Cleveland is Cool

(originally posted 8/7/2009)

I swear it is.  Until this past year I never thought so.  But now I believe!

Tonight my husband and I went to an art exhibition at the William Rupnik Gallery.  It was called “Oh, That is Sooooo Last Year“, was only one night, and it had works from 22 artists.

I’ve not been to this gallery before so I was really excited (initially I got it confused with another gallery I’ve been to before and had my husband drive to the wrong place. He’s so sweet, he didn’t even tease me about it).  On the way down to the gallery, we passed some of the Year of the Ox sculptures that are around town!  They are so cool! There are 21 ox sculptures that have been painted by different artists and are displayed around Cleveland. I’m going back down to Asiatown tomorrow, so I printed out the sculpture location map so we can go see them all!

Anyway, the exhibition was really nice. Even though I knew that there were 22 artists, I was surprised that there were so many works there.  Most artists had more than one piece in the show.  Unfortunately, the one artist I was particularly interested in was one of the few artists that had only one piece there. Wah! I really like the photos I’ve seen of Steve Ehret‘s work.  Tonight is only the second time that I’ve been able to see one of his works in person (the other time was at Shoparooni, they had a vinyl album that he had painted.  It was really cool but I didn’t have the money to buy it).

I liked the few pieces by Dana Oldfather.  She has been featured in Scene a few times recently and I was excited to see some of her work in person.  It was nice.  I liked the bubble-esque shapes. I don’t get the magic marker scribbles on them but, hey, to each her own.

The works by Andrea Heimer, from her Childhood Adventure series were really nice.  My favorite was “I Outran Them“.

I was very tempted to buy a piece by Matt Sharp.  My biggest problem was deciding which piece to purchase.  His work features macabre creatures. I love it. My hubby really liked his stuff too.

Paul Roger‘s work was pretty cool too. I liked all the detail.  His stuff had texture and depth.  It made me want to touch (but I was good and refrained).

I didn’t get that they were serving Pabst during the reception.  There was also wine.  I didn’t see it but I’ll assume the only wine you’d serve with Pabst is Boone’s.  I mean seriously, Pabst? Is this so the people with money who attend can feel like they’re slumming it? Is that part of the experience? Lame. I don’t need a microbrew but I’m not drinking a Pabst.  If I ever crack open a Pabst, you’ll know that I’ve descended deep into alcoholism.  There’s just no excuse for Pabst.

There’s also no excuse for people to continue to do rubbish versions of Andy Warhol’s soup cans. Stop. Please.  Seriously, there was this painting of a shitty soup can.  My husband commented that the only way people should still be painting soup cans is if there’s some story behind it.  So I said, would it be ok if it was painted by that elephant.  You know the one (I’d google it to figure out the elephant’s name and which zoo she’s at, but I’m too lazy and that sounds like work), zookeepers gave her the paints saying it was therapy for the elephant and then they auction off her “work”.  Whatever.  But at least it would be an excuse for doing a garbage rip off of Andy Warhol.  My husband said that people with Downs’ Syndrome are also permitted to create soup can paintings.

After we left the William Rupnik Gallery, we drove over to Tremont to walk around for a bit.  We ended up at the Paul Duda Gallery.  There were many pictures of brightly colored daisies.  Something about them struck me just right.  The pictures were so cheery and simple.  I made my husband buy me a print of a nice yellow daisy. It is similar to the yellow daisy shown here.

What a cool Friday night out. And I did it in Cleveland. And I didn’t get mugged.  And my car wasn’t stolen.  Sweet! I’m having to rethink my desire to flee the area.  There are people here working hard to bring the city back to life.  I love it.  Now if they could only do something about the weather!


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