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Final Friday Roundup

Galleries, Artists, Etc.

By Laura James · February 29th, 2008 · The Big Picture
  Allen Mann's
Tony Walsh

Allen Mann's "Untitled (52 Acts of Memory)" will be on view at Clay Street Press beginning Friday.

Cincinnati's juicy little art pockets come alive this weekend for Final Friday; expect Over-the-Rhine's galleries to be plenty packed of notable work and spectators.

The Nicholas Gallery (23 E. Court St., Downtown, 513-621-0780) hosts a juried exhibition of University of Cincinnati undergrads, Moving Spectra. According to Nick Paddock, the show is "an exploration of materials and fresh ideas from a large number of students." Indeed, UC's Fine Arts Association and the gallery have chosen a wide array of media: painting, photography, sculpture, ceramics, drawing, video work as well as digitally produced imagery.

While the curators theme might too broad, Nicholas Gallery always seems able to gather fascinating new work.

Lori Larusso opens her second solo exhibition at 1305 Gallery (1305 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-659-4987), called Leisure and Concern. The work seems to shimmer in a suburban pop art flare, but beneath creeps a criticism of our mainstreamed lives. Says Gallery Director Lily Mulberry: The work speaks "directly to heavy and relevant undercurrents in our daily 'progress' as a society. Suburban sprawl, domestic violence and social struggles undermine smooth panels of perfectly painted kitchens, neighborhoods and environments." Larusso's paintings shine a bright light on the "too perfect" fa├žade and leave us feeling cold and isolated.

The artist scheduled to show this week at the Art Academy's Pearlman Gallery (1212 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-562-6262), Adam Parker Smith, was unable to travel to Cincinnati because of the inclement February weather. I'm truly sad about this -- the postcard had me smiling for days. Local high school art teachers participate in his stead. I wonder if mine will be there?

Enjoy the Arts/START Gallery (1338 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-621-4700) hosts photographer Leah Saunders in her exploration of the ancient Mayan healing technique of Light Language. Both abstract and narrative, the work seems to bridge gaps between history, personal distance and physical space.

While the recently closed Publico is sadly not in the lineup this month, next door Clay Street Press (1312 Clay Street Press, Over-the-Rhine, 513-241-3232) has an excellent, not-to-be-missed exhibition: Allen Mann's Untitled (In Memory). The work is a black-and-white revelation. Photographs and lithography here combine to make Mann's MFA thesis show a great success. His materials challenge the concept of printmaking (is that salt?), and do so in such a graceful way that the viewer understands this work isn't all about technique.

The gallery hop begins at 6 p.m. Call galleries for closing times. Enjoy the leap year!

CONTACT LAURA JAMES: ljames@citybeat.com



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