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Tophography, running March 2 to April 14 at Heights Arts, 1275 Lee Road, is a group exhibition of recent photography by five area artists whose work offers personal experiences of landscape—near, far, and along the way. Organized by Heights Arts, the show continues the local nonprofit gallery’s commitment to presenting photography to the regional audience. Each of the five artists brings a distinctive approach.

Philip Brutz offers 10 stereoscope images made at a place called Raven Rocks in south central Ohio. Installed in a special freestanding viewer that allows gallery visitors to scroll through the photographs, the series explores with 3-D intensity the quiet details of the site. Brutz works for the Cleveland Museum of Art, custom-making mounts to hold works of art from the tiniest jewelry to massive stone sculptures. His photography has appeared in exhibitions at MOCA Cleveland and at the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the museum has acquired a number of his photographs for its collection.

G. M. Donley, whose first solo show was at Herbert Ascherman Jr.’s Cleveland Photographic Workshop in 1990, is designer and editor of the Cleveland Museum of Art’s magazine, and was a founding member of Heights Arts. His strongly horizontal photographs here combine dozens of overlapping transparent images to create dense collages of 360-degree panoramas or excursions such as mountain hikes and bicycle rides.

Matthew Fehrmann, an adjunct professor at Cleveland Institute of Art where he is responsible for fine art digital photography and printing courses, has spent a dozen years honing his reputation as a maker of fine art prints for major photographers. Last year, he and two friends rode motorcycles from Alaska to Mexico, and here he shows images made during that journey. His work has recently been on view locally at 78th Street Studios.

Nancy McEntee, professor of photography at the Cleveland Institute of Art, is a 2009 recipient of a Creative Workforce Fellowship from the Community Partnership on Arts and Culture, and also received a Virginia Center For the Creative Arts Fellowship Residency and an Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship. Her photographs are exhibited nationally and can be found in many public and private collections. She was awarded a residency at the Burren College of Art in County Clare, Ireland for summer 2010, and the photographs she presents here portray her daughter, who is the subject of her ongoing body of work,in the striking Irish landscape.

Michael Weil inspired this exhibition with his series of photographs looking down from Seat 9A during a commercial flight from Cleveland to Sacramento via Houston. Juxtaposing images of runway tarmac, exurban developments, arid mountain ranges, and massive-scale agriculture, the series finds poetic visual rhymes through texture and abstraction. A photo-historian by profession, Weil earned a PhD from Case Western Reserve University and is currently an adjunct professor at the Cleveland Institute of Art.


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