“I've had the opportunity to learn patience,” says Tod Swormstedt, founder of the American Sign Museum. He’s talking about a problem that other Cincinnati arts organizations and supporters of planned festivals, theater renovations and other projects have to share — how to raise money as the Great Recession grinds on.
I moved to Cincinnati a little over eight years ago. Now I’m moving to Chicago to return to academia and to give myself a much-needed span of time to turn inward and concentrate on improving my art and my writing.
The fall season’s museum show that has attracted the most advance interest — because of its ambitiousness and its timeliness — is the Contemporary Art Center’s Realms of Intimacy: Miniaturist Practice from Pakistan, which opens Sept. 23 and continues until an as-yet-not-finalized January date.
Artist Stevie Grueter digs rocks out of the ground with a railroad spike. She's barely 5 feet tall and lugs them home like she's cradling a baby. That's where her art begins — on the uneven surfaces of rocks. Her life began in the rubble of an earthquake. It struck the Greek island of Crete, killing her parents.
How many people can make jokes in porcelain? Or even, going up to the next level, are witty in porcelain? Artists Katie Parker and Guy Michael Davis regularly carry off that difficult feat in the course of creating works of considerable beauty and technical éclat.
Daniel Dorff literally has the catbird seat from which he keeps his artist's eye on the transformation now underway in Over-the-Rhine’s Washington Park, where Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation is building an underground parking garage for patrons of Music Hall and others.
As early as 1880, drag queens performing in Over-the-Rhine dance halls are mentioned in The Cincinnati Enquirer. It’s auspicious, then, that The Cabaret, a drag performance venue opened earlier this year, revives that OTR history by setting up shop in the same building as Below Zero Lounge on Walnut Street.
History has its share of artists whose reputations have declined with time, and one of the most notable examples is Artemisia Gentileschi, an Italian who worked in the early Baroque era of the 17th century and was influenced by one of the Great Masters of painting — Caravaggio.
The eclectic art collection of the late Carl M. Jacobs III is his bulletin board. With a hint of a self-assured smile in a 1958 portrait by celebrity photographer Carl Van Vechten, Jacobs invites visitors to explore the Cincinnati Art Museum exhibition titled Not Just Pretty Pictures, up through Aug. 28.
John Coplans: Photographs 1984-2000, on view at the West End’s Carl Solway Gallery through Aug. 13, offers viewers the opportunity to revisit photographs that set a new standard for the use of one’s body in making art and also allows us to consider Coplans’ work in the context of his multifarious careers. The black-and-white photographs on view cover a span of nearly two decades until the artist’s death in 2003.
In a very alternative and “outsider” way, Raymond Thunder-Sky seems to becoming the next Cincinnati artist — after Charley Harper — to be discovered internationally. Considered an Outsider Artist, he probably had autism and was beset with numerous physical ailments when social worker Bill Ross discovered his drawings in 1999.
I can’t recall ever seeing an exhibition with so many films on view simultaneously; it’s comprised of more than two hours’ worth of footage, much more than I could hope to write about here. Crocetta has created a whole different realm, with its own sense of time, continuity and order.
American stained glass windows, long shrugged off as a Victorian enthusiasm, are attracting increasing interest, say museum curators, and Cincinnati is on the leading edge of this trend. The Taft Museum of Art recently opened In Company with Angels: Seven Rediscovered Tiffany Windows. And at the Cincinnati Art Museum conservation is under way on four stained glass windows to go on view next May.
FotoFocus, the citywide celebration of photographic and lens-based art planned for October 2012, is now well enough along that its organizers have shared detailed plans. In their first major press release, they also have announced their intention of making this ambitious photography event biennial.