One of the things that made the Cincinnati Post so good — and made it so important to the city — was its background as a blue-collar, afternoon newspaper. For better and worse, as the fortunes of the working-class declined in post-industrial Cincinnati, the Post could capture some heart-wrenching portraits of people on the fringes. Melvin Grier, a photojournalist for the late, lamented Post for some 30 years, was responsible for quite a few of those portraits.
On a recent Saturday night, three galleries along Central and Harrison avenues were open — Synthetica-m and the collectively run U-turn Art Space and Semantics. The exhibits at U-turn and Semantics were amazingly good. Their shows are still up through May 28. And yet word comes U-turn will be closing after one more show. So yet another Cincinnati alternative space that has made a mark will be gone before it can really galvanize growth in the larger arts community.
Considering the level of reverence Bert Jansch elicits from Boomer Rock icons like Neil Young (currently touring with Jansch as his opening act) and Jimmy Page, it's surprising to learn that the 67-year-old Scottish guitarist/singer/songwriter is their contemporary rather than their elder. But by 1965, when Young and Page were still searching for their musical direction, Jansch had already made one of his greatest albums, as important as any to ever come out of the British Folk revival.
Because of keen public interest, the Reed Gallery at UC's College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) has extended its fine current show, Video Sculpture, through May 13. Be sure to get there to see the wonderful installation from 2009 by Amy Jenkins called "From the Same Water," in which the image of a naked man and a woman floating and sinking in a swimming pool are projected onto a birdbath-sized pedestal in a special room.
Peter Frampton, Cincinnati's resident Classic Rock star, better watch his step this Sunday — Cheetah Chrome is coming to town. Chrome, the explosively thrashing guitarist/songwriter with the key American Punk band the Dead Boys, will be at the Comet in Northside at 3:30 p.m. on that day as part of the unusual, trend-setting Cleveland Confidential Authors Tour. All three authors — Chrome, Mike Hudson and Bob Pfeifer — have roots in Cleveland Punk bands.
While the Cincinnati Art Museum is exhibiting circus posters printed by Cincinnati-based Strobridge Lithographing Company, there's a smaller (but nonetheless fascinating) related exhibit of entertainment material of the late-19th/early-20th centuries at the downtown Main Library's Cincinnati room. 'This Is Strobridge' covers circus posters and material promoting live theatrical productions 'Peter Pan' and 'Ben Hur.'
Most people would say there’s a clear distinction between a library and a museum. A library circulates books and audio/visual materials to people who want to use them; a museum collects valuable objects in order to protect and preserve them. But, as it happens, major libraries have a museum-like function — they have special collections of all sorts of unusual and offbeat material, often of a local nature.
What I like best about the art that is often called “minimalist” is that when it’s done with commitment and devotion, intellect and compassion, there’s nothing simple about it. A painting that — to paraphrase Seinfeld — is about nothing becomes about so much more.
Artist Tony Becker worked with some 500 children and adults from 15 schools and community organizations to create small origami houses that encapsulated each one's vision of a "dream shelter." Each participant also produced a small written statement explaining the concept behind his or her creation, thus shedding light on each one's notion of what constitutes an ideal home.
The Cincinnati Art Museum has been displaying automobiles near the front entrance for several years now — part of the attempt to spotlight functional design — and the latest one is probably the most unusual to date. It is a European microcar, a 1957 BMW Isetta 300 on loan from Lance and Diane White, designed by an Italian firm, Iso, that specialized in refrigerators. Now, a generation of microcars is finally popular in the U.S.