Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

Firework Painting #10, 2009
Rosemarie Fiore

Ringing in the new year with Rosemarie Fiore's firework paintings would be much more interesting than another image of champagne flutes and fireworks.

From the Saatchi online magazine:

"Rosemarie Fiore's discipline relates to the European Surrealist movement and to German Wolfgang Paalen's method of Fumage -- known as an automatic technique, whereby unpremeditated imagery is generated, when provoked by a candle held under a sheet of paper, causing soot to gather on its surface -- prompting the mind to associate freely. With her own process, Fiore similarly favours this element of randomness, being subjected only to her medium's limitations and to the source of her subconscious.

Following her own realization that fireworks, lit and thrown onto a smooth cement floor, leave chaotic marks as they spin and explode, Fiore started painting and drawing with the colorful pigments discharged by the explosives. By way of cardboard cylinders and metal cans, Fiore retains the firework explosions like specimen, restraining their movements to a constricted area on the paper and regaining a certain authority over her source. Furthermore, by tying fireworks to a large stick, she commands her medium, like any other, narrowing the potential for chance errors. Fiore concedes, however, acknowledging that "Fireworks are explosives. They are violent, destructive and chaotic in nature."

Originally discovered in China about 2,000 years ago, fireworks, both then and now, are thought to have the power to fend off evil spirits and ghosts, by frightening them with the loud bangs of their explosions. The alchemical connotations of fireworks, exemplified by the tragic figure of Dr. Faustus, who used pyrotechnics for his experimental rituals in his quest for greater enlightenment, are immanent. Fiore's practice alludes to these deductions while simultaneously demonstrating that, above and beyond all implications, fireworks can simply be used as a creative tool for abstract compositions of colour and light."

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Toledo Museum of Art Launches New Website

The Toledo Museum of Art has launched a redesigned and expanded website: The new, easier-to-use site provides immediate ways to explore TMA’s current and upcoming exhibitions, its programs and events, and detailed information about the Museum and its world-renowned collection. “More and more people are turning to the Internet as a primary source of news and information,” said Kelly Fritz Garrow, director of communications. “It’s essential for the Museum to have an active and vibrant online presence.”

New features of the Museum website include:

Web calendar by GoogleContains up-to-the-minute details on all TMA programming including special events, demonstrations, tours and hands-on activities.

Online class registration—Signing up for one of TMA’s many art classes and workshops has never been easier. Viewers can browse the catalog, register, pay and get registration confirmation at their convenience.

TMA Newsroom—Provides easy access to downloadable news releases, media guidelines, image request forms, RSS feeds and more.

Links to Facebook and Twitter—More than 7,000 Facebook fans and 1,600 Twitter followers get breaking news about the Museum here.

Online Museum StoreOffers easy, convenient shopping at the Museum Store, which features a diverse selection of unique merchandise and specialty gifts.

The new website is part of a re-branding campaign to refresh the Museum’s graphic identity and web presence.“As a brand, the Toledo Museum of Art enjoys high levels of awareness and favorability,” said Garrow.“This process is meant to refocus and refresh Museum communications to reach new audiences while still engaging our long-time supporters.”The design, content, and functionality of the new website has been a joint effort by the Museum’s Office of Communications and Madhouse, a Toledo-based graphic design agency.Note: For more information, contact Kelly Fritz Garrow at or 419-255-8000, Ext. 7408.

Nudes pose in the cold Akron weather for Tunick

Monday morning, Spencer Tunick, 42, of New York state, took pictures of Roger Marble, of Brimfield Township, and Jen Maurer, of Akron, for his series of nude individuals in public settings. Tunick is in town for the holidays with his wife, Akron native Kristin Bowler, a graphic designer.

The photographer was Spencer Tunick — an artist best known for his photographs of large groups of people in the nude in public spaces. In 2004, 2,700 people stripped naked for a Tunick shoot near the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in downtown Cleveland.

Tunick plans to take more photographs in Akron. Those interested in being subjects can reach him through his Web site.

Tunick is not sure what he will do with his collection of Akron shots. His next show is set to open Jan. 15 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Monterrey, Mexico. It will feature portraits of individuals he took this year in Mexico City.

Read the for more on the Akron shoot.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

CAM Expands Free Parking

I was just at the Cincinnati Art Museum yesterday afternoon finding myself grumbling yet again about the parking fee for non-members. I renewed my membership so it doesn't really affect me, but like many, I felt there was a bit of a "bait and switch" between the "Great Art Free" campaign and paid parking.

It looks now that the free parking policy is evolving. Beginning January 1, 2010, the Art Museum will provide free parking to customers of the Art Museum Shop, diners in the Terrace Cafe and attendees of paid programs.

See the CAM announcement for details.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Youngstown's Butler Institute of American Art Gets a Pollock

The Butler Institute of American Art, in Youngstown, Ohio has acquired a painting by mid-twentieth century master artist, Jackson Pollock. The work, titled "Silver and Black", measures 21.25 x 15.75 inches and was painted with oil and metallic paint in 1950. The painting, which is a gift from a Western Pennsylvania collector whose family acquired the work in 1958, is valued at two million dollars.
According to Butler Director Dr. Louis Zona, “This is indeed a very special holiday present, and I am still pinching myself about it. The Butler can now boast that we have a very rare work of art by America’s most renowned 20th century artist, a man who literally redefined world art. Pollock was a troubled genius whose magnificent art has engaged generations.”
On Sunday, January 10, 2010, at 2 pm, Dr. Zona will give a gallery talk about artist Jackson Pollock and the new Butler acquisition of the artist’s work in the Butler’s Beecher Center Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public. Seating is on a first come-first served basis.

The Butler’s Jackson Pollock painting, "Silver and Black", will be on view in the museum’s Beeghly-Schaff Gallery in Youngstown.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Around Cincinnati Interviews Aeqai editor, AC Frabetti

Aeqai editor, A.C. Frabetti was interviewed by Rick Pender for Around Cincinnati on 91.7 WVXU. The online art magazine recently celebrated it's first anniversary. For more about Aeqai and to hear the interview click here.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The CMA's Gauguin Show Will Travel to the Van Gogh Museum

From February 19 to June 6, 2010 "Paul Gauguin: The Breakthrough into Modernity" will be on view in the Van Gogh Museum (exhibition wing). This exhibition is the first to devote attention to the 'Volpini Suite': a series of prints that Gauguin (1848-1903) exhibited in monsieur Volpini's Café des Arts during the Paris Exposition of 1889. The 11 zincographs offer a fascinating overview of the key themes in the artist's work: from the exotic landscapes of Martinique to scenes of Brittany and Arles.

The exhibition will also show works by Gauguin and his friends closely linked to the 'Volpini Suite'. Altogether there will be some 60 works of art (paintings, works on paper, sculptures and ceramics) on view, including key pieces such as "Be Mysterious" (Musée d'Orsay), "Breton Girls Dancing" (National Gallery of Art, Washington), "Self-portrait" (Pushkin Museum, Moscow) and "Is There News" (Gemälde galerie Neue Meister, Dresden). The recent acquisition of the Van Gogh Museum, "Breton Girl Spinning" will also be on show. "Paul Gauguin:
The Breakthrough into Modernity" has been organized in collaboration with the Cleveland Museum of Art, where it will run until 18 January 2010.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Oberlin College's Allen Memorial Art Museum to Close for Renovations

The Allen Memorial Art Museum is in its last weeks before closing for a year for a $10 million interior renovations. The last day the museum will be open is Wednesday, December 23rd. These renovations include an upgrade of the museum's 30 year old mechanical systems that maintain climate control, lighting, additional storage, as well as security.

The museum is currently exhibiting three shows: Starry Dome: Astronomy in Art and the Imagination, Engaging Spirits, Empowering Man: Sculpture from West and Central Africa, and Out of Line: Drawings from the Allen from the Twentieth Century and Beyond. All of these will be open through December 23rd.

So if your holiday travels take you to northern Ohio, be sure to stop in Oberlin. It's one of my favorite Ohio cities and the AMAM is one of my favorite college museums.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Speed Art Museum gets $10 Million for Expansion

At its first annual Legacy Society Dinner honoring donors who have included the Speed Art Museum in their estate plans or given or pledged more than $100,000 in art or cash contributions during their lifetimes, Dr. Elizabeth Pahk Cressman announced that she and her husband, Dr. Frederick K. Cressman, have pledged $10 million to the Speed Art Museum’s upcoming renovation and expansion project. The Cressman gift is among the largest donations ever made to the Museum since its founding in 1927.

The Cressmans are avid art enthusiasts and since moving to Louisville in the 1980s have been long-time supporters of both the Speed Art Museum and the University of Louisville. Elizabeth Pahk Cressman was born in Seoul, Korea and earned a degree in medicine from Seoul Women’s Medical College. Following her arrival in America, Dr. Cressman completed her medical education in Chicago at Wesley Memorial Hospital, Cook County Hospital, and Passavant Memorial Hospital and has enjoyed a successful career as an anesthesiologist. Elizabeth Cressman retired in 1990 and went on to pursue her life-long interest in art earning a Master’s Degree in Liberal Studies from Bellarmine University and a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Louisville. A pathologist, Frederick K. Cressman trained in Philadelphia at Hahnemann University Hospital and Pennsylvania General Hospital, followed by a residency at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore. In Louisville he had a successful career as Chief of Pathology at Audubon Hospital. He retired in 1999.

Commenting on their donation, Elizabeth Cressman stated that the purpose of the gift is “to allow the Speed to further its mission by strengthening the quality of its facilities in a dynamic way that will engage the Speed Art Museum, the University of Louisville, and the community. Our ultimate goal is to bring the Speed and the University together as true partners so the lives of students are enhanced through exposure to art and culture at the museum.” Director, Dr. Charles L. Venable, added “It is truly inspiring to have patrons like the Cressmans make such a leadership gift just as the architectural and landscape plans for the Museum are coming together so beautifully. We are extremely grateful to them for making this bold statement about the importance of the Speed in the life of our community.”

Established in 1927, the Speed Art Museum is Kentucky’s oldest and largest art museum with over 13,000 pieces in its permanent collection. Its extensive collection spans 6,000 years, ranging from ancient Egyptian to contemporary art.

The museum has distinguished collections of 17th century Dutch and Flemish painting, 18th century French art, Renaissance and Baroque tapestries, and significant holdings of contemporary American painting and sculpture. African and Native American works also represent a growing segment of the museum's collection.

The Speed also houses paintings, sculpture, furniture, and decorative arts by Kentucky artists and created for Kentuckians.

See Artdaily for more on the donation.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

2010 Ohio Governor's Awards Recipients Named

Six winners were chosen for the 2010 Governor’s Awards for the Arts in Ohio. Winners were selected from 79 nominations submitted by individuals and organizations throughout Ohio. Awards will be presented at a luncheon ceremony honoring winners and members of the Ohio Legislature hosted by the Ohio Arts Council and Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation at noon on April 21, 2010 at the Columbus Athenaeum in downtown Columbus. Winners will receive an original work of art by Cleveland photographer Larry Kasperek.

Award categories and recipients include: Arts Administration, Kevin Moore and Marsha Hanna, Human Race Theatre, (Dayton); Arts Education, Sylvia Easley, The Music Settlement (Cleveland); Arts Patron, Jim and Enid Goubeaux (Greenville); Business Support of the Arts, American Electric Power (statewide); Community Development & Participation, Donna Sue Groves (Manchester); and Individual Artist, Andrew Hudgins, poet (Columbus).

For complete descriptions of each winner's accomplishments please read the Winner Biographies. The 2010 Governor’s Awards Committee, consisting of Ohio Arts Council Board members, included committee chair Sheila Markley Black (Canton), Martha Burton (Worthington), Sharon Howard (Dayton), Charlotte Kessler (New Albany), Mary Lazarus (Columbus), Jeff Rich (Columbus) and Susan Saxbe (Columbus).

More information about the Governor’s Awards for the Arts in Ohio and Arts Day Luncheon, including a full list of past winners, is available on the Ohio Arts Council Web site at

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Day With(out) Art

Founded in 1988, as a response to AIDS and as a way of organizing the art world towards direct action, Visual AIDS has evolved a two-part mission. 1) Through the Frank Moore Archive Project, the largest slide library of work by artists living with HIV and the estates of artists who have died of AIDS, Visual AIDS historicizes artists' contributions while supporting their ability to continue making art and furthering their professional careers. 2) In collaboration with artists and organizations, Visual AIDS produces contemporary art exhibitions, publications, and events to spread the message "AIDS IS NOT OVER."

As the only arts organization of its kind, Visual AIDS is a resource for art programming promoting AIDS awareness and HIV-prevention. While art projects evolve annually, they are all based in the knowledge that visual art offers opportunities to discuss the AIDS pandemic and its attendant issues. Documenting HIV-positive artists' work in the Frank Moore Archive Project, Visual AIDS preserves their place in history and reveals the impact of AIDS on contemporary art.

Visual AIDS

Monday, November 30, 2009

Still No Mention of Cindy Sherman

First, I should state that I love Marilyn Minter's work currently on view at the CAC and in Los Angeles. I enjoy the work of nearly any artist who explores the hyper-sexualized and otherwise distorted representations of women in the media. And Minter's work is simply beautiful.

Though here is yet another review of Marilyn Minter's work that doesn't mention Cindy Sherman. A photographer like Minter, Sherman has focused on female types in the media. While Sherman shoots pictures of herself, she is not the subject of her photographs. She instead presents herself in costume depicting various women: the disheveled or frightened woman, the woman waiting for the phone to ring, even the pin-up. With these photographs, Sherman questions the roles of women presented in the media. Later, her work with mannequins includes disturbing representations. These seem to point more accusingly to the manipulation of women's bodies in fashion magazines, boutiques, and runways. These are not pretty pictures.

Because both Minter and Sherman share similar media and subject matter, I'm still surprised that no review has yet mentioned Sherman. Could it be that Cindy Sherman('s work) is not pretty enough?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Introducing a new Cincinnati Art Snob Logo

With the work of local graphic designer, Maya Drozdz of Visualingual, Cincinnati Art Snob now has a new logo. With this, I say goodbye to a Rothko and hello to a new identity and color scheme for the blog.

The new year will see additional Cincinnati Art Snob changes, including a website that will feature more work by Visualingual along with paintings by a few artists in Greater Cincinnati.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Taft Presents Exquisite Drawings from New York Historical Society

Not too long ago you could find me quickly breezing past landscape paintings as simply another collection of mountains and seas. But within the past few years I've grown a strong admiration for 17th Century Dutch art traditions. In fact, I'm not sure yet which I enjoy more, the landscape, genre painting, or the portraiture. I'm most interested in the social commentary of the period that each painting provides, but certainly the exquisite detail of a lace collar or crystal stemware catches my eye. It is a similar visual treasure trove of Drawn By New York: Watercolors and Drawings from the New York Historical Society that enrapt me and nearly brought me tears during its opening at the Taft Museum of Art.

Drawn By New York includes drawings by a number of well-known artists like Louis Comfort Tiffany and John Singer Sargent, and the museum is sure to try to entice a larger audience with these big names. However, the Taft has done an exceptional job of choosing only about 80 works from the New York Historical Society that these big names are not what will awe or inspire you.

The detail of these drawings and watercolors effectively compete with the information on the labels. As much as I wanted to read about each of the drawings, less than half way through the exhibition, I stopped reading and simply looked. It was this letting go of the text that helped make this journey through American history an emotional one.

Like 17th Century Dutch Art, the drawings of Drawn By New York tell a visually detailed story of our history and presents a commentary on our culture that is sometimes critical, sometimes celebratory, but certainly American.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cincinnati Art Snob Launch Party at the CAM

Cincinnati Art Snob soon will begin offering custom designed art tours. These tours will guide small groups through art collections in museums, galleries, and art studios throughout Greater Cincinnati.

We will launch these tours with a party at the Cincinnati Art Museum on February 6, 2010.

So save the date and watch this site for further details.

Cleveland Cavelier now art curator?

David Ng of the LA Times wonders if Shaquille O'Neal's venture into art curatorial work is nothing more than a publicity stunt for the Flag Art Foundation and collector Glenn Fuhrman who will open the show, Size DOES Matter. As you might expect, the show explores the idea of scale in contemporary art.

“It was a little harder than I thought it would be," O'Neal told Bloomberg. "When you think about what each of the artists put into their work, what they are expressing and want to share with the world, you feel bad about having to narrow it down.”

You think?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Maxxi: The CAC's Organic Sibling

Maxxi, Rome's new contemporary art museum is opening to the public this weekend for an architectural preview. The NY Times reviews Zaha Hadid's newest work as one that Pope Urban VIII would love and suggests the people of Rome may no longer be weighed down by its architectural past.

While the review makes note of Hadid's dynamic style by comparing Maxxi to her design of the BMW factory just outside of Leipzig, Germany, the images of the Maxxi strongly recall our own Contemporary Art Center, also designed by Hadid. Admittedly the exterior looks almost nothing like the museum in Cincinnati, but Maxxi's dominating stairway and the dramatic interior spaces easily reference the CAC. In fact, Hadid's new structure looks like a mirror image of the CAC; a fun house mirror. Hadid's analytical lines and strong grid that stabilizes the CAC become much more organic and sensuous in Rome.

You can see the slide show of Maxxi here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cleveland Museum of Art Gets $1.9 Million from Mellon Foundation

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) a spendable three-year grant of $450,000 to support the hiring of a curator of Japanese and Korean art, and a matching grant in the amount of $1,500,000 to establish an endowment for the appointment of curators at the assistant or associate level.

From the grant, $1.5 million will enable the museum to strengthen its curatorial program with the addition of entry- and mid-level positions to a staff that currently has none. These positions would assist with new exhibition and research opportunities, especially the kind of collaborative object-based research that occurs between curators and conservators ensuring that the museum can contribute more broadly to the field by providing important opportunities for training curators through substantial collection-based work.

The grant also allows the museum to reinstate the position of curator of Japanese and Korean art, which was eliminated in 2003. This is a critical position to fill as the museum prepares to reinstall its Asian collection in a new wing to open in 2012-13. From its earliest days, The Cleveland Museum of Art has demonstrated an active interest in Asian art, collecting aggressively even before the completion of the first museum building in 1916. The Asian collection is made up of over 4,000 objects, not only from China and Japan, but also from India, the Himalayas, Southeast Asia, Korea and Tibet. Included in the Korean and Japanese collections are a beaded coat and paintings from Korea; Japanese metalwork, textiles (sword guards), dolls and Japanese screens.

“This generous grant will allow The Cleveland Museum of Art to expand and strengthen its curatorial team during a period when the institution is re-envisioning its presentation and interpretation of the collection,” Griffith Mann, chief curator of The Cleveland Museum of Art said.

“The foundation made its decision after assurances were given by Board of Trustees President Alfred M. Rankin Jr. and Chairman Michael J. Horvitz that the CMA is steadfast in its determination to rebuild the staff of the Department of Asian Art and to continue to strengthen the curatorial ranks at all levels.”

The museum is currently undergoing a $350 million comprehensive renovation and expansion of its facilities, led by internationally renowned architect Rafael Viñoly. The project, the largest of its kind ever undertaken by a cultural institution in the State of Ohio, will leave no part of the museum untouched upon its completion in 2013. The museum’s renowned Asian collection has not been on public view since 2005.

The museum anticipates that it will be in a position to commit the matching funds of $1.5 million upon the settlement of the estate of Muriel Butkin, an art collector and longtime benefactor who passed away in the summer of 2008. The museum was named as the sole beneficiary of Mrs. Butkin’s estate.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Please Help Me Understand the Surrealism Around Me

I stopped by Don't Be Scared....Be Prepared for my first visit to Matt Matt Morris' u.turn art space in Cincinnati and it is a great space. I think I like this space better than it's neighbor Semantics.

Though I guess I failed to heed the advice of the exhibition title.

I've never been the biggest fan of Surrealism. I've often thought its nightmarish imagery was simply too frightening and sometimes disturbing for me to want to engage and admit this may still be a large part of my ignorance. Teaching about Dali and Miro to students affords me the opportunity to appreciate the goals of the Surrealist movement towards a social revolution and a freedom to explore the realities of personal experiences. And I do sincerely appreciate this goal and in fact require that all artists adopt it no matter the style in which they work.

As witnessed while teaching art history, Surrealism has had a renewed popularity in the past 10 years or so. But it has been in the last year when I've seen it in the local galleries. Yet I'm not sure what its role is today. I'm not sure why I struggle with, but I find Minimalism more engaging. For example in "Don't Be Scared," I love the "Purple Rain" drops on the wall better than the drawing it surrounds.

I realize perhaps I'm not even giving this new surrealism a chance. Too often I simply walk away from the nightmare (interpret this as you wish).

Help me to understand what reality is being uncovered. Is it the tidal wave of images and information thrusts upon us through various media outlets that make this neo-Surrealism seem less accessible to me? What is really at stake here? Do artists feel a lack of freedom being imposed upon them by the media messiness? What is the claim contemporary artists are making about their worlds? I'm ready to accept the possibility that I am simply too old to understand some of the references, but there should be an underlying message that does not escape me.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Cincinnati's Sara Vance Appointed to Ohio Arts Council Board

Governor Ted Strickland has announced the appointments of Jacquelyn Nance of Moreland Hills, Sara Vance of Cincinnati and the reappointment of Barbara Gould of Cincinnati to the Ohio Arts Council Board. Ms. Nance and Ms. Vance will serve terms ending July 1, 2014, replacing Neal Zimmers of Dublin and Ginger Warner of Cincinnati, whose terms expired. Ms. Gould was reappointed for a term ending July 1, 2014.

“We are delighted to have appointees who possess long-held commitments and connections to both their community and the arts,” said Julie Henahan, Executive Director of the Ohio Arts Council. “Each appointee’s experience and background will be a great asset to our board.”

Jacquelyn Nance is an attorney and native of Northeast Ohio and currently serves as the president of Philanthropic Solutions. She previously served as executive director of the LeBron James Family Foundation, president of the Cleveland Browns Foundation and the senior planned giving attorney with the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Nance serves on the board of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, the Charter One Bank & Fox 8 News’ “Champions in Action” Selection Committee and the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center National Leadership Commission. Ms. Nance studied dance for 18 years. She received a bachelor’s degree from Spelman College and a law degree from Case Western Reserve University.

Sara Vance is the owner/president of SMV Media, a media management company she founded in 1994. She previously served as a media director and vice-president of local advertising agencies in Cincinnati. Ms. Vance attended Morehead State University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Journalism, with an emphasis in public relations/advertising. Ms. Vance serves on the Board of Directors of the Cincinnati Art Museum as chair of Artworks and as president of Cancer Family Care. Her previous board commitments have included the Contemporary Arts Center as vice president, Enjoy the Arts, Ensemble Theater of Cincinnati, The March of Dimes and the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Ms. Vance received the House Advocate Award in 2005 from the Ronald McDonald House, the Heart for the Arts Award in 2007 from Learning Through Art and the Champions for Children Award from 4C for Children in 2009. In addition, she has gifted the top floor of the Contemporary Arts Center for children called the Sara M. & Patricia Vance Education Center.

Barbara Gould, from Cincinnati, was reappointed for a term ending July 1, 2014. She has been a an OAC board member since 2007. She served in the fashion, interior design and music industries before retiring. She serves on numerous cultural arts boards in the Cincinnati area, including the Cincinnati Opera, Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Arts Association, the Cincinnati Ballet, and the Arts Consortium of Cincinnati. Gould received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan.

The Ohio Arts Council is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally and economically.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Do artists really devote their lives to something that means nothing?

According to Jonathon Jones of the Guardian, the best artists do. In a recent column he suggests that too many times we are overly concerned with finding meaning in art. That we look for the message over form and style. Jones says, "The most deadening influence on art in our time is the belief that content matters more than style." Of course as a professor of art history I am (happily) guilty of searching for a work's message and contextualizing art. But this is not to say I ignore style over content. Both are equally important. Style is the language that expresses the content or its meaning.

This argument against the meaning of art emerges as if new and edgy every few months. And each time I am compelled to argue against it. Not only do I think art has a message, but I insist an art work must have something new to add to art's discourse for it to be good art.

Jones, like too many of my first-year college students believe, "Real art doesn't have a message, doesn't necessarily say anything. It is an arrangement of shapes, a pattern of words." Of course this is an argument students use so they don't have to think about art long enough to write a cohesive analysis.

Does Jonathon Jones really believe the work of Rothko, Kandinsky and Dylan is meaningless? Perhaps Jones should think longer about the meaning of his own work.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Emil Robinson is Smithsonian Portrait Finalist

Congratulations to Emil Robinson who was named a finalist of the Smithsonian's Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition for Showered. You can find all of the finalists here.

My recent interview of Emil is here.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Marilyn Minter Interview on Huffington Post

Marilyn Minter, whose Chewing Color is currently on view at the Contemporary Art Center is interviewed by artist Kimberly Brooks on the Huffington Post.

Minter will open a show in Los Angeles this weekend at the Regen Projects.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Following Fairey Back to the CAC

In April I asked if the Contemporary Art Center was on the wrong side of art when they included Shepard Fairey in this year's exhibition season. The CAC responded quickly siding with the importance of presenting "different viewpoints and opinions."

As Fairey celebrates with Warhol, the AP reported the artist's attorney is admitting Fairey lied about which photo he used for his "Hope" poster and deleted images to conceal his mistake.

In other news, Fairey donates works to benefit orphans in Uganda: Artdaily

As with many artists who exhibit or work in Greater Cincinnati, I encourage you to continue to follow Fairey as he returns for a second visit to the CAC in February 2010.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Telephone Booth in Yellow Springs

From the time I was a little girl, I've been fascinated by the phone booth. This has nothing to do with Superman (younger readers ask your parents), but about being old enough and tall enough to enter a phone booth and make a call. Unfortunately, as I grew, the old telephone booth was disappearing from our landscape and some being replaced by these. So I still get a little sentimental when I see a phone booth. While not so much nostalgia, the phone booth for me is a sign of modernity whizzing by.

Now with cell phones, I pay no attention to public phones. I couldn't tell you where in my neighborhood one is located. The only time I do notice them is when someone is using one, which is an uncomfortable sight. I think, "doesn't she have a cell phone?" How interesting it is to reflect the evolution of my reaction to the person at a public phone; at one time envy to now pity.

But the phone booth still fascinates as a public space for private communication. There is one in Yellow Springs, Ohio that is being used as a performance space from this month through September of next year. While I hope to see in person some of these site-specific pieces, there is a blog, the telephone booth project that will keep us connected. Thank goodness for modern technology....I think.

Friday, October 9, 2009

CAC's Sweets for the Senses

Not too long ago I responded to a commentary regarding a parent's concert over taking their child to a contemporary art museum in New York City. While I confess there are many times I avoid recommending fellow parents taking their children to the CAC, my post was a sincere invitation to parents to make a point to visit these galleries. Now is the time.

The CAC's recently opened Marilyn Minter: Chewing Color and C. Spencer Yeh: Standard Definition. I was fortunate to get a sneak peek at these shows almost two weeks ago and have not stopped thinking about them since. What was perhaps most enjoyable was walking the galleries with other art writers, curators and CAC Director, Rachel Platow. We discussed the styles, traditions, and supposed artists' intents. As a parent though, I was immediately struck by how enticing the work by both of these artists would be to children as well as adults. Minter's sugary subject along side of Yeh's inclusion of an older video game aesthetic attract viewers of all ages.

One discussion that came up among us during this preview was about the popularity and challenges of video as a contemporary medium. While this is not a new discussion, I find it to be one of the most interesting with which to deal during nearly every visit to a contemporary exhibit. These two shows have brought me closer to what is most intriguing about this new media. Somehow, artists like Minter and Yeh have found video and other technology as tools for creating sensorial art or art of the senses. Yeh's aural exploration and Minter's focus on taste seems to step away from art's home in the visual. Of course I don't believe contemporary artists are abandoning the visual. But I am seeing in these two exhibitions technology as a tool for artist to expand their ability to engage all of our senses.

This may be why I see these exhibitions as parent-friendly. So bring your children to the CAC. And if you are like me, you will be enticed to return for a second or third helping of contemporary art.

IMA Recieves National Community Service Award

The Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) has been named one of 10 recipients of the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor for museums and libraries. The annual award, made by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) since 1994, recognizes institutions for outstanding social, educational, environmental, or economic contributions to their communities. The Indianapolis Museum of Art will receive the National Medal at a ceremony held later in Washington, D.C., and a$10,000 award in recognition of their extraordinary contributions.

U.S. Senator Richard G. Lugar (IN), who nominated IMA for the National Medal, said, "Congratulations to the Indianapolis Museum of Art on winning a 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The IMA provides the Indianapolis community with valuable arts programming, education, and many special exhibitions through the exploration of art, design, and the natural environment. It is truly a treasure in Indianapolis and very deserving of this prestigious honor."

U.S. Senator Evan Bayh (IN) said, “I congratulate the Indianapolis Museum of Art for this important recognition and for its service to Indiana and the country. The National Medal for Museum and Library Service is a fitting tribute to the museum. For more than 125 years, IMA has served not only as a center of culture in our state, but also a center of community where generations of Hoosiers can explore art, design and the natural environment.”

“The Board of Governors, staff and other supporters of the IMA are deeply honored to receive this prestigious award,” said Maxwell L. Anderson, The Melvin & Bren Simon Director and CEO of the IMA. “Since 1883, the IMA has shared the best of the world’s creativity with the people of Indiana and our visitors from around the world. More than 125 years on, our mission has remained profoundly relevant to our community through multiple initiatives putting our mission into action.”

“Every day, the Indianapolis Museum of Art makes a real difference in their community,” said IMLS Director Anne-Imelda M. Radice. “Their exemplary programs respond to community challenges, positively impact people’s lives, and serve as models for the nation’s museums. I applaud their outstanding efforts and encourage others to follow in their footsteps.”

Art Daily has the whole story here.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Secret is Out: Arts in Covington, KY

Earlier in the year, I mention venturing out beyond Cincinnati's art communities to explore art just beyond our city. Since then, I finally visited the Indianapolis Museum of Art and Yellow Springs, both of which have become my mandatory venues for art viewing. While enlarging this little art bubble of mine, my "home art base" has quickly and easily included Covington, KY. Whenever anyone asks me where to go to see local art, I eagerly encourage the short hop across the river.

This week both Jane Durrell and Jackie Dremaline write about Covington's series of October art events called Full Spectrum. With each the weekend spotlighting the visual arts, performance, film October sees art roads leading to Covington.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

OAC Listening Tour will Visit Cincinnati in January

The Ohio Arts Council is hitting the road again this fall to find out what Ohioans value about the arts, creativity and their communities. The OAC’s Listening Tour will travel to seven more communities in fall 2009 and early winter 2010. This is in additional to the seven communities visited in fall 2008. The goal of the tour is to discover what the arts, creativity and imagination mean to elected officials, arts professionals and citizens in large and small communities across the state.

“The Ohio Arts Council wants to hear from Ohio’s citizens in order to improve the way we serve Ohio,” said OAC Executive Director Julie Henahan. “The Listening Tour provides an outlet for Ohioans to tell us how they think the arts and creativity can be a bigger part of their community.”

The findings from the first half of the Listening Tour last fall helped illuminate the impressive accomplishments, driving aspirations and daily struggles of communities around the state. The meetings also provided an opportunity for Ohioans to share the vital role they believe the arts, creativity and imagination play in their community as they pursue a wide range of economic development strategies to retain and attract existing and new business, especially knowledge-based industries.

A small group of staff from the OAC will lead three meetings in each town to discuss the arts, creativity and aspirations for the residents’ communities. During the morning meeting OAC staff members will meet with elected officials and business and community leaders; the afternoon meeting will be held with members artists, arts administrators, other members of the arts community and educators; and the evening town hall will bring people from all backgrounds together to discuss the arts and creativity and the role they play in community.

Information gathered from this tour will provide the agency with a better understanding of a broad range of Ohioans’ needs, including communities that have traditionally been underserved by OAC’s public funding, and assist the agency in developing the 2010-2013 Strategic Plan and the State of the Arts Report II.

Communities to be visited this fall and winter will be: Cincinnati in late January, Cleveland on November 6, Columbus on December 10, Dayton on September 18, Kent on November 5, Mansfield on October 13 and Wapakoneta on October 8. More information and registration details can be found at the link to each city name. Dates for city visits and additional information and itineraries will be added as it becomes available.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

IMA Sculpture Park Opens June 2010

The Indianapolis Museum of Art has announced it will open 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park on June 20, 2010 with a public grand opening celebration including tours and a Summer Solstice program. Located on 100 acres of land that includes untamed woodlands, wetlands, a lake, and meadows adjacent to the Museum, 100 Acres will be one of the largest museum art parks in the country and the only one to feature the ongoing commission of temporary, site-responsive artworks. The park will open with eight newly commissioned inaugural works by international artists, a LEED certified visitor center and numerous walking trails that highlight the indigenous landscape. As with the IMA galleries, admission to 100 Acres will be free.

In 2008, the IMA announced the eight inaugural commissions for the park. Atelier Van Lieshout, Kendall Buster, Alfredo Jaar, Jeppe Hein, Los Carpinteros, Tea Mäkipää, Type A and Andrea Zittel have spent several years working closely with the IMA to develop projects that explore and respond to the varied environments of 100 Acres. The IMA’s goal is to present contemporary art projects and exhibitions that provoke a reexamination of humanity’s multifaceted relationship with the environment.

You can read more about 100 Acres on Art Daily.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

With the opening of "Parallel Space," Manifest Becomes an Artist Gallery

Last night Manifest Gallery inaugurated its new "Parallel Space," adding more gallery space to one of Cincinnati's best art galleries. The new space no doubt allows Director, Jason Franz to respond to the growing number of submissions for each artist call Manifest sends out throughout the year. This is not to say Franz and Assistant Director, Tim Parsley are growing less selective in order to hang more work, but instead employs even more selectivity to use the opportunity to invite new and previously shown artists to return to Cincinnati for solo shows.

San Francisco artist Kirstine Reiner returns to Manifest for her solo show, (In)animate. The simply breathtaking realism of her paintings of still life, genre, and portraiture recalls a Dutch tradition. Even subjects like fruit, teapots, camera lens and mirrors seem to reference the interests of the earlier artists. Yet it is these same objects that expose themselves as contemporary or at the very least modern. It is almost as if Reiner invites us to see our lives through the eyes of an earlier era.

The photographs by Andrea Hoelscher are a fitting inaugural show for "Parallel Space" as she explores remodeling architectural spaces, by "remolding" familiar spaces through photographs. Interestingly, these beautifully glossy photos were a bit more unsettling than Reiner's paintings. I'm still amused at my own frustration at knowing that I simply must know where Hoelscher shot these photographs and to learn only they are interiors of a Museum or Library or a Public Bathroom. Of course it does not matter which museum or library for Interior, but I still want to know.

Monochrome simply knocks your socks off as soon as you walk into Manifest's main gallery. As with most thematic shows, you really never know what to expect. However, recently I have grown more suspect of shows revolving around a single element or medium. Too often the result is a collection of pieces that seemed to have been thrown together simply to meet the parameters of the show. Well, Monochrome is not that exhibition. Not only is every piece incredibly engaging, but the diversity of new well-thought out ideas and various media is great to see.

As we see with these three exhibitions, their diversity extends to the showing artists as well. For the past year or more Manifest Gallery has shown work by artists from places that increasingly extend well beyond our region. While this is sure to help put Manifest on the map of Midwestern art galleries, what's more important is Manifest is quickly becoming the gallery that attracts not only local patrons of the arts, but local artists. Manifest Gallery has worked to assure our artists an opportunity to engage the international art discussion. It is for this reason I see Manifest as an Artist Gallery.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

ArtWord: Don Lambert

This year the Cincinnati Art Museum selected Don Lambert for The 4th Floor Award biennial competition. Don Lambert received his BFA from the University of Cincinnati and his MFA with an emphasis in sculpture and new genres from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Lambert says of his work,

"I am fascinated with the production of image, knowledge, and the building of institutions. My central research interests lie within the domains of social identity and cognition. I am specifically interested in motivational aspects of social identification and how social identities may be used to satisfy individuals’ needs for assimilation and differentiation- belonging and remaining distinct. The thread that runs through the whole of my work is an interest in understanding the importance of relationship in the lives of individuals."

With the opening of his solo show, Don Lambert: Supernova Terra Firma, I had an opportunity to meet with the artist during which we talked about Edwin Abbott's Flatland, social perceptions and identities, and border crossings.

1. While often conceptual art seems too inaccessible to the average museum visitor, the works that make up Supernova Terra Firma are at once inviting. Unlike much of the art in the Cincinnati Art Museum, your work encourages, and even relies on the viewer’s physical interaction. Not only do the spinning discs of "Flatland: VL Array" attract the eyes of anyone who might happen to walk by the gallery, but the tactile nature of "Lawn Jobs" encourage the viewer’s touch and the moving pieces that make up "Changing Landscape" instantly recall childhood puzzles. In some respects your work has turned this gallery into a fun house. For this exhibition did you aim to recall not only the changing geographic and social boundaries, but also to challenge the social borders and rules that make up art museum culture specifically?

The work in Supernova Terra Firma does encourage interaction on a variety of levels. The theme that connects all the work in this particular show is perception; I'm interested in processes of perception as they relate to the formation of both our judgments and our ideologies- how we understand the world. I use interaction to create an awareness of these processes. You mentioned the fun house, but to me fun house implies an abandoning of the mind for a purely sensory experience. I'm seeking to do the opposite, to use the senses to free up the mind, not to abandon it. I intentionally use interaction to facilitate this paradigm shift, albeit subtle, and at times subconscious. As for challenging museum culture in particular, let me first say that my work always starts with questions and ideas, which are worked out through experimentation in both the studio and throughout everyday life. It's the process where things start to unfold for me. The process is a place for experimentation, and for me, experimentation is play. I've always been interested in letting the process flow out of the studio, first onto the streets, and then into the space of the gallery through interaction. It's an extension of the play that happens throughout my process, and a way of inviting the viewer to become a participant in the work. On differing levels the works do require the viewer's interaction, but they are not limited to a purely sensory experience. Back to the culture... In the gallery, and especially the museum, we still tend to view art with our hands behind our back, tip toeing around the space. It's a strange reverence for inanimate objects. By introducing the element of play into the gallery, I reach the viewer on a different plane, accessing a different set of social rules. So yes, in this way I am circumventing the rules of the museum, but it's not my goal, it's simply a way to open things up. A way of freeing the viewer.


2. My recent re-reading of Edwin Abbott’s Flatland drew me to a repeated motif about the assumptions of a correct way of looking at the world. That our culture imposes certain rules of representation in which we must abide. This intent by the viewer seems to play out in entertaining ways in the gallery. After visiting the show a couple of times, I found myself drawn to watching how other visitors interacted with your work. Particularly intriguing is watching those absolutely intent on making sure the map of the world is presented correctly; that all of the pieces on the floor are in place and the wall pieces line up correctly. What do you make of what seems to be our need to set this straight? Is it simply an invitation to work the puzzle? What happens when viewers walk into the gallery and let’s say the wall puzzles are solved? Are we then discouraged from interacting? Do the rules of the museum (don’t touch) step in? If so, how do we then gain from your work the notion of fluidity of borders?

Perception, cognition, representation, philosophies and cosmoligies... I resonated with the questions Abbott raised regarding these. His book may read as too simple for our tastes today, but if we are honest in our critique of (post) post modern society, then although the details may be different, the questions he raises are as relevant and revolutionary as they were when he wrote them over 100 years ago. Rules are so much a part of our lives, and our societies, that they often become invisible and immune to our criticism and critique. The work in Supernova Terra Firma puts some of these processes, these rules, back under the light of scrutiny. In "Lawn Jobs," it's as simple as challenging the dominance and spread of the suburban landscape and the industrial lawn. Why do we spend billions of dollars a year, not to mention countless amounts of water and energies, to sustain a crop that yields nothing more than eye candy, a false sense of nature, and our supposed dominion over it? I'm interested in the ideologies that bring us to accept these notions as the norm. When you ask about people abiding by the rules of representation, you hit the nail on the head. From childhood, we are taught to do things a certain way, that the world looks a certain way, and that there are certain ways to act. My theory is that the reason we, as humans, often move on in life without questioning these things has a lot to do with insecurity and expedience. Routine and habit can be very comforting, which I've seen raising my own children. And continual testing is not only impractical, but counter productive. That being said, I do feel there is plenty of room in our society for more honest constructive critique and that we would be better off for it. Getting back to the show... I have noticed that people, in general, are more interested in "correcting" the map than in exploring other possibilities. But this is a generalization. I have also experienced both individuals and groups do some amazing and unexpected things with the puzzle shapes and land masses. Personally, I'm all about mixing it up. If I visit the gallery and find that all the puzzles have been solved, my first order of business is to jumble them up again. Maybe people are interested in the general challenge of solving a puzzle, maybe they want to prove they can do it, or maybe they just feel more secure with things back to normal. I don't know, but regardless, I do hope it gets them thinking. In answering the last part of your question, I agree that the welcomed physical interaction adds to the overall experience of the work, and usually affords interesting dialogue and relations that would not happen otherwise. However, the ideas driving the work are still accessible through a traditional object/viewer relationship. In "Changing Landscape," for instance, the form of the piece (a large sliding block puzzle) suggests movement and fluidity, while the choice of materials (pencil lines on white fields) suggest temporality or the idea of something being unfinished. Similarly, we can visually identify the texture of the artificial lawn drawings because of past experiences with lawn. And in Flatland, we can see, with little effort, that a simple black and white disc is somehow producing a complex array of colors. So in this way, the work is not so different from many other artworks. It all relies, to some extent, on the viewer's participation; the only question is how far they are willing or able to go.

3. Much of your work, here in this show and elsewhere explore how perspective defines notions of our racial and cultural identities. " Flatland: VL Array" deals quite effectively with racial divisions, "Lawn Jobs" invites questions about roles in domestic settings, and "Changing Landscapes" encourages us to engage the subject of emigration and the changing global lines that define. We often hear claims of becoming more global. What does this mean? Are our identities shifting towards something that is more global? Or are we finding new ways to define ourselves and simply redrawing the lines of cultural separation?

Global-speak has been a hot topic for some time now, but I think it means different things to different people. Either way, people feel strongly about the subject. This becomes obvious the more you read, watch the news, or converse with people on the topic. Personally, I would like to think humanity is coming closer, that we are nearing a global community, but I don't think reality supports that. Instead, I'm inclined to think more inline with what you've suggested in your question- that we are simply finding new ways to define and separate ourselves. One thing is for sure, we are becoming interconnected on a level and with a complexity that is unprecedented. And just as plant and animal species are effected by the physical movement of goods across the globe, we cannot help but be effected by the movement and exchange of ideas and philosophies. But this does not suggest that we are moving toward some absolute cultural homogeneity, or even that the divisions that separate us are narrowing. On the contrary, we probably exercise the same divisiveness as a species as all our preceding generations. Of course, this is all conjecture and only time will bring forth the answer to your question.

Lawn Jobs: Concentric Squares

4. Similarly, identity themes with which you deal in Supernova Terra Firma are well-known to American viewers. We engage and hopefully welcome this discussion. In fact, it is part of being American. How does your work translate internationally, globally if you will? I am very curious as to how you deal with these ideas outside the US, when you as an artist or an individual cross borders. Are the themes relevant?

Some of the work does come out of a specifically American experience, "Lawn Jobs" in-particular. But at it's essence all the work can be understood on a very human level, because it's about just that- being human. Dealing with perception and identity is universal. My approach to these subjects is specific to my experiences, and as with any other art form (albeit music or literature) they may resonate more with people who have some understanding of those experiences. But this is not to say that a work of art can only be appreciated, or understood, from a full understanding of the context in which it was created. Enhanced, yes, but all is not lost in the exportation process. That's where dialogue comes in. We experience each other's work, we ask questions, we talk, and we learn. It's a process. Like any artist, my work is reliant on the viewer's participation and how deep are they willing to dig. Lately, I've been thinking of these pieces as a collection of conceptual pyramids. On the surface you have the finished objects, easily accessible without too much effort. However, if you are inclined to dig, you will be rewarded with a widening base of research and tangential ideas related to and trenched within the actual art object. My hope is that most people will get the overall gist without too much effort, and that some will be inclined to go deeper. As you can see, I like conversation, and my art is quite simply an extension of several ongoing conversations.

You can see Don Lambert: Supernova Terra Firma at The Cincinnati Art Museum, where it will be on view through November 29th. The artist is scheduled to give a talk this Saturday, September 19th at 1pm. Both the exhibition and the talk are free and open to the public.

You can also read Jane Durrell's review of this exhibition here.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

We Don't Have to Wait Until February

For years art exhibitions focusing on African-American found a home on the gallery schedule in February, African-American History Month. Appropriately, programing recognizing the culture fills the month's calendar of events. While happy to welcome such recognition, I'm probably not the only one who has looked forward to a time when exhibitions of works by Romare Beardon could be viewed anytime throughout the year. Well, the Taft Museum of Art has challenged the exhibition schedule with The Chemistry of Color currently on view.

This really is such a beautiful show including some of my favorite artists. Along with Beardon you can see Faith Ringgold, Jacob Lawrence, and Betye Saar. The show also presents objects from the late 20th century. All of the works not only present well-known elements of African-American history, but also a wide spectrum of artistic influences from Latin-America, Asia, Africa, Europe and those of fellow Americans. Equally vibrant are the various artistic genres and media. You will find, references to music, dance, and architecture in oils, collage, textiles, and sculpture.

The Chemistry of Color is on view now through November 1, 2009. Be sure to visit as you may not get another chance to see such works until February 2010.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Taft Museum names Director is reporting that Deborah Emont Scott has been named director and chief executive officer at the Taft Museum of Art. She will join the museum Nov. 9. Most recently she served as chief curator at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo. Scott is the sixth director since the Taft was founded in 1932.

Marc F. Wilson, the Menefee D. and Mary Louise Blackwell Director/CEO of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, said, "She has faith in the power of art and in the accessibility to all of enriching, enjoyable experiences with works of art."

A native of Passaic, N.J., Scott is a graduate of Livingston College of Rutgers University. She earned a master's degree in history of art at Ohio's Oberlin College.
With my BA in art history from the University of Kansas, I've spent much time at the Nelson-Atkins. Also, I'm originally from Lorain, OH, up the street from Oberlin. So I hope path-crossing in Cincinnati will result in our meeting each other sometime soon.

Welcome back to Ohio and into my neighborhood....again.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Artistic Pride: My Visit to the Rookwood Factory

No one denies the vibrancy of the art community in Cincinnati. In fact, so much art happens here that there is a risk that some of the best places for seeing art are overlooked or at least postponed for the next time. To be sure, the Taft Museum of Art and equally impressive Cincinnati Art Museum with its Cincinnati Wing are sure to proudly and beautifully present our cultural history. I will fault no one who invites out of town guests to visit one of these gems over any of our other art institutions ( admittedly, I may do the same this holiday weekend), but as Greater Cincinnati residents and art lovers we are called on to explore many of the other art spaces as well.

The Rookwood Factory on Race Street is one of those places that is a must see. While I've enjoyed sharing the story as depicted at the Cincinnati Art Museum of this wonderful tradition begun by Maria Longsworth in the 1880s, my visit to the factory this week instilled in me I think for the first time a spark of civic art historical pride. To see not only the beautiful tiles, some of which have not yet been released to the public, but to witness the Rookwood artists at work was as breathtaking as glazes. There is no bustling we may associate with factory work, but instead an almost peaceful, contemplative and certainly creative aura in the space. Without a doubt this is due to the fact that Rookwood Pottery is not mass-produced but hand-made and painted. Though I also think the presence of this sensation in this factory is because these artists know instinctively what I came to recognize during my visit: that they are part of this long artistic tradition that is world-renowned and is our pride.

Maria Longworth's belief that "the key to creating fine art was to create an environment filled with talent, ideas and inspiration" is a founding principle behind the Rookwood Pottery , and has also become the bedrock of the aspirations of the many artists, galleries, and studios in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.