State of the Arts in Cleveland & Akron

by | Aug 5, 2014 | Arts & Culture, Dining, Nightlife, Shopping, Events & Festivals

sandy buffie

photo courtesy Artist Sandy Buffie

When Craig and Sandy Buffie moved to NE Ohio from Kiawah Island S.C., one of Sandy’s goals was to locate a studio for the jewelry and sculpture she creates. It didn’t take her months of searching to find the right place; in fact, it happened on her very first day touring the city with Executive Arrangements.
buffie cuff

photo courtesy Artist Sandy Buffie

Sandy credits Executive Arrangements for helping her make the decision so quickly. “They did lots of legwork before I even came in,” she says. EA had scheduled appointments for Sandy to see  studios in several arts districts, including one at 78th Street Studios, the region’s largest arts complex. Executive Arrangements arranged meetings with its owners, as well as with Susie Frazier Mueller, an environmental artist with a gallery there. By the end of the day, Sandy had found her studio. Sandy’s jewelry and sculpture is created from found and recycled objects, and is available online at Sandy Buffie Designs and at nine stores/galleries across the country. Now Sandy is ready to open another gallery at The 5th Street Arcades in downtown Cleveland. In October, she’ll take over three floors for her work space, retail store and classes. “I’ve met so many wonderful people here who like to make stuff. I’m very excited about the move!” she says happily. Her jewelry is 100% recycled materials (architectural salvage, old Keurig containers, pop cans, buttons) – things that were literally going to a landfill she recreates into one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry – like this gorgeous cuff. How can you not support an artist like this?
The Buffies live in downtown Cleveland and enjoy the eclectic vibe of living on Public Square. Sandy explains: “We love walking to Playhouse Square and enjoy concerts at Jacob’s Pavilion at Nautica. We see movies at Tower City. The film festival was unbelievable!” The Buffies are big sports fans, and make the most of their proximity to all the sports arenas downtown. “Cleveland is a very easy place to make friends,” she adds. As Sandy points out, Cleveland has an amazing arts community. Almost every week brings art fairs, gallery openings and new museum exhibits.
Here are just a few ways to sample the area’s wealth of fine arts and crafts.
Art walks

  • Tremont Art Walk is on the second Friday of each month from 6-10 p.m.
  • Akron Artwalk is on the first Saturday of the month and features hand-blown glass, pottery, paintings, textiles and jewelry. A free trolley service runs from 5 – 10 p.m.
  • First Friday in the downtown Canton Arts District, showcases music, performance and visual arts from 6-10 p.m.
  • Third Fridays at 78th Street Studios offers music, exhibits and delicious cuisine at 40 venues from 5 – 9 p.m. every third Friday of the month.
  • The annual Sparx City Hop (every September) draws 20,000 people to more than 70 galleries and artist studios, 100 restaurants, and dozens of retail shops.

Art fairs – 
You’ll find local artists at Ohio Mart on the beautiful grounds of Stan Hywet Hall in Akron is held every October. Juried fine arts and crafts shows include the Akron Arts Expo (every July), the Boston Mills Artfest (every June & July) and the Cain Park Arts Festival (every July).

photo courtesy Artist Erica Miller

Art galleries– Northeast Ohio has a plethora of art studios and galleries. Here are just a few in Cleveland: Contemporary art is showcased at SPACES and Bonfoey GalleryWolfs Gallery specializes in fine and decorative art, while art glass is showcased at Riley Galleries. In Akron, Don Drumm Studios and Gallery and Zeber Martell Gallery and Clay Studio feature local and national artists.
And we can’t help mentioning two other EA clients who are artists and do fabulous work. Painter Erica Miller (that’s her landscape inspired by a trip to Tuscany to the right) has a studio in the Tower Press Building and Carina Reimers compamy House Warmings (located inside the Methany Weir furniture store Carinaon Larchmere Blvd. near Shaker Square) has beautiful pieces that she custom paints for a European flair.
Arts education
Cleveland public school now offer students a magnet high school that focuses on digital arts (one of only five in the country). The Cleveland High School for Digital Arts has three labs and studios for gaming, recording, filming and editing, and already has 116 kids in 9th grade. And there are so many arts education non-profits, from Playhouse Square’s theater district which offers master classes in the performing arts and buses kids in from all schools to see live performances, to non-profits that bring the arts to you, such as the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning, a nonprofit organization that Sandy Buffie is proud to be board member of.  “I love that Cleveland schools work hard to expose the kids to art and artists,” she says.
If you want to learn more about how Executive Arrangements matches your candidate or new hires’ lifestyle & interests to the quality of life in our region to increase your acceptance rates and lower your retention issues, call us at (216) 231-9311.