The promotional material for the Cincinnati Art Museum’s new Art Deco: Fashion & Design in the Jazz Age does something I haven’t seen before in the world of art-museum marketing: It headlines, “From the Curator that brought you Wedded Perfection.” Pop culture does that a lot — “from the director of Jaws”
— but fine-arts institutions?
Last fall, as the economy continued its downward spiral
and arts organizations laid off staff, Tatiana Berman started to map out
plans for a new arts festival in Cincinnati, and this week — defying
the odds — the Constella Festival of Music and Fine Arts debuts,
aligning an impressive array of artists with the city’s major performing
ensembles and arts venues.
Darren Goodman plays with fire. It’s part of his artistic
medium of choice — he blows glass. His extraordinary, downright gorgeous
results are now on view in the Cincinnati Art Museum’s biennial 4th
Floor Award exhibition, this year titled Trial by Fire. It’s up through year’s end.
Sara Pearce had the world — many worlds — at her fingertips, but her fingers couldn’t feel. The former Enquirer arts reporter
had volunteered for a buyout from the paper in September 2008 and wanted
to become an artist herself. She’d finally create collages from the
antique world maps, fashion magazines and other papers she’d collected
Ken Burns believes his new three-part, 5½-hour Prohibition
series, to be shown on public-television station WCET at 8 p.m. Sunday
through Tuesday, contains many revelations about the disastrous era when
America banned booze.
Could art be the missing link? Oxford, Ohio, native John
Bavaro would probably say yes. His current exhibition in the Duveneck
Gallery at the Carnegie Center Visual and Performing Arts Center in
Covington uses both traditional and digital painting to examine the
similarities between humans and non-human primates. The exhibition is a
sort of homecoming for Bavaro, who left Cincinnati in 2001 for a faculty
post at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania.
Realms of Intimacy: Miniaturist Practice from Pakistan, which
opens the Contemporary Arts Center’s 2011-12 season Sept. 23, isn’t
really about Pakistan. It’s not even all about small pictures. “It’s about using beauty to discuss difficult issues,” says Assistant Curator Justine Ludwig.
Comic book culture is embedded in our collective imaginations like never before, inspiring a slew of Hollywood blockbusters like Batman and Superman (for starters), as well as a number of gritty independent films, such as American Splendor, Ghost World and Road to Perdition.
The genre also attracts all manner of craftsmen to explore it as a new
medium, from Michael Chabon to Kevin Smith to Stephen King.
“It’s beauty in a whole different way,
shocking at first, but so meaningful,” says Litsa Spanos, whose gallery,
Art Design Consultants Inc., will show the traveling photography
exhibition The SCAR Project from Sept. 29-Oct. 2. The show presents photographer David
Jay’s life-size prints of young women whose struggles with breast cancer
have left them scarred but valiant.
YES is one of several recent additions to
Over-the-Rhine’s gallery district along Main Street, which is being
invigorated with a new wave of DIY energy. Along with the print studio
and store Static Age, the design collection Losantiville, the clay
studio MUD on Main and the Final Friday PopShops — one-night-only
bazaars that show up in empty properties — Main Street’s galleries are
becoming more geared towards affordable, accessible art and design.
“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.