Updated! Art of the Eclipse

Steven Mastroianni, Eclipse, unique photogram, silver gelatin print (camera-less photograph), from The Cleveland Eclipse Show, on view at Pinwheel Gallery April 5 – May 3. Image courtesy of Pinwheel Gallery.

Have you heard there is going to be a total solar eclipse April 8, and that Cleveland is in the Path of Totality? No? Well, it’s true. Skip the following paragraph if you have already heard this information forty gajillion times:

The moon will begin to block the sun at 1:59 pm in Cleveland. Between 3:13 and 3:17 pm, it will block it out entirely, and day will seem like night. If it is not cloudy, and if you have a special pair of glasses, you’ll be able to watch this happen. If it is clear, during that four-minute window, you will be able to see the sun’s corona around the moon. After those four minutes of totality, the moon will move aside, taking its leisurely time, moving aside completely by 4:29 pm.

Enough about that: What about the art?

The utter predictability of the total solar eclipse has enabled quite a bit of planning—even enough time for museums and art galleries and some artists, to respond. We’ve known about this for years!  And of course, finding inspiration in the heavens is something artists have done for as long as there have been artists and heavens. So your Cleveland pals and the galleries that support them are part of a very long tradition, documenting celestial history on their own terms. 

Here’s a list of the relevant exhibitions we’ve found, beginning with the shows that are already open, proceeding in chronological order:




Life Out of Balance

On view through April 19

Life Out of Balance –the title of which refers to the meaning of the landmark film Koyaanisqatsi–features Myers School of Art graduate Maria Uhase, whose works examine animals and plant life in distress and transformation, alongside a group of Northeast Ohio artists: Meryl Engler, Lori Kella, Benjamin Lambert, Michael Loderstedt, Eva Polzer, Ron Shelton and Corrie Slawson. Also included, on loan from the Hieronymus Collection is work of Texas-based ceramicist Ariel Bowman. All together, the exhibition raises questions about climate change, loss of habitat, extinction, pollution, and invasive species, among other concerns for the natural world. Despite this imposed sickness of our world, we can also share an appreciation for the healing, adaptability and conservation efforts that can help us achieve a healthier future for all living things. Here’s hoping.

Emily Davis Gallery, Myers School of Art

University of Akron

150 East Exchange Street

Akron, Ohio 44325


Barbara Bosworth: Sun Light Moon Shadow

On view through June 30

In an interview published in the current issue of CAN Journal, CMA spokesperson Jacqueline Bon (a longtime contributor to CAN) interviewed photographer Barbara Bosworth about her trajectory, her use of an 8X10 film camera for landscape photography, and specifically capturing celestial bodies. “Photography and astronomy are so linked through their use of optics and observation of light. For several years, I worked in the Rare Books Library at Cornell University. It was there that I had the chance to see books by Galileo Galilei. His early drawings of the stars, moon, and sun captured my imagination. I hope the timing of this exhibition during the total solar eclipse on April 8 will inspire viewers to see the eclipse for themselves. Cleveland is in the center of the path of totality!”

Cleveland Museum of Art

11150 East Boulevard

Cleveland, Ohio 44106


Cosmic Glow

March 30 – May 27

Artists Antwoine Washington and Michael Russell II – founders and principals of MOCHA—the Museum of Creative Human Art – have partnered with the Conservancy for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in a kind of programming residency throughout 2024, and the first of their projects is Cosmic Glow—opening Saturday, March 30 and on view through May 27. The exhibition is inspired by the “transformative potential of the upcoming solar eclipse,” and features works of Aja Joi Grant and Chen Peng, Amber  Kempthorn, Theadis Reagins, and Lyanne Torres. It’s curated by Gallery 2602 co-director and former CAN Triennial curator Thea Spittle.  This is a magnificent reason to go to the CVNP (as if you needed one). Usual hours are 11 am – 3 pm Friday to Sunday, but for this exhibit, the week before the eclipse, they will be open 11 am – 3 pm daily March 30 – April 7, and 8 am – 6 pm the day of the eclipse itself, April 8.

Gallery of the Conservancy for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park

1565 Boston Mills Road

Peninsula, Ohio 44264


Eclipse the Photosphere

April 3 – May 3

Opening 5:30 – 7:30 pm April 3

Twenty-five Northeast Ohio photographers – a Totality of Talent, as the gallery says—are considering the Eclipse, in this exhibition presented by Foothill Galleries of the Photo Succession, in an offsite, much larger, and frankly magnificent location—the Bostwick Design Art Initiative: Multiple, ground-level, gorgeous white-walled rooms on Prospect. The photographers include Herb Ascherman, Sam Butler, Louis Chaiten, Bruce Checefsky, Kendrick Chittock, Bryan Clark, Ryn Clark, Lauren Davies, Mary Defer, Greg Donley, Tyler Federico, Amber Ford, Lori Kella, Amanda King, Tracey Lind, Michael Loderstedt,  Roger Mastroianni, Steven Mastroianni, Rita Montlack, Bellamy Printz, Barney Taxel, Stephen Tomasko,  Barry Underwood,  Josh Werling, and Michael Weil. It’s a list that speaks for itself. Hours: Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday 3 – 6 pm, and 9 am – noon on the day of the Eclipse, April 8.

Foothill Galleries

At Bostwick Design Art Initiative

2731 Prospect Avenue

Cleveland, Ohio 44115


The Cleveland Eclipse Exhibit

April 5–May 3

Opening reception 5-9pm Friday, April 5

“Lightworkers” is the term Pinwheel Gallery has used to refer to artists Mary Defer and Steven Mastroianni, and it is an apt one: both artists use analog techniques, finding innovative, expressive, yet really old ways to capture light and shadows.  Mastroianni’s photograms use light from the sun, cast directly on photo-sensitive paper. Defer works similarly, referring to her works as lumens, and has been using sunlight and photo-sensitive paper to capture shadows of Moses Cleaveland trees—which she notes are “living beings that were around during the last solar eclipse” that was visible here, in 1806. That means these trees, unlike any other living thing, we guess, will have seen them both.  On April 8 She’s also making a series that will capture the eclipse itself. Those won’t be on view at the opening, of course, so you’ll have to come back during the run of the show or at the closing reception.

Pinwheel Gallery

2019 Broadview Road

Cleveland, OH 44109




Total Eclipse Fest 2024

April 6 – 8

The Great Lakes Science Center has partnered with NASA’s Glenn Research Center and The Cleveland Orchestra to host this three-day fest at North Coast Harbor in downtown Cleveland. It’s free. It’s outside. It’s family friendly. It’s science and the arts, with concerts and other performances, hands-on activities. There might be a lot of people there. You might want to ride your bike.

Great Lakes Science Center

601 Erieside Ave

Cleveland, OH 44114


Eclipse Viewing and Spring Open House

Noon Monday, April 8

Sculptor Charles Herndon’s studio on the eastern shore of Kelley’s Island is surrounded by a sculpture garden featuring his own works in stone, and is a glorious place to be under any circumstance. Under the eclipse on an April afternoon it promises to be magical. He will have some eclipse viewing glasses on hand, but encourages visitors to bring their own.

Charles Herndon Galleries

110 Laylin Drive

Kelleys Island, OH 43438


The Sun, the Moon, and the Art at Akron Art Museum

11 am – 5 pm Monday, April 8

Akron Art Museum is throwing a party to celebrate the eclipse, with an art-making station so you can bedazzle your eclipse glasses. We want photos! They’ll have food and drinks for purchase, music by TikTokDJ Hribstar, plus corn hole and other games. You can also check out the Pneuhaus Compound Camera pop-up installation. Register for $5, and up to 3 people can tag along.

Akron Art Museum

1 South High Street

Akron, OH 44308


Community Eclipse Watch Party

1 – 5 pm April 8

Dunham Tavern Museum has partnered with the Great Lakes Science Center and invites you to its green space in the city for a free watch party. They’ll have eclipse-viewing glasses on-hand, and also offer activities.

Dunham Tavern Museum and Gardens

6709 Euclid Avenue

Cleveland, OH 44103


Solar Eclipse & Cyanotype Prints Pop-Up Workshop

1 pm April 8

Cyanotype printmaking might be the ideal solar eclipse activity: the print is made from sunlight, cast on photo sensitive paper, with whatever the artist or maker uses to create shapes with its shadows. The Morgan invites visitors to their gardens to do exactly that during this eclipse watch party. $10 fee covers cost of cyanotype materials and eclipse viewing glasses.

Morgan Conservatory

1754 East 47th Street

Cleveland, OH 44103




Space, Commemorating the Total Eclipse of the Sun

April 12 – May 6

Opening Reception 7 – 9 pm April 12

Stella’s Art Gallery welcomes submissions in all media and styles including realistic and abstract concepts of “outer space,” in categories: 1) Stars, Northern Lights, Planets & Moons; 2) Extraterrestrial, Astronauts, and Pigs in Space (Gen-X reference); and 3) Space Vehicles and Junk.  Drop off Dates: April 4th and 5th – 11:30 am to 7:30 pm; April 6th – 11:30 am to 5:30 pm. Fee to enter: 1 for $15, 2 or 3 for $30, 4 for $40, or 5 $50.

Stella’s Art Gallery

38033 Euclid Ave

Willoughby, Ohio 44094


In the Shadow: Artwork from the Total Solar Eclipse

May 24 – June 15

Submissions open April 5, and there is no fee to apply for this show, which—rather than asking artists to anticipate the eclipse with their work—lets artists show what they have made during or in response to having seen the eclipse. Deadline for submissions is 11:59 pm May 3, which means the artists have almost a full month after the event to consider things.  Other important dates: Notification of Acceptance is Friday, May 10, 2024; Artwork Drop-off is noon to 7 pm Friday, May 17, and 11 am to 5 pm Saturday, May 18.  To be eligible, artists must live, work, or attend school in Summit and contiguous counties (Cuyahoga, Geauga, Medina, Portage, Stark, or Wayne County).

Summit Artspace

140 East Market Street

Akron, Ohio 44308

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

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