WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by Alexis O'Brien 05.30.2014
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.
 
 
by Jac Kern 05.23.2014
Posted In: Events at 10:48 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Long Weekend To Do List: 5/23-5/26

The 36th annual Taste of Cincinnati takes over six blocks downtown this weekend. The annual food festival includes more than 100 dishes from 40-plus restaurants and 70 live music performances Saturday through Monday. Features this year include four music stages; tappings, tastings and a meet-the-brewers with Christian Moerlein Brewing Co., official beer of the Taste; and the Taste Experience. If large crowds and funnel cakes aren’t quite your thing, the Taste Experience features more upscale fare in the intimate setting of the Procter & Gamble gardens. The Reds take on the Cardinals Saturday and Sunday, so it’s sure to be a bustling weekend downtown. For more information about the Taste, check out our feature on the fest. Memorial Day marks the symbolic start to summer as well as the opening date for many pools and summer attractions. Both The Beach Waterpark and Coney Island open their gates this Saturday. The Beach, under new management since its temporary closing in 2012, is back with all the crazy water rides and slides, the wave pool, real sand and endless entertainment for the whole family. New this year are cabanas for rent and a high-flying zip-line. Find admission details and hours here. Coney Island is another Cincy summertime institution. Enjoy classic rides, water slides and the iconic Sunlite Pool all weekend long. Go here for tickets and more info. Cincinnati Saints, the city’s semi-professional soccer team, kicks off its first season in the National Premier Soccer League Friday with a game against Pennsylvania’s Erie Admirals. The Saints play home games at Stargel Stadium on the West End. Follow the team as they look to make soccer yet another successful pro sport in Cincinnati — the team will host World Cup watch parties on Fountain Square next month. Read more about the team in this week’s feature.  Ever been curious about the nudist lifestyle? Many locals don’t know a nudist resort is located right outside the city on Cincinnati’s West Side. Paradise Gardens Nudist Resort lies on 35 acres of lush, wooded land and has been around for more than 40 years. Those interested in nudism or just wanting to check it off their bucket list are invited to explore the grounds for an open house noon-6 p.m. Saturday. New nudists and veterans alike can enjoy swimming, hiking, volleyball, sunning and even a pirate-themed dance at night. Relax, be respectful and bring a towel to sit on (that hot summer sun can really warm up seat surfaces!). Future open house dates are June 7, July 5 and Aug. 19. Learn more here. 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.
 
 

Whitney Biennial Focuses on the Art of Curation

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 21, 2014
The Whitney Biennial is a bellwether of new trends in the contemporary art world. Or, at least, on what is most important in the eyes of the curators charged with choosing a particular year’s participating artists — and what’s important to those artists, themselves.  

Thunder-Sky 'Rejoices' over Late Cincinnati Icon

0 Comments · Tuesday, April 29, 2014
A diminutive white-bearded man, Avtar Gill stood out in any crowd despite his humble stature. Always wearing his oversized, hand-drawn, (typically) all caps messages which he affixed to a baseball cap with usually no more than a few strategically placed rubber bands, he documented everyday history in mundane yet sometimes profound ways.   
by Jac Kern 04.11.2014
Posted In: Events at 12:56 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 4/11-4/13

This weekend’s forecast includes warm weather, a bit of rain, a few clouds and tons of art. Whether you want to watch it, make it, buy it or just support local arts organizations, art is all around this weekend — starting with the last Macy’s Arts Sampler of the season, presented by ArtsWave. Macy’s Arts Sampler Weekends bring free performances, workshops, tours and other art opportunities to venues across Greater Cincinnati. Saturday’s final installment includes concerts by the Cincinnati Children's Choir, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and Cincinnati Men’s Chorus at St. John’s Unitarian Church; dance demo classes and performances at Covington’s Step-N-Out Studio; yarn-bombing 101 with the Bombshells of Cincinnati at 21c Museum Hotel and tons more events in College Hill, Butler County, Mariemont and other neighborhoods. Find a full schedule of free art to sample here. Visionaries + Voices provides countless opportunities for local artists with disabilities. With locations in Northside and Tri-County, V+V helps these artists create, market and showcase their pieces. At the organization’s annual fundraiser, Double Vision, talented V+V artists exhibit and auction their works of art. Double Vision V takes place at Memorial Hall Friday — VIP and general admission ticket options available here. Art will be on sale via live and silent auctions, and attendees can enjoy drinks, snacks and music by DJ Mowgli. Oakley’s Brazee Street Studios hosts a free art supply swap from 1-3 p.m. Saturday. Clean out your craft closet and bring any unwanted items such as paint, textiles and brushes, then stock up on other materials you may need. It’s all free and honor system-style — please bring at least two items if you plan on swapping. All extra supplies will be donated to Crayons2Computers.It’s Northside Second Saturday time this weekend! Art, retail sales, food and drink specials abound throughout the neighborhood starting around 6 p.m. Highlights include shows at Northside Tavern and The Comet, gallery openings at Fabricate, NVISION and Northside International Airport’s Bathrool Gallery and a closing reception at Thunder-Sky, Inc. Local electronic artist Charles Woodman is a founding member of video performance group viDEO sAVant and he currently has a show on display in Weston Art Gallery you can read about here. This Sunday viDEO sAVant presents Lateral Thinking, a unique, live multimedia performance at 21c Museum Hotel downtown. Video clips of both sci-fi and avant-garde films will play out as a soundtrack is composed live. This feast for the senses is free and begins at 4 p.m. Read more here. Be sure to read our Best of Cincinnati issue for reader and staff picks on the city’s best restaurants, businesses, events and more. For more theater shows, parties and other stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do picks and full calendar.
 
 

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter at 21c

0 Comments · Tuesday, March 18, 2014
You could go stag to see the carved deer heads, football helmets and other gaming trophies on exhibit in Wild Card at the 21c Museum Hotel downtown. But Michael Combs’ unsettling examination of gender identity and cultural mythology raises so many questions that it’s better not to go hunting alone for answers.  
by Jac Kern 02.07.2014
Posted In: Eats, Events, Drinking, Fun at 01:09 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 2/7-2/9

Cincinnati Beer Week is in full effect, bringing craft beer tastings, pairings and brewery nights to bars and restaurants across the city through Feb. 13 (followed by the popular Cincy Winter Beerfest Feb. 14-15). Go here for the week’s highlights and find all of today’s CBW events here. Balls Around the Block is a bar crawl with a mission: To expose more locals to the ever-changing downtown landscape by visiting several different local establishments in one night, all while raising money for a good cause. Twelve groups of 25 each begin at a different bar on the same block (so as not to overwhelm one establishment all at once) and continue progressing around to bars like Madonna’s, Rock Bottom Brewery, Igby’s and Nicholson’s. It’s $35 to participate, with food and drink specials along the way. This year’s crawl benefits Fido Field, the privately funded off-leash dog area located at 630 Eggleston Ave. BATB hopes to raise $12,000 this year for the continued construction of Fido Field — the group raised $10,000 in 2013. Go here for more information, to make donations and to join a group for the crawl. Cincy Blues Society’s annual Winter Blue Fest kicks off Friday at The Phoenix. More than 25 local Blues acts perform through Saturday including headliners Tinsley Ellis and Janiva Magness. Read more here. Jungle Jim’s Big Cheese Fest is now sold out, but those with tickets are in for a day full delicious dairy from more than 80 cheese companies. More than 40 booths will feature varieties of local, artisan and international cheeses, charcuterie, breads, spreads and more. Beer and wine pairing options available at additional cost. The festival takes over Jungle Jim’s Oscar Event Center from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. The Big Cheese Kick-Off Party (also sold out) is 7-10 p.m. Friday.For more art openings, parties 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.
 
 

Upcoming Art Shows Have Great Promise

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 29, 2014
With a winter like this, there’s only one thing you can do — put aside all thoughts about the cold cruelty of brutal nature and look toward something better and more caring: human-made art.   

Local Frame Sellers Make the Most of Abandoned Warehouse Surplus

1 Comment · Wednesday, November 13, 2013
The shopping experience is as unique as the products on the shelves. Customers make their way up the warehouse stairs and are greeted by Baltzersen and her team, who liberally distribute gloves and masks to combat the layers of dust customers encounter while searching for the perfect size and shape frame. Customers are also treated to light refreshments, including a choice of wine to “help you shop,” according to one assistant  

Grand Rapids’ ArtPrize Is a Grand Experiment

1 Comment · Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Grand Rapids, a city of less than 200,000 people in western Michigan, isn’t quite ready to be considered one of the Midwest’s great art centers; Cleveland, Chicago and Detroit’s art museums are not yet in danger of being eclipsed by Grand Rapids. But with its annual ArtPrize — a festival-like art exhibition and competition that occurs in late September and early October — it has come up with a citywide visual-arts event like no other in the way it’s captured the public imagination.  

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