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Weary, but Awake: Black and Brown Faces at the Cincinnati Art Museum

The Cincinnati-based Paloozanoire organization dedicates itself to creative collaborations and community health, linking the arts to the pursuit of mental wellness. In 2020, when the ravages of a pandemic combined with the shockwaves of racist violence, the need to support psychological and social wellbeing could hardly be plainer. Paloozanoire’s Black and Brown Faces at the […]


Heeding the Signal: "Beacon" at the Weston

The Weston Art Gallery’s Beacon exhibition elicits a range of meanings from its title. Beacons in the show are by turns literal and symbolic, concrete and conceptual. Gallery notes invite us to watch for “luminary individuals, institutions, and ideologies” while remembering the sense of beacon as “a kind of warning.” Bringing together ten lens-based artists […]

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Letting Go: Unfinished/Accidents: Art about Serendipity at Manifest Gallery

When we encounter a portrait of the artist in her studio, a readymade that calls into question its own selection and display, or a time-lapse series that documents change in specific structures and locations, we receive an invitation to reflect on processes of artistic invention and performance. In most any exhibition, we can find works […]

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Refusals and Offerings: Revolutionary Identity at the Kennedy Heights Art Center

Revolutionary: Being American Today advances a poignant, collaborative statement about the contradictions of contemporary U.S. citizenship. At once historically dense and urgently contemporary, it draws together works by John Brooks, Kiah Celeste, Amanda Curreri, Stephanie Cuyubamba Kong, Brianna Harlan, Anissa Lewis, Melissa Vandenberg, and Renzo Velez. Curator Jessica Oberdick assembles those works in ways that […]

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Drifting and Digging: Birgit Jensen’s Flugblätter at Clay Street Press Gallery

In Birgit Jensen’s Flugblätter (Flying Letters), nothing settles comfortably into place. The purportedly autonomous artist ruptures into the collective. The collective expands and contracts like a breathing organism, dismissing its own consistency with Whitmanesque abandon. The radically distributed artist takes transformation as its topic, working paradoxically to make temporal processes concrete, all while inhabiting the […]

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Stride Piano on Canvas: Robert Colescott at the Contemporary Arts Center

More than thirty years after Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Center staged a mid-career celebration of Robert Colescott, the arts center has assembled the first survey of his life’s work. Art and Race Matters features 85 pieces produced over more than five decades, taking the viewer from his early studies at Berkeley to his sojourn at the […]

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Enduring Attractions: Ritual and Play at the Caza Sikes Gallery

The Art of the Automaton at Caza Sikes Gallery in Oakley boasts an array of interactive machines designed by seven artists from across the United States. They have honed their craft as builders since childhood, traveling to such places as Bali, Tanzania, Nigeria, Senegal, and Peru to develop their technique. Works by Dewey Blocksma, Randall […]

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Posthuman Design: Creatures: When Species Meet at the Contemporary Arts Center

Creatures: When Species Meet locates creative processes less in the imagination of singular artists than in the encounter between living things, their negotiation of each other’s habits and desires through media both traditional and emergent. As the show catalogs those processes, it disrupts humanist views of nonhuman animals, defending against their reduction to symbols within […]

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The Consistency of Memory: Stewart Goldman’s "The Hanging Figures" at the Skirball Museum

Stewart Goldman taught at the Art Academy of Cincinnati for over thirty years. An enduring presence in the Ohio art world, he has curated shows on printmaking and the visual aesthetics of opera, lectured on the long-term influence of the Renaissance, and headed up the Cincinnati Sculpture Council. He has frequently exhibited his work in […]

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Floating Signifiers: holmes+riordan (collaborations) at Clay Street Press

Visual artist Diana Duncan Holmes and poet Timothy Riordan sustained a creative partnership across three decades, reaching from the late twentieth into the early twenty-first century. In his many years of service to Xavier University, and hers to Northern Kentucky University, they produced a range of multimedia artifacts that disclose the poetry of images, the […]

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The Window of Clarity: Eric Hatch’s “Faces of Addiction"

Award-winning writer and photographer Eric K. Hatch has made his reputation by focusing on landscapes and the built environment. So when an acquaintance who lost a son to an overdose encouraged him to address drug addiction, he at first hesitated, feeling unprepared to take on such a project. Yet after a meditative cross-country trip and […]

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Signs of Erasure: “Finding Kenyon Barr” at UC’s Meyers Gallery

At the outset of the tumultuous 1960s, more than 25,000 Cincinnatians found themselves evicted from their homes by city planners. Those losses came as a result of the Kenyon Barr project, which the planners named after two major streets in the city’s Lower West End, and which promised to revitalize approximately 297 acres of largely […]

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Reverent Encounters: "Re-Adorned" | Catharsis at the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company

Tucked into a passageway on the second floor of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s new building, re-Adorned | Catharsis displays the lavish results of collaboration among artistic specialties and diverse media. Photographer Tina Gutierrez and clothing designer Da’Mon R. Butler (a.k.a. NOMAD3176) mix cultures and materials in ways both delicate and flamboyant, bringing her Cuban-Appalachian sensibilities […]

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Outside In: Chris Engman’s Prospect and Refuge at the Weston

Chris Engman’s Prospect and Refuge teaches us not to trust our eyes. On display at the Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Art Gallery through November 18, the exhibit unsettles our senses of depth and scale, interior and exterior, origin and reproduction. It ushers us into artificial spaces and then immerses us in the tropes […]

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Michael Mergen: Epilogue to Mars

Michael Mergen lives, works, and raises his family in Farmville, Virginia, though his catalog of photographs evokes the ethos of a wanderer, moving freely across the American landscape and calling it all home. That catalog features a determined layering of past and present, along with examination of the spaces where relationships happen and identities form. […]

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Last Battles: The Persistence of Vision at DAAP’s Meyers Gallery

Gallery exhibits often feature artists at a specific stage of their career, a period marked by consistent subjects or stylistic choices. Some shows take a more contrastive approach, capturing the creative process at distinct moments and inviting audiences to consider the evolution of perspective, tonality, and preferred media. Less common, however, are shows that feature […]

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Kinship Threads: Matt and Paul Coors at the Clay Street Press Gallery

Matt and Paul Coors founded the Publico Gallery in Over-the-Rhine in 2003 and ran the operation until it closed in 2008. Ten years later, the Coors brothers are displaying their own works at the Clay Street Press Gallery, just a few steps from their former space. The show highlights the artists’ shared commitment to conceptual […]

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Eastside Processional: "Not to Scale" at the Carnegie

From March 2 through April 29, 2018, the Carnegie in Covington, Kentucky is spotlighting an emphatically local meditation on matters of national concern. The museum’s Hutson Gallery features the work of Anissa R. Lewis, Mary Clare Rietz, and a host of citizen-artists from Covington’s Eastside neighborhood, all of them proclaiming the dignity of the community […]

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Defiant Couplings: "Bridges Not Walls" at the Art Academy of Cincinnati

Even as the US federal government renounces Obama-era efforts to improve relations with Cuba, the Art Academy of Cincinnati is displaying the results of several years of artistic collaboration between the two countries. That collaboration began in 2015 when M. Katherine Hurley and Jens G. Rosenkrantz, Jr. met with Manuel “Lolo” Alvarez, Ercadel “Sole” Sanchez, […]

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Serenading the Bones: Animal Magnetism at Wave Pool Gallery

Whether appearing in pictorial narratives of the hunt or anthropomorphic representations of cultural traditions, the iconography of the nonhuman animal stalks the pathways of human epistemology. Wave Pool Gallery’s Animal Magnetism alludes powerfully to that history, not as a culminating insight but as the backdrop against which to make more subversive arguments. Those arguments posit […]

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Crackling Surfaces: Anthony Luensman’s "New Works"

A slow-burning ambiguity inhabits the title of Anthony Luensman’s New Works, which now hang at the Clay Street Press Gallery in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine district. Most plainly, the pieces are new in the sense of making their first public appearance, of being still fresh in an era when things age at breakneck pace. The offspring of […]

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Unruly Currents: Tony DeVarco and Mayako Nakamura at the Marta Hewett Gallery

For all the distance between them, Tony DeVarco and Mayako Nakamura have uncanny aesthetic affinities. Both revere the cycles and surprises of the natural environment; both attempt, in the same visual plane, to capture fluid forms and the emotions they evoke; both frame the viewer’s experience as a creative act rather than one of static […]

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Subject Matters: Harvey Osterhoudt and William Renschler at the Iris BookCafé

When Harvey Osterhoudt and William Renschler worked together at the Indiana University Art Museum in the 1970s, they began a dialogue about photography that would inform their work for the next forty years. Through the early months of 2017, Over-the-Rhine’s Iris BookCafé featured the results of that conversation in Subject Matters, a two-man show of […]

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Dissident Personae: Zanele Muholi at the Freedom Center

Cincinnati’s National Underground Railroad Freedom Center brings the history of US slavery into conversation with human rights abuses across varied national and cultural contexts. From October 1, 2016 to January 23, 2017, the museum hosts an exhibition of works by Zanele Muholi, a Johannesburg-based photographer who mounts stirring condemnations of violence against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, […]

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“Photospeak” at Art Beyond Boundaries

Over-the-Rhine has been home to Art Beyond Boundaries gallery for a decade. Curator Jymi Bolden hosts up to seven shows a year, and proudly claims the 2016 “Photospeak” as his sixtieth exhibit. The gallery features the work of artists with disabilities who live in and around Cincinnati, some of whom are long-time professionals and others […]

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