Michelle Bova has a degree in early-childhood education and child development. She also has more than a decade of experience behind the camera. Yet it wasn't until recently that she combined the two. The results of this mix are carefully crafted, natural looking images that understand young subjects and find the youthful joy in all ages. Her shutter clicks document the growth of families, from maternity through newborns, birthdays, senior portraits, engagements, and weddings—memorializing the milestones life offers. Often Michelle does this documenting outside, where soft sunlight helps people glow and ensures all shots are vampire-free.
Paula Atwell wasn't born an artist. She didn't pursue any art form in college, instead achieving a degree in English and a minor in accounting. After logging years in standard 9–5 jobs, she had an epiphany—it was time to do something for herself. Taking this newfound motivation to action, Paula enrolled in a beading class and followed it with forays into metalsmithing, crafting, and soldering.
These experiments in creativity led her to join the Lake Erie Artists co-op in 2003, where she began to show her eclectic jewelry at their booth during local festivals. When the co-op became incorporated in 2005, Paula's business world experience made her an obvious choice to lead the diverse group of artists in forming their own gallery. Today, the co-op-turned-gallery now carries hundreds of art pieces that span a range of media.
Producing blown-glass sculptures and handcrafted metal jewelry and pottery, the artists each specialize in a few select media as decided during the gallery's annual game of spin-the-paintbrush. The staff at Lake Erie Artists Gallery is also a strong proponent of local business, encouraging their patrons to browse Shake Square after looking at their wares. In project-oriented classes taught by working artists, students explore jewelry and painting and leave with their handcrafted pieces.
Celebrity School of Music offers private lessons in a range of instruments—piano, guitar, violin, percussion, or voice—for budding or musically curious students of all ages. The experienced faculty is adept at introducing new musicians to the fundamental concepts of music by bringing years of musical experience to any classroom or stage. Lessons are fun and educational, with the welcoming instructors spontaneously interweaving games and listening techniques into their private sessions. You may mix and match your lessons to sample your choice of musical flavors. All classes except piano and voice require students to bring their own instrument. Call ahead to schedule your initial session.
Janez Ambrozic popped out of his mother's womb with a camera in his hand. By the age of nine, he had built his own dark room and learned how to develop film. But rather than hide behind the camera, he stepped out and became the subject, filling his college years with modeling gigs for Banana Republic, J.Crew, and Abercrombie. This early success prompted a move to Los Angeles, where he pursued a career as a professional model and actor. While he was striking poses, he observed professional photographers and directors at work, and being in their company soon inspired him to return to his first love.
Today, Janez crafts bold images with masterful lighting techniques that he picked up from California's catwalks, soundstages, and Rembrandt impersonators. Though his skill has garnered the attention of magazines, he chooses the rugged path of the freelancer, which gives him the liberty to snap portraits, chronicle weddings, and concoct sultry boudoir photos at will. When he isn't practicing his trade, he teaches others the art of photography during workshops and private sessions.
Photography instructor J. Ambrozic started his career on the other end of the lens, working as a TV actor and Banana Republic model. The Renaissance man still appears on camera and works in talent management, but as a photographer, he's more interested in the faces of other people—and sometimes elephants. His diverse portfolio spans portraiture, landscapes, and action shots of animals. All of his images share a virtuosity that he unpacks for students during his DSLR classes. Teaching a mix of technical sophistication and composition techniques, he shows students how to snap captivating masterpieces of their own. Students can practice their new skills in Ambrozic's studio, a naturally lit oasis with crystalline views of the city skyline and the occasional giant lizard monster.
Fresh fruit is all well and good, but it doesn't play to most Americans' lazy stance on chewing. Today's Groupon turns healthy fruit into healthy-smooth smoothies: for $6, you get $10 worth of fruit-based libations and nutritious foods at Robeks in North Olmsted. Juice smoothies are an excellent tool for healthy lifestyles and are a delicious strategy for getting your daily fruits and veggies that doesn't involve pretending to be a Nigerian prince with a surplus of money and a surfeit of bananas.