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The Big Picture

The Weird and the Wonderful at New York City Museums

0 Comments · Tuesday, August 10, 2010
On my trip last week to New York City, I bypassed the blockbuster shows at the major art museums in favor of secondary shows and institutions. Secondary in visibility, maybe, in America's busiest arts city, but not in quality. In fact, every institution — in different ways — was pushing its own envelope in order to offer new, provocative ideas about the art it displays.  

The Evolution of War Memorial Design

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 28, 2010
A couple Saturdays ago, I went on an Architectural Foundation of Cincinnati-sponsored excursion to Columbus, Ind., a city just 90 minutes away that has developed an international reputation for its Modernist architecture. Besides the buildings, I was particularly moved by the Bartholomew County Memorial for Veterans in the city's downtown.  

Reality Television Meets the Art World

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 14, 2010
There's an inherent competitive aspect to making art professionally — at some point, somebody else has to like your work more than the next person's or you'll never get any attention. So, dubious as I was about an elimination-style reality show devoted to art, I had to acknowledge the premise did make sense when I learned about Bravo's new 'Work of Art: The Next Great Artist.'  

Indy's 100 Acres Art Park Not Just Another Sculpture Garden

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 30, 2010
The Indianapolis Museum of Art has always had one of the most beautiful settings of any Midwest art museum, but it's also had a secret: a wilder, rougher 100 acres of unused woodlands, meadows and a lake. It eventually came up with the idea of an art park that would commission international artists to create temporary site-related projects, and on June 20 it opened 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park.  

Cincinnati Art Museum Wants You to See America

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 16, 2010
I had thought the Cincinnati Art Museum was counting on its exhibition Walker Evans: Decade by Decade as its summer draw. After all, the show has an ambitious thesis — that Evans is probably the greatest American photographer of the 20th century — and is the brainchild of James Crump, hired as the museum’s curator of photography and just named chief curator. It turns out the museum has decided to package that show with a number of other, simultaneous exhibitions and events under the banner See America.  

Ernesto Neto Allow Dancing At the CAC

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 2, 2010
The Contemporary Arts Center had to delay its Ernesto Neto: Dancing Allowed show — originally scheduled for last March — as part of its various budgetary restraints. It opened May 22, along with Pat Steir’s painting installation Water & Stone, and we can be glad the CAC didn’t have to cancel it.   

Cincinnati Art Museum Announces 2010-2011 Season

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 19, 2010
For art museums, one effect of the Great Recession has been to reexamine priorities — try to do more with the collections you already have, saving money on importing prestigious but costly traveling shows. For the 2010-2011 exhibition season, Cincinnati Art Museum’s three major shows will be in-house-curated and highlight its own collection — borrowing to fill out a show, but not define it.  

Art Chicago Surveys (and Sells) Contemporary Visual Arts

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Last weekend's Art Chicago, with about 150 international galleries displaying (mostly) contemporary art in their individual booths, is the best way for us Midwesterners to get a handle on what's new and important in the art world regionally and around the world. It was held at the city's massive Merchandise Mart concurrently with NEXT: The Invitational Exhibition of Emerging Art.  

Ethical, Sustainable Jewelry-Making in Spotlight at Miami University

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 21, 2010
As the sustainability movement gains ground — in food production and dining, in transportation, energy use and housing — another front is emerging: sustainable crafts. Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Miami University Art Museum, sustainable metalsmith Gabriel Craig of Houston will speak on “Crafting Activism in an Age of Ambivalence.” That will be followed by an exercise in conceptual jewelry-making called Performance: The Pro Bono Jeweler at Shriver Center’s West Patio 11 a.m.-5 p.m.  

Art Responds to the Great Recession at Clifton Cultural Arts Center

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Erin Deters picked a bad time to get her undergraduate DAAP degree in fashion design and seek to start a career in New York City. She ran smack into the hurricane-force arrival of the great recession. Now she's back in Cincinnati and has curated 'Short Straw,' a recession-theme exhibition at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center.  

Recession Brings New Architectural Challenges to Midwest Cities

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 24, 2010
As the Great Recession grinds on, one unusual aspect has been its impact on urban architecture. We see less privately financed construction — certainly far fewer single-family homes, office and retail buildings — and more ideas about urban deconstruction. Cities are concerned with rethinking what they have that is now vacant, derelict and a drain on resources.  

Martin Puryear's Prints Are Mysterious, Compelling

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 10, 2010
If I were to pick the three best contemporary sculptors working on public art today, they'd be Richard Serra, Mark di Suvero and Martin Puryear. Serra unashamedly trumpets the strength inherent in large steel pieces, but Puryear does something different and especially liberating. A current show of his prints at Cincinnati Art Museum, on display now through June 13, offers insight into his motivations and process.  

William Eggleston the 'Big Star' of CAM's 'Starburst'

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 24, 2010
In the new Cincinnati Art Museum exhibit 'Starburst: Color Photography in America 1970-1980,' a key point is that this work was tough stuff in its time. The art world couldn't understand why the new, upcoming photographers were eschewing artful black-and-white compositions and colorful nature landscapes to concentrate on banal, even grotesque shots of unglamorous everyday life.  

How Should Museums Display Film/Video Art?

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 10, 2010
As contemporary visual artists increasingly turn to video, film and projected images of all type, it becomes interesting to see how museums display their work. Are they like movies, deserving of a theater-like space where viewers can sit down and passively watch? Or are they more like performance art, encouraging viewers to walk amongst the moving images? Both the Cincinnati Art Museum and CAC are currently showing video work.  

New CET Arts Channel Has Ambitious Goals

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Come Monday, Cincinnati's CET will unveil what the Public Broadcasting System says is the first public television station to devote one of its new digital channels to 24/7 arts programming. The immediate impact of CETarts will be to offer expanded broadcast of PBS shows CET already features on its primary channel, but in the long term the Channel 48 folks wants to develop some local arts programming for the channel and already has meetings scheduled with various organizations.