Basil Balian was growing up in Iraq, everybody was reading a series of
19th century over-the-top stories of dark deeds and derring-do by a
French writer, Pierre Alexis Ponson du Terrail. Rocambole, the unlikely
hero of these tales, moves from bad guy to good guy in the course of
numerous books charting his story.
If you are an orderly person, your first
stop on descending the stairs to see the current installations in the
Weston Art Gallery’s lower rooms will be the tiny viewing area just to
the right of the staircase. There, Clara Crockett’s “Theatre
Lilliputiens,” five brief films with a total running time of 20 minutes,
prepare us for the world of her small, meticulous drawings.
Photography shows in cafes can be chancy
as to quality and depth. Those at Iris BookCafe and Gallery, curated by
William Messer, regularly break this rule. Messer, in exhibitions
presented quarterly at Iris since fall 2008, is himself an experienced
curator with an international background and a photographer in his own
At Manifest Creative Research Gallery,
ideas for exhibitions are almost an intellectual art form on their own.
The little “neighborhood gallery for the world” in East Walnut Hills has
a history of dreaming up surprising themes.
Pompeii is the disaster-grabber of all
time. How old were you when that terrible story first drew you in? I was
8, I think, and Pompeii still grips my imagination. For all of us who can’t shake this fascination, A Day in Pompeii,
now at Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, is a must.