Cleveland’s Vibrant Talent Showcased in Bayarts’ Annual Juried Exhibition

Bayarts' Annual Juried Exhibition

BAYarts’ Annual Juried Exhibition

BAYarts’ Annual Juried Exhibition, which opened earlier this month, is a great display of various approaches in artmaking and showcases how diligent work in the studio can really pay off. With over 250 pieces submitted, the guest jurors, Daniel Levin and Kristen Cliffel, had a lot to absorb and discuss leading up to their final selections. This collaborative process appears to be as cohesive as the exhibition itself. Both Daniel and Kristen are veterans of the Cleveland art scene with extensive resumes and teaching credentials.

Diana J. Bjel’s Jewel Box

“I feel it’s important to not only show the best work, but also be certain to give the viewers an experience as they work their way through the gallery. I see a juror’s role to be quite similar to a better disc jockey’s. Beginning with the first piece selected, one should build an experience for the viewer,” says Daniel Levin. “The second piece should complement the first, avoiding redundancy. It is important to share the variety of works within the community while keep standards on the high side regarding the integrity of the works.”

Awards were announced at the opening reception on March 10 including: Best of Show: Martin E. O’Connor – Rescued from Petland; 1st Place: Michael Romanik – Aviarium-Cedar Waxwing; 2nd Place: Derek Brennan – Wildflower; and 3rd Place: Michael Jackson – Marble Jar.  A special Artistic Director’s Choice was awarded to Chris Benavides – Pioneer Daughter.

Derek Brennan’s Wanderer

When walking around the Sullivan Family Gallery at BAYarts, I was struck by the more technical and laborious pieces and often surprised by the more conceptual and experimental works. The exhibit constructs a fascinating snapshot of the remarkable makers living and working in Northeast Ohio. I was especially impressed with Derek Brennan’s Wanderer; His encaustic work has a cool subdued pallete and a striking composition that balanced the portraiture with architectural forms. Another notable work was Pita Brook’s Control Group, an experimental abstract sculpture that was both playful and unexpected.

One of my favorite aspects of visiting Bay Village and BAYarts for the first time was learning more about the spaces used for galleries and classrooms. I was charmed by the inclusiveness of this community. While walking along the winding path which leads you to the Sullivan Family Gallery, each building is rich with history and makes for a wonderful afternoon visit. I had lovely conversations with a few visitors along the way and many shared the same enthusiasm about Bay Village.

“BAYarts is an amazing asset to the whole community it serves. The ability to drop in to view an exhibition, commune with other artists in a class, shop in the lovely store and hear music and dance on the lawn in the warmer months are some of the many reasons I love BAYarts,” says Kristen Cliffel.

Denise Ziganti’s Jen in Stitches

The BAYarts’ Annual Juried exhibition is on view through April 1, 2017. I recommend giving yourself plenty of time to study the details within the works on display. There are several nuances to be discovered along the way. Also, A People’s Choice Award will be announced from the public’s vote. The Sullivan Family Gallery is located at 28795 Lake Rd., Bay Village. For more details contact 440-871-6543 or visit


The opinions expressed on CAN Blog are those of the individual writers. Art is somewhat subjective. Well, somewhat. But yes, everybody's a critic.