Gallery Watch

Greetings! I would like to introduce you to Lakewood's new art scene. The four galleries in Lakewood are all recent additions to our city, all opening with in the past year. Each of the galleries offers something different. Let's begin by getting acquainted with all of them.

Bela Dubby Art Gallery and Beer Café, located at 13321 Madison Avenue was inspired by the Brooklyn Brewery in New York. Bela Dubby owners John and Jill Crino, while living in New York would visit the brewery in the warehouse where people would meet for a few drinks, bring the kids, order a pizza and hang out. Bela Dubby mines the same idea, but adds art (Jill holds a degree in art) and a few other perks.

The name Bela Dubby comes from Crino's two year old daughter. From her baby talk with the family's pet dogs the name Bela Dubby was born.

The gallery serves a wide selection of micro brews, Phoenix Coffees, pizza bagels from the West Side Market, cakes and cookies from their friend Traci Morrison, along with baked goods from the Breadsmith Company. Its atmosphere is "open, comfortable, and practical". There are kitchen tables with chairs and couches from the 1950s for sitting and chating with friends and neighbors.

Bela Dubby features a kid's corner where children can occupy themselves while mom sits down with a good read and a cup of coffee. Organizations like the Ohio City Near West Moms Group meet at Bela Dubby. The gallery will provide a meeting place for everyone. For an organizations meeting just call 216-221-4479 to let them know you're coming. Even though some alcoholic beverages are served, Bela Dubby always remains a family friendly environment even on weekend nights.

The Crinos welcome musicians who perform on weekends for tips. One Friday night in July they had Tango Night with dancing and live accordion music. John says they are open to ideas about what to offer its community and patrons.

Now let's not forget about the art! Featured artists personally contribute their own ideas on how they want their works displayed. Bela Dubby is also open to new artists and works unless a piece is blatantly obscene.

The next gallery is Wobblefoot Gallery and Framing Studio located at 1662 Mars Avenue. Owned by Tuble Cogar, this gallery originated in Avon Lake and resided there for more than thirteen years. Tuble Cogar decided to move Wobblefoot to Lakewood, "We [Toble and his wife Karen] consider Lakewood an artsy community. People here know and recognize good art and we needed that foundation." After being on Detroit for a year, Wobblefoot moved to Mars Ave close to Madison Ave. a year ago.
Wobblefoot is the home to works by nationally recognized artists and signed, limited edition prints. This gallery offers the opportunity to purchase works on-line at Wobblefoot's web-site located at The framing studio occupies a small house across the driveway from the gallery.

Like Bela Dubby, organizations can meet here (simply call 216-226-2971) to arrange it. Wobblefoot has participated in charity events for groups such as the Cleveland Metropark Zoo and the AIDS Task Force.

Local Girl Gallery is a very welcoming place in a warm setting. "I want people to feel like they're enjoying art in a friend's living room," says owner Linda Goik. The gallery offers a wide variety of art - from hand custom stem ware to prints of water colors. Because Local Girl is the host to a range of media and style, everyone is likely to find something to suit their taste.

Sometimes Local Girl Gallery sends works in her gallery to other art shows and festivals. For example, one show was featured at Cafe Aroma, a healthy place to eat in down town Cleveland across from the Cleveland State University Campus. Goik and her gallery have also been featured in the Lakewood Magazine's current issue. Local Girl hosts shows that benefit local organizations like the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, The Lakewood Family Room and others.

Local Girl Gallery opened in May 2004 and welcomed local artists. Linda Goik lives in Lakewood and is an artist herself. She opened in Lakewood to give back to the community she loves living in. She invites everyone to come, "...from ages nine to eighty-two years old. People who may not know a stitch about art, but like what is hanging on the wall."

Local Girl Gallery is located at 16106 Detroit; the phone numbers is 216-228-1802

Last and certainly not least is Lakewood's newest gallery, The Pop Shop Gallery and Studio located at 17020 Madison. The phone number is 216-227-8440. This place is truly worth seeing. Indeed, The Pop Shop is unlike anything ever seen before! Owner Rich Cihlar took the name from his favorite artist, Keith Haring, who did a series of works called The Pop Shop.

The Pop Shop has a Rock-n-Roll feel with a permanent mural of an Andy Warhol Elvis. The gallery plays punk music and is dedicated to showing contemporary works considered avant-garde by art traditionalists. New as well as established artists who are trained and skilled are wanted. All media is considered especially non-conventional ones.

The Pop Shop's uniqueness is evident not only in the design of the actual gallery, but in its fun, innovative things you'll find there. For example, some art is sold through vending machines...yep, put in a buck-fifty and you have yourself a pin designed by real artists. Cihlar knows that, "People who come here won't just see some art, they'll have an experience."

In the three months The Pop Shop has been open, it has hosted two art shows. The Pop Shop is Lakewood's only gallery with a working studio where professional artists like owner Rich Cihlar and friend, Jeremy Mann create their art.

The art galleries in Lakewood are all gems that contribute something special to the people of our community. At last, west siders have choices to make about what kind of art they'd like to see without having to travel to the east side. If you like art, stop by a gallery near you! If you hate art, visit a gallery you can tolerate so at least you'll know what people are starting to talk about!
Read More on Gallery Watch
Volume 1, Issue 5, Posted 11.10 AM / 15th November 2005.