If I were to recommend just one show at a regional art museum right now, it would be the Matisse, Life in Color: Masterworks from the Baltimore Museum of Art exhibition at the Indianapolis Museum of Art through Jan. 12, 2014.
Northside’s Thunder-Sky, Inc. wrestles
with the term “outsider” art. Though it’s a marketable label, it can
heap sometimes-false assumptions upon artists. They’re presumed to be
uneducated, untrained, isolated, developmentally disabled and/or
indifferent to profit. Thunder-Sky, Inc. co-founders Keith Banner and
Bill Ross prefer “unconventional” to describe the works.
On the first Wednesday of each month, a
group of special visitors gathers in one of three participating
Cincinnati museums for a tour designed expressly for them. The group
includes people whose memories are fragile in the extreme and their
guests, the family members or others who accompany them.
In 1850, when Robert S. Duncanson was
painting landscapes on the hallways of what is now the Taft Museum of
Art, art itself had a somewhat different place in popular culture than
it has today. Duncanson’s landscapes are idealized scenes of nature and,
as such, are considered uplifting.
Might a picture be worth a thousand songs? It’s possible that a photograph, as much
as an MP3 player full of tunes or a head full of memories, is the best
way to recall attending a concert by a favorite act. Not just something
shot far from the stage on your shaky iPhone, but rather the kind of
image that an inspired photographer — with media access and lots of
skill — can take up close.
JR has been covering the world with his art — and Cincinnati is next. The 30-year-old French street artist has
pasted his monumental photographic-portrait posters in some unusual
places (and not always with official permission): on the sides of buses
in the African nation of Sierra Leone, on the rooftop of a Palestinian
building in the West Bank city of Nablus, along the old and weathered
city walls of Havana...
As home to Vessels: All the Eyes Can Hold, Kennedy Heights Arts Center is a vessel itself, brimming with nearly 100 works representing 57 artists. Co-curator Lynn Conaway saw to it that
this wouldn’t be a show of only stoneware pots, which is an easy place
to go when the theme is “vessels,” so she asked artists to think outside
The Lloyd Library and Museum may not be
on your accustomed arts radar but its extraordinary current exhibition
could put it there. Wounded Home reflects the ghastly
physical toll war has on its participants as well as its psychological
toll on them and their families.
There’s something special about ideas
committed to paper. While our thumbs rest from texting, our fingertips
appreciate the tactile sensation of a physical page. As we create and
study images, our brains connect moments from our past, forming a trail.
Ceramics artists Katie Parker and Guy
Michael Davis, who teach at the University of Cincinnati and frequently
create installations as a duo known as Future Retrieval, are well versed
in the traditions upon which their art relies. But in their effort to
push the limits of their studio practice, they’ve found ways to
incorporate technological innovations and play upon thematic conventions
to make their work fresh and relevant.
JonPaul Smith’s work operates on various levels. It is at once visually appealing — almost like a “Magic Eye” pattern with the horizontally repeating grid, sometimes giving the illusion of depth of field, depending on the artist’s arrangement.
Cincinnati Everyday shows us our city as seen by two very different living artists, both of whom find the place endlessly interesting. Cole Carothers and Courttney Cooper are each instinctive artists. That is to say, each makes art because it’s his natural response to what he sees, but how they see is as individual as they are themselves.
Jymi Bolden seems propelled by momentum. A
deliberate speaker with a warm smile, Bolden’s Art Beyond Boundaries
(ABB) gallery has been exhibiting at its current location on Main Street
for more than six years.
Daguerreotypes: someone sitting stiffly,
right? Ninety-nine percent of daguerreotypes would fit that
description, says Tamera Muente, the Taft Museum of Art’s installing
curator for its current show, Photographic Wonders. The surprise of the show, she adds, is that virtually all of it is drawn from that other one percent.