WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 

The Strange Regionalism of ‘American Gothic’

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 10, 2014
For the Cincinnati Art Museum, getting the Art Institute of Chicago to loan “American Gothic” (through Nov. 16) is a coup.  

Are Billboards Right for Showing Artwork?

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 27, 2014
To some, the very notion of billboards (or outdoor signage in general) being artwork or hosting artful images instead of give-us-your-money advertising is confusing. But it’s getting more common.  
by Steven Rosen 08.14.2014 31 days ago
Posted In: Visual Art at 08:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Conserving a Pneumatic Dress at the Cincinnati Art Museum

Recently at Cincinnati Art Museum, Mary Baskett wore this very colorful and exciting "pneumatic dress" designed by Naoki Takizawa for Issey Miyake's 2000-2001 fall/winter collection, while textile conservator Chandra Obie discussed the very complicated but successful effort the museum has completed to restore and preserve the dress, which had started to leak air. Baskett owns it, but it had been on display (and inflated for an extended period) at the museum's 2007 exhibition Where would you wear that? The Mary Baskett Collection. There have been discussions but no formal commitment about donating this dress to the museum. If that happens, it's doubtful it would be worn again. Obie's discussion was sponsored by the museum's popular and rewarding Art 360 program, which gives a group a chance to learn more about specific pieces of art. The next Art 360 program is Aug. 23 at 2 p.m., when the museum's Mary Claire Angle — assistant director of school-based learning — will discuss Donald Judd's "Untititled" minimalist sculpture. Event is free; reservations required at 513-721-2787.
 
 

Cincinnati Silver Exhibit Is a Strong Achievement

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Cincinnati Silver 1788-1940 is a sterling example of how an art exhibition can be about local history while still assuring the displayed objects are worthy of our long, concentrated gaze.  
by Steven Rosen 07.30.2014 46 days ago
at 08:06 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Cincinnati Art Museum Announces New Director

Cameron Kitchin to take over Oct. 1

The Cincinnati Art Museum on Tuesday announced in this press release its new director, who is replacing Aaron Betsky. The latter announced his resignation late last year and left his post in May.CINCINNATI - JULY 29, 2014 – The Board of Trustees of the Cincinnati Art Museum today unanimously voted to name Cameron Kitchin as the museum’s director. Kitchin, a nationally recognized innovator and leader in the museum field, comes to Cincinnati from the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art in Memphis, Tenn., where he served as director. Kitchin will begin in his new position on Oct. 1. He will report to the museum’s Board of Trustees.“On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Cincinnati Art Museum, I am excited to announce the appointment of Cameron Kitchin as our new director,” said Marty Ragland, president of the Board of Trustees and co-leader of the search committee. “From Day 1, our members and patrons, as well as members of our search committee, board and staff, agreed that, in addition to being an accomplished museum leader, our new director must have a passion for art, be a strategic thinker and embrace our city with the goal of bringing people to the enjoyment of art. We found these qualities and many more in Cameron.”Kitchin will oversee the entire institution, including collections, staff, facilities, exhibitions, research resources, education and outreach programs, external relations, fundraising and administrative activities. As an arts and cultural leader, Kitchin will initiate, maintain and develop new partnerships and collaborations in Cincinnati, the state and the region to enhance and support the Cincinnati Art Museum’s mission to bring people and art together in ways that transform everyday lives and the community.Kitchin’s appointment comes at the end of a nearly seven-month search by the committee led by Ragland and board chairman Dave Dougherty. The Board of Trustees also hired professional search firm, Russell Reynolds Associates, to help guide the process. Kitchin won the unanimous vote of the search committee prior to going to the board vote."I am greatly honored to be appointed to serve as director of the Cincinnati Art Museum,” Kitchin shared. “I look forward to joining with the Cincinnati community to grow the museum's role in the life of our new city. I have long admired the Art Museum’s exhibitions, programs, collections and transformative educational initiatives. I am excited now to lead a team of talented professionals and supporters, with our dedicated trustees, to expand the impact and to broaden the reach of the museum to serve all Cincinnatians."Kitchin led the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, one of the South’s leading art museums, for six years. He oversaw the growth of the museum as a community-based institution, leveraging the museum’s significant collections and history to forge new partnerships with a wide network of cultural institutions, educational entities, universities and social service agencies. Under his leadership, the Brooks engaged in rigorous new educational initiatives, pursued exciting original scholarship and successfully achieved broad appeal in exhibitions and programs. Kitchin led the museum through two comprehensive strategic plans, a capital plan and a groundbreaking program in early childhood education in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution. Other significant new achievements included art therapy, Alzheimer’s services, teen art programs and overhauls of critical museum systems, collections databases and security infrastructure. Kitchin’s innovations and effectiveness in reaching new audiences across the entire community, building bridges through public service and leading a diverse and talented professional museum team drew the attention of the Cincinnati Art Museum’s search committee. In addition, Kitchin’s use of technology as a tool for exploring art and his creative public programming impressed the museum’s board.Prior to joining the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Kitchin served as executive director of the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, the statewide contemporary art museum in Virginia. During his six years there, he led the museum through a comprehensive institutional revitalization, increased visitation and achieved a balanced budget every year. He also mounted numerous acclaimed exhibitions of national and international note while simultaneously opening the doors to new audiences through creative programming. His successful completion of a major capital campaign and commitment to social discourse at the museum raised the museum to new heights during his tenure.Previously, Kitchin managed Economics Research Associates’ national consulting practice for museums and cultural attractions for three years in Washington, D.C., and led the economics component of Washington’s Museums and Memorials Master Plan, as well as studies for the Newseum and National Law Enforcement Museum in Washington, D.C. In previous engagements, he directed the American Alliance of Museums’ strategic planning process, headed AAM’s national political campaign in support of museums and led a complex digital copyright initiative for museums.Kitchin is an active member of the Association of Art Museum Directors and has served on numerous task forces, including one on AAMD’s national standards on deaccessioning and broadened and diversified the membership of the association as an appointee to the AAMD membership committee. He received a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Harvard University in 1993 and an MBA with a concentration in not-for-profit and museum management from the Mason Graduate School of Business, William & Mary in 1999. Kitchin was also selected from among top international museum professionals to participate as a residential program fellow in the Getty Leadership Institute’s Museum Leadership Institute, the most rigorous and longest-established academic program for interdisciplinary museum leadership, in 2008. He is also an AAM accreditation peer reviewer, an IMLS national grant panelist and an active leader in numerous professional associations and societies.Kitchin will relocate to Cincinnati this fall. He will be joined by his wife Katie - a national public policy expert in homelessness and child and family wellbeing - and his three young children, ages 10, 7 and 3.
 
 
by Alexis O'Brien 06.04.2014 102 days ago
Posted In: Visual Art at 09:33 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Cincinnati Art Museum Purchases Courttney Cooper Map

Museum adds Visionaries + Voices artist's work to permanent collection

Old embraced new in a powerful way when Cincinnati’s oldest art institution, the Cincinnati Art Museum, purchased a new piece from local, contemporary artist Courttney Cooper this week. "Cincinnati Map" is now part of the museum’s permanent collection and skillfully depicts the buildings, streets, and roadways that make our city one Cooper never tires of drawing. A piecemeal of 8.5-by-11-inch repurposed papers, "Cincinnati Map" is a Bic pen line rendition of downtown Cincinnati that Cooper worked on for a year and brought to life by memory alone. "Courttney Cooper is one of the most ambitious and compelling artists working in Cincinnati,“ says Matt Distel, CAM adjunct curator of contemporary art. “His work not only speaks to Cincinnati but also addresses more universal concepts about how people experience their environment.” Grown out of Northside’s Visionaries + Voices studio and gallery, "Cincinnati Map" was shown in Cooper’s first museum show at the Cincinnati Art Museum last year and will now be exhibited there as curatorial opportunities for it emerge.
 
 
by Jac Kern 05.30.2014 107 days ago
Posted In: Events at 12:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 5/30-6/1

It’s Pride Week in Cincinnati, a time to celebrate and support the local LGBTQ community, promote diversity as well as equality and just have a good time as a plethora of events takes over the city. The Pride party has been going all week and the fun continues tonight with the Skyy Vodka Pub Crawl featuring bars and clubs in Over-the-Rhine, Northside, Downtown, Newport and Covington. Shuttles run three loops with six busses stopping at 20 bars. A $10 wristband gets you on the bus all night and into any bars that have cover charges. Find details here. Cincinnati Art Museum’s free Art After Dark series also takes a Pride theme this month. Stop by the museum before the crawl for performances by Young Heirlooms and the Cincinnati Men’s Chorus, gallery tours, giveaways and more from 5-9 p.m. Bar crawl wristbands can be purchased at the museum or Millennium Hotel, Below Zero, Rosie's Tavern or Chameleon between 8-10 p.m.  The much-anticipated annual Pride Parade steps off at 2 p.m. Saturday with a slightly different route due to streetcar construction: Seventh and Culvert streets to Vine Street to Fifth at Fountain Square, down Eggleston Avenue. The parade will end at Sawyer Point, where a family-friendly festival runs 3-9 p.m. There will be two entertainment stages (be sure to swing by the CityBeat stage!), rides and games for kids, food and drink. There will also be a public commitment/re-commitment ceremony at 6 p.m., free to all couples interested in participating. The ceremony will cap off with a couples’ first dance. The festival ends with a fireworks display at 9 p.m. Find a full entertainment lineup here. And be sure to check out this week’s Pride Issue. We’ve got interviews with local LGBTQ advocates, a calendar of events and more. The 2014 Cincinnati Fringe Festival is in full swing this weekend (continuing through June 7). We’ve previewed each of the 30-plus performances and will be posting reviews of every show as well — check them out here. Eccentric painter, sculptor, printmaker and collector of fancy antique oddities Hunt Slonem graces Cincinnati with his colorful, fabulous presence this week. The American artist has work showcased in more than 100 museums across the world — and now, Miller Gallery in Hyde Park. Perhaps best known for his neo-expressionist paintings of tropical birds and other animals, Slonem will be at the gallery for the opening Friday night. Meet the artist and peruse his works from 6-8 p.m.; The Exotic World of Hunt Slonem will be on display at Miller through June 29. Jane’s Saddlebag in Union, Ky., is a unique attraction sprawling over 35 acres of land that features a general store, restaurant, wine shop, petting zoo, historic spaces and recreations. Located near Big Bone Lick State Park, Jane’s is great for a weekend getaway close to home. Visit this weekend as they host their second annual wine festival noon-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Sample wines from 20 local and regional wineries and shop handmade items from more than 40 craft vendors. Tickets are $12 and include four tasting tickets, a wine glass and live music. Go here for more info. For more art openings, parties, festivals and other stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do picks, full calendar and Rick Pender’s Stage Door for weekend theater offerings.
 
 
by Alexis O'Brien 05.30.2014 107 days ago
Posted In: Visual Art at 11:19 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Matters of our Art: Portraits of the Artist

If you’ve been to the Cincinnati Art Museum recently, and specifically since March 22, you’ve probably found yourself lingering among portraits in a corner of the second floor. (Up the grand staircase and in Room 212, the space now designated as the museum’s photography gallery.) And it might’ve been Jean Renoir’s doing. The filmmaker’s honest, sideways smirk that’s good at whispering you in to laugh at life at or with him. For me, he was the one whose 77-year-old face, through the gap of a narrow doorway, led me in to look upon his ruthlessness magnified, given new life by Richard Avedon and brought to light by Brian Sholis, the museum’s new curator of photography. “It wasn’t until the 1970s when museums started taking photography seriously,” Sholis says. “The art world stopped writing it off as so mechanical and lacking real talent, so museums like this one began acquiring a lot of it.” Which explains the 4,000-field, photographical rundown Sholis was sent before moving from New York to Cincinnati to take his curatorial position in 2013. The database was a list of every museum-owned piece of photography, and while studying it, Sholis noticed a pattern: two recognizable names in one row, repeated. An artist by an artist. Portraits of the Artist. You see where this is going. “For people who don’t know much about the history of photography, they’re given another chance to connect here, and I wanted my first exhibition to be as welcoming as possible,” Sholis says. “Here, there’s twice the chance of hitting upon someone a visitor could recognize.” Out of four-dozen artists-by-artists photographs, Sholis narrowed his exhibition selection to 14 of them, presenting Frida Kahlo by Bernard Silberstein, Picasso (with his son Claude) by Robert Capa and Miles Davis by Lee Friedlander, among others. The dancer in me was especially drawn to modern mover Merce Cunningham by Barbara Morgan, who took Cunningham’s photo like he crafted his dances — with good faith in chance. She shot the double-exposure by retrogressing her film after an initial shot and snapping Cunningham again in another position, not realizing the two bodies as one image until they’d been developed, much like Cunningham frequently rolled a die to dictate his movements and their sequences. And while, like the individual pieces themselves, the idea of the exhibition is stimulating and timely (I don’t need to tell anyone about the portrait-in-the-form-of-iPhone-selfie phenomenon), the placement of the pieces is also noteworthy, and very thoroughly Sholis-thought-through. The Mexican artist portraits are grouped together alongside a couple of painted face performers; partners in work and life, John Cage and Merce Cunningham share an intimate space on a portion of the gallery’s west wall; and Miles Davis is situated alone and dominantly, glaring over onlookers while avoiding awkward eye contact with Renoir (after being moved when Sholis saw the staring contest). “These are more than just casual snapshots even though they look that way,” Sholis says. “These are kind of dialogues between the artists themselves and their creators, the photographers.” And, of course, you.
 
 

The Slow Pleasures of Looking at Art

1 Comment · Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Art Museums, like any other civic institution, participate in lots of special “days” and other catchy events to get visitors. But Slow Art Day, which occurred April 12, was such a good idea — at least at Cincinnati Art Museum (CAM), where I participated — that it should be instituted on a regular basis.  
by Jac Kern 03.28.2014
Posted In: Events at 10:47 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 3/28-3/30

The Cincinnati Art Museum’s monthly Art After Dark series is a really cool way to experience the historic art institution. Each final Friday, the CAM opens its doors after hours for a themed night of gallery tours, live performances and a cash bar with happy hour drinks and appetizers. Friday’s Art After Dark: Rococo Vibrations includes tour of Genius and Grace: François Boucher and the Generation of 1700 (members-only at 5:30 p.m., public tours at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m.) and the Neo-Soul stylings of Tracy Walker from 6-8 p.m. The free event runs 5-9 p.m.; parking is $4. Washington Platform’s Oyster Festival kicks off Friday. This 28th annual food fest features a menu of more than 40 styles of oyster dishes, including Smoked Oyster Salad, Fried Oyster Tacos, Oyster Stuffed Jalapenos, Oysters Mardi Gras and Nantucket Oysters. Guests can enjoy lunch, dinner and happy hour specials and pay to play various games for prizes, with proceeds benefiting the Saint Francis Soup Kitchen in Over-the-Rhine. Washington Platform’s Oyster Festival specials are available 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 4-8 p.m. Sunday and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday- Thursday. Recent Grammy Award winners Roomful of Teeth perform at the Contemporary Arts Center Friday. The vocal group specializes in blending classical singing techniques with diverse World music styles for a completely unique sound — one of their songs is in a made-up language! The concert, which begins at 8 p.m., is just the latest offering from the CAC’s solid performance series. Tickets are $14, $8 for members. Read our story on Roomful of Teeth here. This weekend is your last chance to check out Krohn Conservatory’s spring show, Avant Garden. The show features exotic flowers and shrubs with recycled materials in the landscape. Avant Garden closes Sunday along with the Conservatory’s spring plant sale. The anticipated annual butterfly show — this year it's Pura Vida: The Butterflies of Costa Rica — opens April 12. Opening Day in Cincinnati is not only a city holiday, but a rite of passage for locals. It marks the first game of the Reds’ season (baseball’s first professional team), the unofficial start of spring and the return of one of the best parades of the year, the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade — now in its 95th year! Opening Day may not be until Monday, but Covington gallery BLDG is getting a jump on festivities beginning Friday. 199C: Cincinnati’s Opening Day is an exhibit of baseball-, Cincinnati- and Opening Day-themed art from more than 40 artists from around the neighborhood and world. The exhibit opening starts at 4 p.m. Friday with music from Automagik, food trucks, a live art installation, retro video game competitions and a pop-up Wiffle ball game on Pike Street. Find more info here. Opening Day celebrations run the gamut from sports-related fun to art, bar events and food. Check out a roundup of Monday’s happenings here. Be sure to read this week’s Best of Cincinnati issue for reader and staff picks on the city’s best restaurants, businesses, events and more. For more art openings, theater shows, parties and other stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do picks and full calendar.
 
 

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