Hot Fun in the Wintertime
Sometimes artists just want to have fun. No heavy messages, no serious stuff at all. Lily Mulberry's 1305 GALLERY on Main Street gives these impulses full bloom in Yuletide 2007, the gallery's annual indulgence for the gift-buying public and the artists themselves.
Paige Williams, Autumn Schrader and Sara Mulhauser, all Art Academy faculty and artists, join forces for the holiday 1305 show under the moniker The Shiny Brites and put serious intent aside. Last year they made ornaments; this year it's jewelry.
Another clandestine artist adopts a new persona for the season, making art under the cheerful tag of Saint Lexi. The artists, all local and previously shown at the gallery, include Chad Cully, Jenifer Sult, Katie Swartz, Jackie Mulberry, Jenny Sauer, Katie Whitaker, Jen Edwards, Rich Bitting (his art includes sound elements), Christian Schmit and Mulberry.
Here are more specifics on what 1305 Gallery will have (literally) in store: handmade photo albums and sketchbooks and paper maché ornaments by Whitaker; Sauer's screen prints on linen; leather wallets and bags, small handmade boxes, beer-box wallets from Edwards; paper maché "Klumpa" figures by Schmit. Saint Lexi is a seamstress/artist making purses, totes, wearables and "reclaimed kitsch jewelry." Buttons, pins, jewelry, figurines, all handmade, come from Sult. Jackie Mulberry is into handmade ornaments, purses-bags and a mysterious product she describes as "sea-note" sewn figurines with accessories. Swartz does crocheted stuffed animals and "friends," all with individual names and personalities.
"It's a rotating show," says Mulberry, who opened the gallery in April 2005. "Pieces bought out of it go home with the purchaser and are replaced by other works by the same artist. This is simple, affordable art, informal, sometimes over-the-top. Many of the artists are repeats, with new work from our previous Yuletide shows."
Mullberry's pieces in Yuletide are a spin on craft.
"The show was an experiment the first year, but we've done it ever since," she says. "The artists get to have fun. It throws them a little off pace."
A gift to the gift-giver is custom wrapping done on the spot with artist-provided materials.
Yuletide 2007's opening reception is 6-11 p.m. Friday at 1305 Main Street in Over-the-Rhine. The gallery will be open seven days a week during December: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with extended hours to 8 p.m. Dec. 1 for Main Street's Christkindlemart. 513-659-4987. (Get details and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) -- JANE DURRELL
THURSDAY 11/29 - SUNDAY 12/2
Serious theatergoers across the United States usually view December as a time to get their Christmas shopping done. Seldom can they find stimulating theatrical productions that go beyond traditional holiday fare. Not so in Cincinnati. If you want to push the boundaries, check out STRIKING 12 at New Stage Collective. With a score by Pop Rock trio GrooveLily, the show morphs musical theater and a live concert. It's been a popular alternative in New York since its debut in 2004, and it has a small tour happening this year. But NSC presents its own version in yet another regional premiere from the group that's turned heads with unexpected productions like The Goat and Caroline, or Change. Loosely inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's tale of "The Little Match Girl," the show tells the story of a grumpy New Yorker who decides to spend New Year's Eve alone when an unexpected visitor brings some much-needed cheer. It's directed by energetic Alan Patrick Kenny, who will sing and play keyboards; he'll be joined by drummer and singer Mikhail Roberts, vocalist Lara Courtney, electric violinist Brian Hall, electric guitarist Joel Greenberg and bass guitarist Josh Henderson. Through Dec. 31. 513-621-3700. (Buy tickets, check out performance times and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) -- RICK PENDER
THURSDAY 11/29 - SUNDAY 12/2
Comedian MARK CURRY is perhaps best known for his role as Mark Cooper on the ABC sitcom Hangin' With Mr.
Cooper. Inspired by Richard Pryor and Redd Foxx, Curry took to the stage after family and friends -- as well as customers at the drugstore he managed -- insisted he give it a shot. He was soon packing clubs in the Bay Area and quit his day job. "The police don't pull you over right away, right?" he tells his audience. "They follow you for like 15 blocks and you're like, 'Damn!' You just want to jump out of the car and say, 'Give me a ticket! Stop messing with me!' Minorities get pulled over, we can't move. White people, you get out and talk to the police. 'That stop sign was blocked by some foliage and I couldn't see it.' Do you know Bob Becker? How about David Goldman?' " Curry also seeks help from females in the crowd. "Ladies, let us know," he pleads. "When we go to clubs, let us know if you want us to come over there and talk to you, 'cuz all men do it from a distance. Ladies, you see us coming. They say 'Look at this dude with this big-ass head about to come over here. His head is bigger than Gary Coleman's!' Just tell us from a distance, 'Don't come over here. Take your big head home!' " Curry performs Thursday-Sunday at Newport's Funny Bone on the Levee. $17-$20. 859-957-2000. (Buy tickets, check out performance times and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) -- P.F. WILSON
It's Final Friday time again, and this month there's a sadness on Clay Street. PUBLICO's new show, Local Color, which opens on Friday, marks the longtime beloved gallery's final exhibition. Local Color seems a good fit for a last show: Paul Coors and friends have brought together four artists and one artist group from four different cities. Coors sees the artists as distinctively "regional" and plays around with the idea of the regional artist. As artists themselves, the guys at Publico must have a keen understanding about what it's like to be labeled a "local artist," simply for living outside the major arts hubs of New York and Los Angeles. The artists come from Chicago, Detroit, New York and Raleigh, N.C. Publico has always concerned itself with new materials, interesting ideas and artists who should, but haven't yet, made names for themselves. It's so sad to see you go! Local Color opens 7-11 p.m. Friday and runs through Dec. 30. 513-784-0832. (Get details and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) -- LAURA JAMES
FRIDAY 11/30 - SUNDAY 12/2
Dance fans can delight in a plethora of performance options this weekend! 'Tis the season for celebrations as BALLET TECH OHIO presents the timely and family-friendly "Celebration!" in the Aronoff Center's Jarson-Kaplan Theater Friday and Saturday. Expect an international-flavored festival of song and dance with American, Caribbean, Celtic, Chinese and Spanish ballets. Oh, and watch out for Nutcracker excerpts, too! 513-621-2787. EXHALE DANCE TRIBE (pictured) -- who, as it happens, are no longer collaborating with Know Theatre for a Christmas-themed show -- will make their debut at The Carnegie in Covington with just one performance Sunday at 3 p.m. The contemporary jazz troupe is always a pleasure to watch -- the young dancers really give Missy Lay Zimmer and Andrew Hubbard's high-energy choreography their all. 859-957-1940. UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI's COLLEGE-CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC'S DANCE DIVISION presents their Fall Dance Concert of classical, neoclassical and contemporary works Friday through Sunday in CCM's Patricia Corbett Theater. See feature story here. 513-556-4183. (Buy tickets, check out performance times and find nearby bars and restaurants for ballet tech here, for Exhale here and for CCM here.) -- JULIE MULLINS
FRIDAY 11/30 - SUNDAY 12/2
The Buddha said, "When this is, that comes to be. With the arising of this, that arises. When this is not, that does not come to be. With the cessation of this, that ceases." This is dependent origination, or cause and effect. To explain how our actions -- both positive and negative -- affect others, GADEN SAMDRUPLING MONASTERY (GSL) offers a series of events given by a revered Buddhist teacher, Ven. Kyabje Yongyal Rinpoche. Friday is a commentary on Tendrel toepa, or Dependant Origination by the Tibetan Buddhist master Je Tsongkhapa. Saturday is a Vajrasattva Empowerment that removes the mental obscurations and hindrances that keep us from developing our enlightened nature. Sunday is a teaching on how best to use this powerful Vajrasattva practice for our benefit. Lunch is included. All events are free (donations appreciated). No RSVP is necessary. For more information, call 513-385-7116. (Get details and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) -- MARGO PIERCE
No reservation necessary, just turn up at Kaldi's before 2 p.m. Saturday for ARCHITREKS' "Christmas in Over-the-Rhine" walking tour, at the special preview price of $5. Architreks says this is a 'teaser' tour for next year's more elaborate adventure, which will include a trolley ride, but this year it concentrates on Over-the-Rhine, highlighting the architecture and Christmas traditions of the neighborhood. There will be a look inside old St. Paul's church, built in 1850 as one of the first parish churches for the increasing population of German-speaking people, and now functioning as the Verdin Clock and Bell Museum. There will be talk about Hanke's Department store and how it carried toys year-round, not just at Christmas. Christkindlemart on Main Street will be in full swing for participants to enjoy before and after the tour, which will last an hour to an hour and a half. 513-721-4506. (Get details and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) -- JANE DURRELL
The new Situationist performance group, THE BINGE AND PURGE PLAYERS, slips out of the University of Cincinnati's College of Art Saturday and into the CAC's Black Box theater. At 4 p.m., the FREE FOOD performance begins with young artists sampling ideas of many philosophers and geniuses, as well as throwing out some of their own. Dr. Kimberly Paice, art history professor and lover of all things Situationist, says: "Mostly this show is a commentary on the many faces of consumption and deception in American society that uses shock, seduction, meditation and audio anarchy." The Binge and Purge Players will perform solo and group pieces, aimed at an unsuspecting audience. I'll give you a hint, though: expect irony and perversion and balancing the serious news with a sense of humor. 4 p.m. Saturday at the Contemporary Arts Center. 513-961-3131. (Get details and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) -- LAURA JAMES
FRANK DELANEY's latest novel, Tipperary, opens with a warning: "Be careful about me. Be careful about my country and my people and how well we tell our history. We Irish prefer embroideries to plain cloth." The "me" in question is Charles O'Brien, an Anglo-Irish, World War I-era traveling healer with two great loves: a woman and his homeland of County Tipperary. Delaney's eloquent follow-up to the well-received Ireland again investigates his country's rich history via a character who, like his creator, loves to tell a good story. Delaney reads from and discusses his book 7 p.m. Monday at Joseph-Beth Booksellers. 513-396-8960. (Get details and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) -- JASON GARGANO
If the Julliard School needs faces for its next recruitment brochure, the AMERNET STRING QUARTET would fit the bill nicely. Formed in 1991 by Julliard students Marcia Littley and Javier Arias and subsequently joined by graduates Michael Klotz and Misha Vitenson, ASQ made their New York debut in 1994 and have been earning worldwide acclaim for their transcendent intonation and exquisite playing ever since. Although the Amernet has longstanding connections to Cincinnati -- the quartet held residencies and taught at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and Northern Kentucky University, where they founded the Norse Festival -- the Dec. 4 performance at Corbett Auditorium will mark their debut with the Chamber Music Cincinnati series, now in its 78th season. The Amernet will present a program of Haydn's "Rider" Quartet, Op. 74 No. 3, Schoenberg's avant-garde Quartet No. 2 and Beethoven's Quartet in A Minor, Op. 132, with soprano/Miami University voice instructor Audrey Luna joining the Amernet on the final two movements of the Schoenberg work. For information on tickets for the 8 p.m. concert, contact CMC at 859-581-6877 or by e-mail at email@example.com. -- BRIAN BAKER