by Alexis O'Brien
Posted In: Visual Art
at 11:19 AM | Permalink
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
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
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
Posted In: Events
at 10:48 AM | Permalink
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
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
for weekend theater offerings.
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,
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
Posted In: Events
at 12:56 PM | Permalink
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
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
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,
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
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
Posted In: Eats
at 01:09 PM | Permalink
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
Door for weekend theater offerings.
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:
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
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.