Artists contemplate local experiences

Karen Sandstrom's illustrations explore the relationships between humans and animals.

Karen Sandstrom is the next featured artist in the Heights Arts Spotlight Gallery, in a show opening May 10. Sandstrom’s recent body of work, “Such Agreeable Friends,” pays homage to George Eliot’s quote, which observes the personified virtues of the kinship animals offer. Sandstrom’s work in this show combines handwritten text and illustrated imagery in an article-style composition. Mentions of local weather, animals, seasonal fruits and trees, etc., construct a life that is familiar to any number of suburban Cleveland residents. The mellow exterior and visually flowing scrawl of the lettering sits in contrast to the sharper, snarkier voice of the text. Focusing a humorous and honest lens on a calmer, softer approach to dissecting the everyday, Sandstrom’s pieces do not aim to critique or to settle for paying homage. They heighten an awareness of the existence of these pleasantly simple and small moments that would otherwise be overlooked. Come to the opening reception on May 10, 6 to 9 p.m., to see how the narrator works in conjunction with an intertwining collage of tenderly rendered watercolor pieces, and converse with the artist herself.

Heights Arts' Ekphrastacy: Artists Talk + Poets Respond program combines short talks by exhibiting artists with readings by area poets of poems written specifically in response to the works on view. The poets are recruited by Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate Damien McClendon. The next Ekphrastacy event is slated for Thursday, May 23, 7 p.m., for the exhibition Emergent, which showcases the work of 11 recent graduates of the region's college and university art programs. The exhibition will be on view through June 9.

Michelangelo Lovelace’s Spotlight exhibition closes on May 5. An exhibition of Lovelace's work in New York City last summer sold out every painting. Now that he has legitimately hit the "big time," this may well be his last exhibition in Cleveland. Heights Arts is able to present this show because of the longterm friendship between Lovelace and Bill Schubert, the Heights Arts exhibition community team member. Schubert championed Lovelace's work when Schubert operated Headfooters Gallery some years ago in Larchmere. Layers of realism and commentary distinguish Lovelace’s work, visually providing recognizable locations throughout Cleveland juxtaposed with an emotional and sociopolitical reality depicted through darkly humorous labeling. Don't miss this chance to experience the work of a Cleveland original.

For more information on Heights Arts community programs and events, including house concerts, gallery performances and outreach, visit

Laura Yurko

Laura Yurko is a marketing intern and assistant store manager at Heights Arts.

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Volume 12, Issue 5, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.01.2019