Biennial community art show focuses on insects and arachnids: Valley Views

CHAGRIN FALLS, Ohio — Although it is the dead of winter, The West Woods Nature Center will soon be a-buzz, a-flutter and crawling with artful images of real and fanciful creatures.

“What’s the Buzz? Insect & Arachnid Inspired Art Exhibition” opens 10 a.m. Saturday (Feb. 13) and will be on display to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily through April 26.

From the sheer beauty of butterflies, intricate and iridescent dragonfly wings, and dew-covered spiderwebs to powerful grasshoppers and formidable flies and mosquitoes, the works displayed by regional artists will prod you out of your winter hibernation and awaken your sense of wonder for the tiny warriors of the natural world.

Visitors can cast ballots for “people’s choice” awards through April 15 in categories of drawing/painting, photography, other media/recycled materials and youth artist. Your vote counts, as you will be entered into a raffle to win one of several insect houses donated by Nature’s Way Bird Products.

For a unique gift, you can also purchase jewelry and small art objects created by local artists in the Buzz Boutique. The items, priced at $40 and under, can be picked up at the end of the show in April.

According to Teresa Runion, Geauga Park District’s special events coordinator, some of the earliest human art featured insects. Therefore, it is fitting to feature them in the park’s biennial art show.

The West Woods is located at 9465 Kinsman Road in Russell Township. Face coverings are required indoors at all times inside the center. Contact or 440-286-9516.

Have some Purim fun: From a free concert, megillah reading, food drive and more events for all age groups, Temple Emanu El is creating 10 days of online socially distanced events for Purim.

The celebration begins at 5:20 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19, with “Shabbat Sprouts” featuring a Shabbat service, songs and games for families with children up to age 6. An interactive all-ages Shabbat service with song, prayer, art and spirit will be held via Zoom at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 20.

Purim is a joyous holiday commemorating events in the Book of Esther, known as the megillah, which tells the story of Queen Esther and her cousin Mordechai’s actions to help foil a plot to kill all the Jews in Persia by Haman, an adviser to King Ahashverosh.

The Purim celebration commemorates the outcome with silliness, including noise-making when Haman’s name is spoken during the reading of the story. Another custom is sending and receiving treats and warm wishes to emphasize the importance of Jewish unity and friendship.

Participants should get ready to shout and stomp their feet with a festive “Absolut Purim” megillah reading via Zoom from 8 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25. The best Zoom “Shoulders-up” costumed participant will win a prize.

A food drive is being held, with drop-offs accepted of non-perishable food or a check, through Sunday, Feb. 28, at the temple’s entrance, 4545 Brainard Road in Orange.

Also, enjoy a free concert at 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28, with Nefesh Mountain, which combines bluegrass, old-time and American roots music with Jewish heritage and tradition. Attendees will receive a digital download of the group’s album.

The concert is sponsored by Temple Emanu El, Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple, Congregation Rodef Shalom, Congregation Shaarey Tikvah, Surburban Temple-Kol Ami and The Temple-Tifereth Israel.

To participate in any of the events, contact

Valentine workshops offered: Fairmount Center for the Arts will feel the love Saturday (Feb. 13), with busy hands creating valentines using paper-cutting and collage techniques. Workshops are offered for children ages 5-7, accompanied by an adult, and ages 8-11 in separate sessions. The cost is $18. Classes are held both onsite and online simultaneously.

An onsite President’s Day art sampler workshop, from 9 a.m. to noon Monday, Feb. 15, is offered for children ages 5-10. The cost is $36. Face masks are required.

The art center is located at 8400 Fairmount Road in Russell Township. Contact

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

Read more from the Chagrin Solon Sun.

Angelia S. Rico

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