Two new art exhibitions express notions of surrealism and freedom: Valley Views

SHAGRIN FALLS, Ohio – What do imaginary freedom and surrealism have in common? They are the subject of two art exhibitions now on display in local galleries.

Now through Aug. 19, an artist who goes by the single name KMonee is exhibiting her Freedom Collection at Chagrin Arts, 88 N. Main St., as part of her Cleveland Artists Summer Trilogy.

With her works on display, the artist seeks to tell her story and the implications of her experience as a black woman in America.

In her artist statement, the Kent State University graduate said she hopes to “ignite and encourage other artists to have open conversations centered on community issues such as race, ethnicity and gender with a focus on positive development, with healing as the ultimate goal .”

KMonee is a local actress who has performed at Karamu House Theatre, Beck Center, Dobama Theater and Cleveland Public Theatre. She is also a member of the Tower Press Artist Group as a visual artist.

The trilogy of summer art shows planned at Chagrin Arts plans to showcase works that reflect societal and social justice issues. The gallery is open from 10am to 4pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Contact

Where are we? That’s the question posed in the title of an exhibition about Surrealism, on view through August 24 at the Valley Art Center, 55 Bell St. in Chagrin Falls.

Juried and curated by John McCutcheon of Columbus Gallery, it features 47 works by 28 artists from Ohio and the United States.

The works on display reflect the early 20th century movement made famous by Salvador Dali’s melting clock, among other intriguing images that can challenge the viewer’s sense of reality. It also seeks to update the movement for a modern audience.

The installation features works by Rachel Liberati of Chagrin Falls, John Sargent of South Euclid and Joe Stavec of Walton Hills. Others include David Butler of Granville and Alejandro Bellizzi of Westerville.

For one evening only, the VAC will display three original prints by Dalí from 6:00pm to 8:00pm on August 5. Art consultant and art historian Casey Monda will present a talk on the history of Surrealism and discuss collecting and preserving prints and works on paper.

The evening features live music by a guitar and bass jazz duo featuring Akron native Dan Wilson. Tickets are required for the August 5 event. Contact

Free outdoor movie: For a different surreal experience, watch Jurassic Park on the big screen under the stars at 8:30 p.m., Saturday, July 23, at Observatory Park.

If the dinosaur action gets too intense, sit back and watch the starry sky. Bring blankets, chairs, snacks, water and bug spray.

Face coverings are recommended while inside the property’s buildings. Check the website before you go for weather cancellations or changes.

The Geauga Park District Experience is located at 10610 Clay St. in Montville Township. Contact

Annual Sidewalk Sale: Look for trendy bargains from 10am to 8pm July 28-30 at Riverside Park in Chagrin Falls. Plus, there’s a free concert this Thursday night, face painting and family activities downtown.

Watch the rocket car make its way around the village this Friday and Saturday. You may be able to get on one of the four places where it will stop.

The event is organized by the Chagrin Falls Merchant Association, which includes about 75 independent shops and restaurants.

Attend a free Wellness Fest: Members of the Chagrin Valley Chamber of Commerce invite you to a wellness day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, July 23, at the Lang Pavilion at Forest Ridge Preserve, 3800 Chagrin River Road in Moreland Hills.

The day includes health and wellness fitness activities for the whole family, screenings, classes, demonstrations and food. Contact for more information.

Summer concert: The band Renegade Gentlemen will play pop favorites from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, July 21, at Riverside Park in Chagrin Falls. Bring your chair, blanket and snacks to enjoy the free concert sponsored by the Chagrin Valley Chamber of Commerce.

To post your Chagrin Valley news and events, contact Rusek at [email protected].

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