Heights Arts Celebrates Community with Three Exhibitions

Bernadette Glorioso, Watch My Back (Detail)

Heights Arts presents its group and accompanying Spotlight exhibitions on Friday, March 19 through Sunday, May 16. Group Show 2021 features work across various mediums, allowing gallery visitors to experience work submitted by local artists and curated by Heights Arts’ Exhibition Community Team.

The exhibition features artists Dante Rodriguez, Julie Friedman, Paula Izydorek, Mark Keffer, and Alessandro Ravagnan, with an adjacent spotlight showcase from Bernadette Gloriso. Greg Donley, Heights Arts’ Exhibition Community Team leader, says it’s an important aspect of the organization’s mission to present group shows assembled from artists who respond to the open call to apply to exhibit at Heights Arts (which is done through an application portal at heightsarts.org), but it’s also a lot of fun for the committee. “It’s always exciting to do these group exhibitions that come from artist submissions over the Heights Arts website. It’s kind of like putting together a playlist from songs you just heard for the first time on the radio, mixing in some things you already know that come to mind because they fit in well,” says Donley. “There are always some nice surprises in the ways that different pieces relate to each other, and it’s great to be able to share our discoveries with a larger audience.”

In the Spotlight Gallery, Gloriso’s audacious, eye-catching paintings tell the story of her summer nature experiences and how they grounded her mind through a tumultuous year. “Since my move back to Cleveland I have been inspired by the breathtaking Metroparks that surround my neighborhood. I can’t deny the impact of nature’s lively inhabitants. My bold interactions with deer, squirrels, skunks, and owls, and my brush with a groundhog have strongly influenced my art,” Gloriso says.

“Similar to biomimicry, my work observes the natural interaction of the wondrous animals and how it relates to the human response of problem solving and interpersonal communication. With a strong need for digital interaction during our pandemic, how has this influenced our natural and grounded response to social skills and basic human interaction? This series is an optimistic reflection of life’s complexities.”

Opening Friday, May 21, and running through Sunday, June 13, Heights Arts will feature the work of budding artists in its Intern Exhibition 2021. Cleveland Heights art students Eryn Lawson and Zelda Thayer-Hansen exhibit their talents and curate fellow Heights High School students’ interpretations of the natural environment all around us, whether they be fantastical, political, community based, or otherwise driven. “The most important aspect of our show this year is the theme connecting our art to the outdoors,” says Thayer-Hansen. “Given that this exhibition stands at the threshold of becoming an in-person or virtual show, we hope to connect viewers with the natural world we have all been so detached from over the past year. Ever since I had my first interview for this internship, I have looked forward to leading this community show. I’m excited to learn more about the curatorial process as we move closer to this gallery opening.”