Monday, March 22, 2010

FAF Lists Grant Recipients

Today, the Fine Arts Fund posted a list of organizations awarded FAF grants last month. According to their website, the grants are awarded through a special competitive process and community volunteers made the awards after careful consideration of grant proposals at a February meeting.

Awards totaling $77,812 were granted to the following organizations:

Ballet Theatre Midwest, Inc.
Center for Independent Living Options
Cincinnati Art Club
Cincinnati Blues Society
Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Corryville Suzuki Project, Inc.
de la Dance Company
Dramakinetics of Cincinnati
Friends of the School for the Creative and Performing Arts
Grailville Retreat and Program Center
Hebrew Union College
Ink Tank
Media Bridges Cincinnati, Inc.
Melodic Connections
Peaslee Neighborhood Center
Showbiz Players
Voices of Indiana Limited
Woman's Art Club Cultural Center
Writers of Outstanding Words

The Sculpture Center Names 6 Ohio Sculptors for Emerging Artists Series.

The Sculpture Center is pleased to announce the six Ohio sculptors and installation artists selected to present one-person exhibitions in the 2011 W2S Series - Jenniffer Omaitz, Qian Li, Daniel McDonald, Elaine Hullihen, Joshua Parker, and Annie Strader.

The Window to Sculpture Emerging Artist Series (W2S) was established by founder David E. Davis to provide critical promotion and support to early career Ohio sculptors and installation artists.

For more information of the artists see the Sculpture Center website.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

MOCA Awards Jenny Holzer with Distinguished Women in the Arts Honor

The Museum of Contemporary Art , Los Angeles (MOCA), is pleased to announce artist Jenny Holzer as the recipient of the 6th MOCA Award to Distinguished Women in the Arts. Holzer will be honored for her extraordinary talent and contributions to the arts during an exclusive award luncheon on Wednesday, April 28, 2010, at the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. Hosted by one of the museum’s major support organizations, The MOCA Projects Council, this fundraiser benefits MOCA’s award-winning educational programming. Edythe Broad will present the award to Holzer and remarks will be made by MOCA Projects Council President Pamela J. Smith. The 6th MOCA Award to Distinguished Women in the Arts Luncheon is presented by BVLGARI.

“MOCA is thrilled to honor Jenny Holzer with the 6th MOCA Award to Distinguished Women in the Arts,” said MOCA Chief Executive Officer Charles E. Young. “This unique fundraising opportunity celebrates the work of a brilliant artist, who has created powerful statements of conviction and social commentary for more than three decades.”

“We hope that the community will join us in recognizing and celebrating the achievements of this accomplished and exceptional artist, and in supporting one of the leading contemporary art education programs in the United States,” said The MOCA Projects Council President Pamela J. Smith. “The focus of the Projects Council support group is MOCA Education, which has a long history of collaborating with artists and community organizations to bring the rewards and challenges of contemporary art to a broad audience. Its programs serve 30,000 students and community members each year.”

The MOCA Award to Distinguished Women in the Arts was established by The MOCA Projects Council in 1994 to recognize the many gifted women providing leadership and innovation in the visual arts, dance, music, and literature. Jenny Holzer designed the bronze plaque, which features one of the artist’s truisms: “It is in your self-interest to find a way to be very tender.” Past recipients include noted collector and patron Beatrice Gersh (1994), editor Tina Brown (1997), choreographer Twyla Tharp (1999), actress and director Anjelica Huston (2001), and artists Barbara Kruger (2001) and Yoko Ono (2003).

Holzer was born in Gallipolis, Ohio in 1950. She received a BA from Ohio University in Athens (1972); an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence (1977); and honorary doctorates from the University of Ohio (1993), the Rhode Island School of Design (2003), and New School University, New York (2005). Whether questioning consumerist impulses, describing torture, or lamenting death and disease, Jenny Holzer’s use of language provokes a response in the viewer. While her subversive work often blends in among advertisements in public space, its arresting content violates expectations. Holzer’s texts—such as the aphorisms “abuse of power comes as no surprise” and “protect me from what I want”—have appeared on posters and condoms, and as electronic LED signs and projections of xenon light. Holzer’s recent use of text ranges from silk-screened paintings of declassified government memoranda detailing prisoner abuse, to poetry and prose in a 65-foot wide wall of light in the lobby of 7 World Trade Center, New York.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Summerfair Awards Recognize Small and Mid-Sized Local Arts Organizations

Summerfair Cincinnati, a non-profit arts organization located in Anderson Township, has awarded grants to six greater Cincinnati performing and visual arts organizations through its Special Grants program.

Summerfair Cincinnati’s Special Grants program was established in 1976, and its initial recipients included the Cincinnati Art Museum, Playhouse in the Park, Cincinnati Ballet and Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra.

Today the program focuses its support on small and mid-sized arts organizations providing grants to assist organizations with the creation of new programs, expansion of current programs, or assistance with production or presentation expenses. “There are so many wonderful small arts organizations in our area and we are happy to help support their initiatives,” said Krista Paas, Summerfair Cincinnati’s Board Trustee of Grants. “It’s important that we provide creative outlets and experiences for everyone and the grants help do just that.”

Criteria for receiving one of the grants included quality of the art performed/produced, diversity and number of people benefiting, innovative qualities, and potential for attracting a new audience for the arts.

The 2010 Summerfair Cincinnati Special Grant recipients are:

The Betts House
The grant will be used to fund art supplies for the
Family Fun Saturday program.

Cincinnati Sound Chorus of Sweet Adelines

The grant will be used to assist with fixed
operating expenses.

Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati
The grant will be used to fund three educational
outreach initiatives: the Prelude Program, Fairy
Godmother Program, and Community Performances.

Hamilton Fairfield Symphony Orchestra
The grant will be used to fund the new “Community
Outreach Initiative” to make live, professional music
more assessable to the entire community.

Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University
The grant will be used to assist with programming
promoting the creative expression capacities of people
with dementia.

Young Voices
The grant will be used for the summer educational
programming for both youth and adults.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Side by Side: Oberlin’s Masterworks at the Met

Twenty European and American masterworks from the 16th-20th centuries in the collection of the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College are on display in the galleries of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York during spring and summer 2010. The works are integrated into the Met’s galleries, giving visitors the rare opportunity to see them with those by the same artists or from similar contexts from the Met’s world-renowned collections.

The AMAM’s Ter Brugghen painting St. Sebastian Tended by Irene, one of the most important Northern Baroque paintings in the United States, is displayed with the Met’s The Crucifixion with the Virgin and St. John by the same artist. These two works appear in Only in America: 100 European Masterpieces in American Museums Unmatched in European Collections (2006); there Pierre Rosenberg, former director of the Louvre, singled out the AMAM painting as the one painting in an American museum named most often by art historians and curators worldwide as unparalleled in Europe.

AMAM paintings by Domenichino, Sweerts, Turner, Monet, and CĂ©zanne are also seen alongside important works by those artists in the Met’s collection. Despite its much smaller size, the AMAM has also loaned works by artists not found in the Met’s permanent collection of paintings and sculpture: paintings by Erhard Altdorfer, the Cavaliere d’Arpino, Giovanni Battista Gaulli, and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner—along with the AMAM’s wooden sculpture by Kirchner—add new voices to the Met’s extensive holdings. The AMAM’s Rothko, Gottlieb, and Newman paintings are displayed in the Met’s Modern galleries; the first two were instrumental in the early definitions of the importance of abstract art in the United States in the early 1940s.

The AMAM is similarly loaning 20 17th-19th century works to the Cleveland Museum of Art this year.

The AMAM’s current building renovation project has provided the opportunity for works from the collection to travel widely. The project includes a comprehensive renovation of the museum’s electrical, mechanical, plumbing and other systems and an expansion of art storage. Many sustainable components are incorporated, including 18 geothermal wells. The renovation seeks to achieve a Gold LEED rating from the U.S. Green Building Council.

In conjunction with the exhibition Side by Side: Oberlin’s Masterworks at the Met, the AMAM and The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Education department have teamed up to organize a series of gallery talks about the Oberlin works in the Met’s galleries.

Program Schedule

The exhibition will travel to The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., where it will be on view from September 11, 2010—January 16, 2011. It was organized by Andria Derstine, AMAM Curator of Collections and Curator of European & American Art, and Stephanie Wiles, AMAM Director, and is being overseen at the Met by Maryan Ainsworth, Curator in the Department of European Paintings and an Oberlin College alumna (1971).

Monday, March 15, 2010

Fashion Designer John Bartlett at the CAC

Internationally renowned fashion designer and native Cincinnatian, John Bartlett, takes a break from his busy schedule to speak at the Contemporary Arts Center during the last week of Marilyn Minter: Chewing Color. Bartlett, who hails from Anderson Township, runs his own eponymous menswear label and is Creative Director at Liz Claiborne overseeing the collection Claiborne by John Bartlett.

On Monday, April 26th at the CAC John Bartlett will talk about the relationship between fashion and art and his experience using creativity as a tool in his life. He will discuss his roots and inspiration in Cincinnati, and the vision he is pursuing with his flagship store in Manhattan's West Village as a "breeding ground of creativity and a collaboration of diverse local artisans."

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Cincinnati Art Snob on WMKV

Cincinnati Art Snob will be featured on Around the Town with Mort Zemski. The 30-minute interview will air twice on WMKV: March 20th at 10:30am and March 24th at 2pm.

Be sure to tune in to WMKV 89.3.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Fine Art Fund Inclusion - By Invitation Only

Americans for the Arts has invited Margy Waller of the Fine Arts Fund to blog about their report on communicating for the arts.

Ms. Waller's initial blog post (Tuesday, March 9, 2010) is titled "Making the Case: Effective Messaging for the Arts." According to Ms. Waller, the FAF began in 2008 "to develop an inclusive community dialogue leading to broadly shared public responsibility for arts and culture." (emphasis is mine).

The Fine Arts Fund may have developed a research-based answer with catchy phrases like "ripple effects," but the conversation the FAF dictates remains exclusive, private, and by invitation only.

Consider yourself invited.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Art of the American Indians in Cleveland

Art of the American Indians: The Thaw Collection, a major traveling exhibition, developed by the Fenimore Art Museum, making its debut at the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) this month, explores Native North American art from the Eastern Woodlands to the Northwest through more than 140 masterpieces spanning 2,000 years. The exhibition provides visitors with a broad understanding and appreciation of the aesthetic accomplishments and cultural heritage of this country’s first peoples. Art of the American Indians is currently on view, and runs through May 30 before traveling to Minneapolis and Indianapolis.

The objects in the exhibition are drawn from the Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of Native North American Art, which was carefully assembled over the past two decades by Eugene V. Thaw, one of the art world’s most distinguished connoisseurs and collectors of art. This is the first time this collection is being treated as an exhibition and several key objects will only be seen at the Cleveland venue.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to see an extraordinary range of Native North American works of the highest quality, each piece a paragon of creativity and artistic excellence,” said Sue Bergh, associate curator of Pre-Columbian and Native North American art, CMA. “In Eugene Thaw’s own words, ‘Indian material culture stands rightfully with ancient art masterpieces of Asia and Europe as their equivalent.’ We are delighted to offer visitors this opportunity to more deeply examine this fascinating dimension of the American experience and history.”

The works in Art of the American Indians are organized by geographic regions, moving from the ancient ivories and ingenious modern masks of the Arctic to the astonishingly beautiful and dramatic arts of the Pacific Northwest, which form one of the pillars of the Thaw Collection. The basketry of Native weavers appears in a section devoted to California and the adjacent Great Basin, home of Louisa Keyser (also known as Dat So La Lee), a renowned Washoe basket weaver and one of the most celebrated Native artists. Beacon Lights, Keyser’s most famous creation, will be a centerpiece of the exhibition.

The abstract art of the culturally complex Southwest will be shown in both its ancient and modern manifestations. From the Plains come outstanding examples of the colorful beaded, feathered, and painted works for which the region is most famous. Finally are the Eastern Woodlands, including the Great Lakes, and their visually quieter and more contemplative arts, which are another of the collection’s great strengths.

Please see the museum website for additional information and programing.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Shapeshifter at Country Club

I reviewed Shapeshifter now on view in the Oakley gallery for this month's issue of Aeqai.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Shepard Fairey: Greater Cincinnati Artists Engage the Debate.

With a couple of local reviews of the Shepard Fairey show, Greater Cincinnati artists are having the discussion the CAC has so far tactfully avoided.

Artist and Miami University adjunct, Alan Pocaro recently wrote this review of Fairey's work. And now artist and Aeqai founder, A.C Frabetti brings the debate surrounding Fairey's legal case to the surface of our local discourse. Further, Frabetti uncovers the moral (rather than legal) implications of Fairey's imagery. Dealing with art's moral role that should always be at the heart of discussion. The CAC's work to capitalize on Supply and Demand has so far rejected hosting this important conversation.

Back in April I asked if the CAC was on the wrong side of art. The promotion of Supply and Demand with no acknowledgement of its problems (failure to display or mention Manny Garcia's photo!), is shameful. Until they engage in an honest discussion about contemporary art, the CAC will be viewed as a mere venue for art parties. Fortunately, Greater Cincinnati artists are engaging the important debates the CAC ignores.