Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Cincinnati Art Snob Opens Door to More Community Engagement as well as National Presence

With my launch party days away I'm seeing a long sought after evolution of the Cincinnati Art Snob. While the discussions on the blog have changed from almost exclusively exhibition reviews, to artist interviews (which I plan to continue) to reactions to current news in the arts, my interest in maintaining an intellectual discussion in the arts locally and nationally is beginning to blossom.

The basic mission of the custom art tours I provide is to invite more people into our art discussion here in Cincinnati by offering a more comprehensive presentation of the arts throughout Greater Cincinnati. Of course, my mission is not completely selfless. Designing and offering these tours allows me to to become more engaged in my city's people, history, and culture. Just as art is not created in a vacuum, this discussion about the arts must extend to various members of the community as well those in other cities and states. Social media like this blog, Facebook, Linked-in, and especially Twitter has permitted me to be part of this larger discussion in the arts. This interaction has resulted in a few concrete projects that I hope will further enrich the art discussion we can have locally.

I have recently been invited to participate in a local arts dialogue with a number of leaders in the Greater Cincinnati arts community. The group is still forming, but I look forward to learning more from those who have likely advocated in the local arts community much longer than my 5 years.

Another upcoming project I am very excited about is with the quarterly magazine, Visual Overture. Visual Overture is much like an art exhibition in print. With a juried quarterly competition that invites artists from all over the world, the magazine showcases seven emerging artists. Visual Overture has asked me to be their single juror for their Spring issue. By the way, the deadline for submission is April 1st.

And just last week, I was invited to write an essay for well-known New York art writer, Hrag Vartanian. This invitation came as I confessed my dislike for Impressionism. He responded by allowing me to rant on his blog, but of course I realize this means I must step up and defend my stand against this rather popular style. I always tell my students they don't have to like everything I show them in our art history class, but they do have to be able to explain why they don't. Hrag is providing me a chance to do the same.

So as the Cincinnati Art Snob evolves, the blog will do the same. Though any change will not be at the cost of an intellectually honest discussion. With my refocus in the local arts as well as maintaining a presence outside of the city, I hope my contribution to the conversation will be much more valuable to the arts.