center and Gund curator in residence, the moCa installment features work by Shikeith. Dennison and Ford’s work can be viewed at ThirdSpace and Washington’s will be at Museum of Creative Human Art. 

moCa’s hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. The museum is at 11400 Euclid Ave. in Cleveland’s Uptown District.

For more information about the show and its locations, visit mocacleveland.org/exhibitions/imagine-otherwise.

Above: “Sadie” by Karen Novak for “Furtography: Another Show for the Dogs.” | Image courtesy of Cleveland Photo Fest.

Cleveland Photo Fest

“PHOTOTHON 2021” | May 1 – June 30

After debuting in 2019, Cleveland Photo Fest is returning with PHOTOTHON 2021. The show will feature seven photography exhibitions: three drawn from international submissions, three of local talent and Cleveland Photo Fest’s own “I Identify As: Portraits in Black and White,” a Cleveland portrait project of 60 white, Black and those who identify as “other” photographing portraits of each other. The other exhibitions are “Furtography: Another Show for the Dogs,” which features photos of man’s best friend – dogs; “Deja Nude: Not Another Nude Show!” featuring nude photos; and “Dear Diary: Show Us Your Secrets,” featuring photos by women looking to visually share their favorite secret. Additionally, there will be a high school student exhibition, interpretive photography of poetry and an exchange show with photographers from Kerala, a state in southern India. The exchange will be from 6 to 9 p.m. May 26 at BAYarts, 28795 Lake Road in Bay Village.

PHOTOTHON 2021 will be housed at Bostwick Design Art Initiative, 2729 Prospect Ave. in Cleveland. Gallery hours will be noon to 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Visit it online at clevelandphotofest.org.

To read more about Cleveland Photo Fest’s inaugural year, visit canvascle.com/developing-landscape.

Above: The 2019 Alumni Exhibition at CIA’s Reinberger Gallery. | Image courtesy of The Cleveland Institute of Art.

Cleveland Institute of Art

“2021 Alumni Exhibition” | June 4 – Aug. 13

The Cleveland Institute of Art and the CIA Alumni Council will present the 2021 Alumni Exhibition this summer in Reinberger Gallery. This juried exhibition will showcase work by CIA alums from different graduating years and artistic practices, and it will offer viewers the opportunity to learn more about the college and its influence on art in the region.

Emily Carol Burns, a multi-disciplinary artist who has curated exhibitions across the U.S. that highlight visual art from emerging artists, will serve as juror for the Alumni Exhibition. She is also the founding editor of Maake Magazine – an independent, artist-run publication – and is an assistant professor at The Pennsylvania State University.

CIA’s Reinberger Gallery is at 11610 Euclid Ave. in Cleveland. Visit
cia.edu/exhibitions for the most current visitor policy and check
cia.edu/alumniexhibition for updates regarding public programming.

Above: Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her husband, Marty, with their daughter, Jane, in 1958. This photo is on view with “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage. | Photo / Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage

“Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” | Through Aug. 29

A traveling museum exhibition, “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage explores the life of the late Supreme Court justice, known simply and commonly by her three initials, who passed away at age 87 due to complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer on Sept. 18, 2020 after almost 30 years on the bench. The exhibition, created by the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles that opened in October 2018, is based off a book focused on Ginsburg’s personal and professional life by journalist Irin Carmon and attorney Shana Knizhnik. The exhibition is broken into seven parts of RBG’s life, each named after lyrics from the late hip-hop artist the Notorious B.I.G. 

The exhibition is included in regular museum admission and is open during regular museum hours, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. Tickets are by advanced registration only.

The Maltz Museum is at 2929 Richmond Road in Beachwood. Visit it online at maltzmuseum.org.


By Jane Kaufman

Photography comes into focus this fall as examples of many genres and techniques appear in 18 exhibitions in 13 venues for the inaugural Cleveland Photo Fest.

A total of 110 photographers from Northeast Ohio and a dozen more from across the country and around the globe will exhibit their images in galleries in downtown Cleveland and points south, east and west of the city. While the festival’s dates are bookended by Sept. 1 and Oct. 31, the concept has inspired events and additional exhibits that opened as early as mid-August and will close as late as January of next year. 

“We want to showcase the incredible homegrown talent from Cleveland because there is so much of it here,” says Herb Ascherman Jr., director of the Cleveland Photographic Workshop and Cleveland Photo Fest. “It’s not underrated, it’s under-exposed. Unfortunately, as you well know with the art scene, you have to go elsewhere to establish a reputation, because there’s no art-buying market in Cleveland. What we hope to do with our exhibitions is show Clevelanders that there is value in investing in Cleveland artists. We are the avatar.”

Ascherman is one of three photo fest directors. The others are fine art photographer Laura D’Alessandro and Jim Szudy, the freelance photographer behind 440 Photography and founder of Berea-based Gemini Developers.

Ascherman used a single word to describe what attendees can expect from the exhibitions: “Variety.” 

“They can expect a range of work going from 19th century absolute traditionalism classic imagery and pictorialism to the most contemporary, visionary, literally, digitally driven available today.”

From left, Cleveland Photo Fest directors Jim Szudy, Laura D’Alessandro and Herb Ascherman Jr. – all with their cameras of choice. / Photo by Michael C. Butz

How it started

The concept for this festival came from D’Alessandro. 

When the Cleveland native returned from several years of living in New Orleans, it took her awhile to find her footing in her hometown. That was complicated by the birth of a child and facing a diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer.

“I had this really aggressive rare kind of breast cancer,” she says, adding that when she finally emerged from treatment, she had a revelation. “I should be doing what I’m meant to be doing and not just cleaning all day.”

D’Alessandro, 48, spoke first with Ascherman, 72, a portraitist, about a year ago. Through a mutual friend, she met Szudy, 41, and discussed her hope to create a festival in Cleveland similar to PhotoNOLA, the New Orleans Festival of Photography.

In February, the trio began meeting weekly at Algebra Tea House in Cleveland’s Little Italy neighborhood to plan Cleveland Photo Fest.

“I know the old guard,” Ascherman says, “but (Laura) is extremely fluent in contemporary photography and contemporary photographers in Cleveland,” adding that Szudy, who is also marketing manager, is the group’s media savant.

“The three of us have this synergy,” D’Alessandro says. “If three people with not much money can pull this off, anybody can do anything with their dream. It’s just crazy. It’s just very exciting, too.” 

Under the auspices of the Cleveland Photographic Workshop, which Ascherman founded in 1978, Cleveland Photo Fest short-circuited the lengthy process to win nonprofit status. But the festival still must wait a year to win eligibility for grant funding. 

D’Alessandro said by siting exhibits in venues throughout Cleveland and its suburbs, the three photographers hope to make the exhibits as accessible to as wide an audience as possible.

“Even if somebody doesn’t have a car … you could at least get to a couple places,” she says.

“Cutting Edge Fauve 4, for Henri Matisse,” Archival Digital Print, 17½ x 13 inches on 20 x 16 inches. © Abe Frajndlich 2019.

Key events

The Cleveland Photo Fest will feature educational programming and artist talks – most of them free. 

“ART: as in ARTiculation: From 19th Century Techniques to the Smart Phone. Photography as Creative Expression,” a moderated panel at the Cleveland Museum of Art at 2 p.m. Sept. 21, will include audience interaction and discuss historical and contemporary impact of the creative photograph on modern culture. 

The panelists will be Ascherman; Linda Butler, secretary of the Friends of Photography; Cleveland photographer Donald Black; and Dr. Unni Krishnan Pulikkal, founder of PhotoMuse, India’s second photography museum. The moderator will be Ben Hauser, Column & Stripe Philanthropy co-chair and Cleveland Museum of Art educator. Attendees will be encouraged to turn on their cellphones to see visual examples of what the moderators are referring to during the discussion. That event is the result of a collaboration of Column & Stripe: The Young Friends of the Cleveland Museum of Art and Cleveland Photo Fest – one of many collaborations in the festival.

Among the panoply of offerings, there will be a fashion show featuring fashion photographers shooting models during IngenuityFest 2019: Dreamscape, Sept. 27-29 at the Hamilton Collaborative in Cleveland.

In addition, there will be at least one bit of performance art: Larry Rakow will play Professor Optix in The Magic Lantern Show, which takes place at 2 p.m. Oct. 12 at The Good Goat Gallery in Lakewood. Rakow will take the stage dressed as an itinerant preacher from the 1890s, donning a top hat and using a type of technology that was first created in the 16th century. His color slide show will include hand-painted slides from the 19th century, which captivated audiences at the time, offering the then-novelties of projected color images that featured movement. Rakow found the script for the morality play he will deliver in the bottom of a box of the handpainted glass plates.

There will be two poetry readings accompanying photography exhibits related to the written word at Mac’s Backs – Books on Coventry in Cleveland Heights.

Local photographers will hold a sale and pop-up show at the Sell and Show Show at The Good Goat Gallery. At that event, photographers will set up tables to sell their works from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 5. Then, the artists will hang works of their choosing to create a pop-up exhibit as art enthusiasts enjoy a reception.

“It’s completely democratic,” Szudy says, regarding the fact that photographers will make their own decisions about which images to hang.

Accompanying an exhibit of 19th century silver, platinum and gold techniques, Ascherman will speak about those early approaches to the medium at the Oct. 10 opening reception at Foothill Galleries of the Photo-Succession in Cleveland Heights.

D’Alessandro and fellow fine art photographer Samantha Bias will offer an opportunity for people to make sunprints on handmade paper at 2 p.m. Oct. 19 at Prama Artspace in Parma, using natural light to create art on
photo-sensitive paper.

Just in time for the winter holidays, Ascherman will lecture on “Taking Better Pictures” at noon Nov. 15 at the Orange Art Center in Pepper Pike. 

Dr. Unni Krishnan Pulikkal 2019. From the exhibit “TRANSFORMATIONS,” which will hang at Foothill Galleries of the Photo-Succession in Cleveland Heights during Cleveland Photo Fest.

Ubiquitous images

All three organizers view the cell phone as both a blessing and a curse to the field of professional photography.

“The once proud profession of professional photography has become eroded by the fact that everyone has a cellphone and everyone can take pictures,” Ascherman says. “On the other hand, that very fact has democratized the process to the point where everyone can take pictures and share them accordingly.”

“We want to show something greater than Photoshop, something greater than the image on your phone,” Szudy says. “We want to show the necessity of the actual printed image of a picture.” CV

On View

383 Broadway

• “FireFish Festival 2019“ and “U MIX” (Sept. 20 and Sept. 12; reception 4 to 11 p.m. Sept. 20) at 383 Broadway Ave., Lorain.

Cleveland Botanical Garden 

• “Forests, Gardens and Friends” and “Wayne Mazerow: Texture and Light” (Aug. 13 to Oct. 6; reception Aug. 13) at 11030 East Blvd., Cleveland.

Cuyahoga County Public Library, Beachwood branch

• “Beachwood Photography Group Annual Exhibition: Portrait Perspectives” (Nov. 3-30; reception 2 to 5 p.m. Nov. 3) at 25501 Shaker Blvd., Beachwood. 

Doubting Thomas Gallery

• “Off the Wall” (Dec. 13 to Jan. 12, 2020; reception 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 13) at 856 Jefferson Ave., Cleveland.

Foothill Galleries of the Photo-Succession

• “Transformations” (Sept. 11 to Oct. 8; reception 5:30 to 8 p.m. Sept. 11) and “Silver Platinum Gold” (Oct. 10 to Nov. 1; reception 5:30 to 8 p.m. Oct. 10) at 2450 Fairmount Blvd., Suite M291, Cleveland Heights.

Gallery Ü Cleveland 

• “Repeat” (Aug. 30, Sept. 6, Sept. 27-29, Oct. 25, Nov. 29; receptions 6 to 10 p.m., Aug. 30, Sept. 27, Oct. 25, Nov. 29) at 5401 Hamilton Avenue, Cleveland.

The Good Goat Gallery

• “Cutting Edge Cleveland” (Sept. 6 to Oct. 3; reception 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 6) and “Sell and Show Show” (Oct. 5-30; sale 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 5; reception 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 5) at 17012 Madison Ave., Lakewood.

IMAGES Photographic Art Gallery 

• “UPHEAVAL: Richard Margolis, Photographs: Anti-War and Ku Klux Klan Rallies 1965 – 1966” (Sept. 15 to Oct. 12; reception 3 to 7 p.m. Sept. 15) at 14406 Detroit Ave., Lakewood.

IngenuityFest 2019: Dreamscapes

• “Cleveland: The Rhythm of Fashion” (Sept. 27 to Sept. 29) at 5401 Hamilton Ave, Cleveland.

LIVE Publishing Gallery

• “Darren Feist: London Fashions” (Aug. 8 to Oct. 15) and “Portraits: New Faces in Portraiture” (Jan. 9 to March 30, 2020) at Murray Hill Schoolhouse, 2026 Murray Hill Road, Suite 103, Cleveland.

Mac’s Backs – Books on Coventry

• “Poetography” (Aug. 30 to Oct. 15; reception 6 to 8 p.m. with poetry reading at 7 p.m. Aug. 30) and “Altered Landscapes” (Oct. 25 to Nov. 30; reception 6 to 8 p.m. with poetry reading at 7 p.m. Oct. 25) at 1820 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights.

Orange Art Center

• “Masters of Portraiture Invitational” (Sept. 13 to Nov. 18; reception 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 13) at 31500 Chagrin Blvd., Pepper Pike.

Prama Artspace

• “Take a Good Look! Brush High School Student Exhibition” (Aug. 23 to Sept. 18; receptions 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 23 and Sept. 18) and “Beyond the Camera – Manipulated Photography” (Sept. 18 to Oct. 24; receptions 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 18 and 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 24) at 5411 Pearl Road, Parma.


• “Laura D’Alessandro: Into the Ether” (July 19 to Sept. 13) at 1365 W. 65th St., Cleveland.

For event listings and additional information, visit clevelandphotofest.org.

Lead image: Bruce Checefsky “Garden Scan Series” 2018. From “Cutting Edge Cleveland,” which will hang at The Good Goat Gallery during Cleveland Photo Fest.