The Art Academy of Cincinnati's Biennial Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition is in its 26th year at the Civic Garden Center (2715 Reading Road, Mount Auburn). Current and past students and faculty explore how sculpture can integrate into the springtime landscape. Many of the current students are producing large-scale sculptures for the first time and experimenting with how their work will survive the elements. Bryson Modlin’s “Distreement” is comprised of several cast concrete tree stumps that are also simple, elegant cylindrical forms that refer directly back to the natural environment in which they are displayed.
Maxwell Leclerc’s “Queen” is an elaborate period costume posing like the garden parties in Rococo paintings. Professor Gary Gaffney’s “Life Path” initially feels like paving stones incised with inspirational sayings; the second to last reads “Smile at Death” and the final “Become Light,” resituates the work into a more philosophical meditation on mortality. Hunting for the nearly 30 works on display is like an Easter egg hunt. Oversized pop art works like giant White Castle containers, tacos and nail clippers add an Alice in Wonderland whimsy to the landscape.
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