The University of Cincinnati's DAAP GALLERIES DOWNTOWN (the initials are from UC's College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning), tucked away on the only block of Fourth Street with any galleries left, looks like a secret from the outside.
A skinny storefront with an exhibit wall blocking the window, the space looks shy and quiet, neatly folded up into its allotted square footage.
Just enter. The gallery stretches almost the entire city block; its echoing expansion belies its unassuming exterior. Anything but quiet on the inside, this oblong emptiness boldly embraces the presence of art. The rough, unfinished floor and the exposed support beams and ceiling fixtures are a neighborhood characteristic.
The gallery plays well with its hip, urban neighbors -- young design firms, rehabbed warehouse lofts and galleries. It shows the work of contemporary local and regional artists, as well as student art.
The lease for the gallery ends later this year, so UC is seeking new space. Gallery Director Anne Timpano says DAAP Galleries will stay downtown, and UC's extensive Fine Arts Collection will move there as well.
The current show is an exhaustive study of the history of the Ohio Mechanics Institute, which became UC's College of Applied Sciences. Trust me, it's much more interesting than it sounds. OMI 175th Anniversary Exhibition of Arts and Industry continues through March 5.
DAAP Galleries Downtown
Address: 314 W. Fourth St., Downtown
First opened: Fall 2001
Hours: Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Next exhibit: Food for Thought. DAAP students create works inspired by food. Opening Reception: April 2, 6-8 p.m. Through April 23.
Contact: DAAP.Galleries@uc.edu; 513-381-0603