Crooked River Contrasts – Print Exhibits – April 1 to December 31, 2019

Elaine & Harold Marsh at Sperry Pond, Cuyahoga River Headwaters, Geauga County

In 2019 we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Cuyahoga River catching fire in the Cleveland Flats in June, 1969. This infamous event, one of at least 13 fires that occurred along the Cuyahoga since 1858, helped to spur the environmental movement in the United States. As part of this nationwide effort, Ohio pioneered river preservation in 1968 with the passage of the nation’s first scenic rivers act.

The photo above shows Elaine Marsh and her husband, Harold, canoeing on Sperry Pond, a remote lake northeast of Burton in Geauga County in the headwaters of the Cuyahoga River. No trails lead to this lake, which we reached after a 45-minute paddle in kayaks and canoes from a launching area along State Route 87 a couple of miles east of Burton. Sperry Pond is only easily accessible by boat in early spring, when the water levels in the Upper Cuyahoga River are high. Beaver dams blocked the river at a couple of locations, and the group needed to portage their kayaks and canoes on several occasions during our visit.

Elaine and Harold Marsh are life-long lovers of the Cuyahoga River, and Elaine is a 1989 Co-Founder of Friends of the Crooked River, a grassroots group dedicated to the preservation of the 100-mile Cuyahoga River. 

Kayaker on Rookie Drop, Cuyahoga River Gorge, Cuyahoga Falls

I was delighted to join Elaine and Harold Marsh on our 6-mile paddle along the Upper Cuyahoga River in late April, 2016, but I was a much more passive participant during the kayak races that took place the day before in the Cuyahoga River Gorge in my hometown of Cuyahoga Falls. The photo above shows an expert kayaker running Rookie Drop, one of several Class V waterfalls along the Cuyahoga River Gorge near the Sheraton Inn & Suites. 

Rowing on the Cuyahoga River near Settler’s Landing in the Cleveland Flats

The gentler but still strenuous sport of rowing is popular along the Cuyahoga River as it winds its way north to Lake Erie through the Cleveland Flats, shown in the photo above, with the tallest buildings of downtown Cleveland as a backdrop. 

The 3 photos shown above and 4 of my other Cuyahoga River images are featured in a Crooked River Contrasts exhibit of 25-35 prints of Cuyahoga River scenes taken by several local photographers, including Jennie Jones, Jim Roetzel, William Reiter, Christina Sadowski, Jeff Gibson, Denny Reiser, Rick McMeechan and myself. The exhibit will be displayed at 12 northeast Ohio galleries, and is currently showing at the Metrohealth Main Campus from April 1 to June 30 and Summit Artspace in Akron from April 12 to May 18. 

More information on the Summit Artspace exhibit, which will open this evening, April 12, can be found at their website.




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