Brian Joiner, an esteemed local artist, passed away Oct. 8 after being diagnosed with liver cancer several months ago. He always tried something new in his work and as an African-American artist often addressed tough issues regarding race, politics and spirituality with irony and humor. For his ever-joyful presence, boundless energy and seemingly unlimited generosity, he will be missed by all whose lives he touched.
When Shinji Turner-Yamamoto arrived in Cincinnati, he discovered the ideal place for his current installation, 'Hanging Garden': Holy Cross Church, which had been deconsecrated in the 1970s but still stands at the top of Mount Adams. "I saw a young, living tree floating in the middle of the chapel," says the Japanese-born artist, and two years later he's realized his vision via a mind-boggling technical feat.
In the Cincinnati Art Museum's new exhibition Thomas Gainsborough and the Modern Woman, I learned a new word. “Demireps” were women with less-than-respectable reputations. They were actresses, singers, dancers, courtesans and mistresses who rejected the accepted notions of femininity, made their own money, gambled, left their husbands and — gasp — wore French fashions.
'Where Do We Go From Here? Selections from La Colección Jumex' is the kind of wonderful group show that the Zaha Hadid-designed Contemporary Arts Center was built to exhibit. It helps tremendously, of course, that the downtown museum's director/chief curator, Raphaela Platow, knows the strengths of her building so well.
The unexpected happens in Cincinnati when the Fine Arts Fund gets involved. Belly dancers shake in the Carew Tower arcade. Bus passengers break out into spontaneous storytelling. A giant flash-mob dances in the rain on Fountain Square. The FAF has been wowing us with these art happenings for the past few years, and now it's doing it again, organizing Sunday's street mural painting in Over-the-Rhine.
Somehow, a sensational thing happens when hiking around the city on a historic walking tour: The modern world is always present but seemingly overlaid with a transparency from the past, the ghosts looking back at us while we search for them. At least that's been my experience when good storytelling is involved, as it is in the new Cincinnati Civil War Tour, happening Saturdays through Sept. 25.
J.P. Ball photograph exhibition tucked away in the Ruthven Gallery at the Cincinnati Museum Center isn't grabbing space on the huge banners in the center's rotunda. But the wonderful exhibition is very ambitious and warrants more attention. On display through Oct. 24.
Comic book conventions empower creators, helping them fly above the seemingly countless submissions flooding the comics industry. These are some boiled-down comments from locals Woodrow J. Hinton III and Josh Blair, both appearing this weekend at the Cincinnati Comic Expo.
'Modern Masters from the Smithsonian American Art Museum' showcases revolutionary Abstract Expressionists' work that caused a sea change in the way the western world came to view art. The exhibition also includes works created in response to this mid-20th-century American movement's initial impact. On display at the Dayton Art Institute through Oct. 10.
On the last Saturday in August, PAC Gallery in East Walnut Hills opened a new exhibition with an inventive strategy for including performance art in a commercial gallery exhibition. The gallery's E-invite explained that Kris Ebeling's solo exhibition The Pleasure of Your Companionship would open with an exclusive performance event for no more than 30 attendees, at $200 a head. Each guest would receive "an original work to remember the evening."
The charge to local arts leaders and CityBeat writers was simple yet also complex and difficult: What is the one thing you would change or add to the local arts scene to make it better? Well, maybe it wasn't worded quite so bluntly, but that was the point. There are plenty of exciting things happening locally in the arts; what should be next?
Over the next few months area museums and galleries are presenting a variety of outside-the-box fare, including quilts, wedding dresses, motorcycles and even an installation made of trees. The Taft Museum, Cincinnati Art Museum, Contemporary Art Museum, Country Club, Manifest Gallery, Carnegie Center, Weston Art Gallery, Carl Solway Gallery and Thunder-Sky Inc. are pulling out all the stops for patrons.
Last year, the Taft Museum of Art embarked on a new series of exhibitions called Keystone Contemporary. The goal is that each exhibition would feature one local emerging artist who's been invited to respond (directly or abstractly) to the Taft's collection, the historical house, its interior décor or perhaps even other special exhibitions on view at the museum. Local artist Kristine Donnelly has installed the latest example.
The Art Academy of Cincinnati celebrates the first and hopefully not the last 20 years of a program that is one of a kind in the Tristate. '20 Years/20 Artists' showcases the work of artists who have received a city of Cincinnati Individual Artist Grant. With the city trimming its budget, the grant program met the axe.
From the exterior, Northside House, the new gallery that just opened on Colerain Avenue, looks exactly the way its name sounds: a nondescript red-brick house on a residential street. I accidentally drove past it. Within the weathered walls of this 1880 shotgun-style house, however, awaits an unusual experience for those adventurous enough to visit.