“Golden Ticket” at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center

Marlene Steele

The “Golden Ticket “ Exhibition offers the public a survey of the Greater Cincinnati art community output. This year’s show is heavily carried by photography, but with quality pieces in painting, sculpture and multiple mediums in the mix.

Becky Lenhardt Light Study

A beautiful image by Becky Linhardt captures the study of light on an unknowable object. 

The nuances ripple as on a disturbed pond, resulting in a momentary abstract complete in its own existence.

 Photography of natural forms have been pursued by Jonathan Kamholtz to an elevated sense of poetry. “Brooch” composes the elements of a fresh bloom, softened in the distance with a larger more immediate focus on the the post bloom specimen in the foreground. Hovering in the soft gloom, the thorny tendons intertwine gracefully, Inviting  the viewer to consider their continuing demise as yet another stage of beauty.

Tina Gutierrez’ large format photograph, aptly titled “Eternal O”, captures a lithe female  morphing into a perfect watery mermaid. Her flowing red drape complemented by the bluegreen watery environment.

Linda Sussman shows an urban image typical of a fall weather phenomenon. 

A hypnotic ghostly fog shrouds a deserted gaslight lined street. The pavement beckons us onward toward the low hanging vapors, which are a serene yet ominous presence, overturning the guaranteed safety of the crosswalk.

This year’s  Best of Show award went to large format watercolor self-portrait entitled “Searching Myself I” by Leslie Getz. This is a mixed media watercolor on clayboard cradled on a birch frame and is indeed an investigative adventure by the artist.  Executed entirely in black and Paynes grays, the painting dissolves on the left into an abstract meltdown from which her three quarter figure seems to emerge. Her portrait looks out on the world through a slat-shuttered window, casting its pattern across the painted claustrophobic space. Getz has achieved an expression of yearning and anticipation as a young woman looks out from her sheltered environment.

Several sculpture entries address a variety of trending topics.

A wall display of multiple same sized ceramic figurines of the classic Venus de Milo, seem at first glance to be an exercise in redundancy until one notices that each statuesque woman bears a different surgical solution to the diagnosis of breast cancer. The piece is called “One in Eight”, representing that 1in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer. Samantha England posits that as Venus depicts Aphrodite, the goddess of love, women must learn to love themselves as breast cancer survivors as they experience the continuation of life with an adjusted body image. England further acknowledges the mortality percentile with one missing figurine in the lineup.This sculptural display informs and normalizes the difficult decisions women must make to survive, while representing their statuesque beauty and strength.

“The Loss” by Lisa Hueil Conner is a depiction of her devastation as she supports her mother in her battle with Parkinson’s. The wall exhibit is a series of fragmented body parts of her mother, including multiple facial planes, wrapped hands, feet crossed and bandaged. Exhibited in two rows of three, the central head in the top row is a front facial plane split in half revealing an emerging head. The series of clay half-heads with vacant eyes express so much of the artist’s sense of loss even before the physical passing of her mother as the depleting cycle of this disease takes it toll in by inch. This is a moving tribute to her family member, the grieving and her loss.

On the lighter side, the comical teapot family by Veronica Lash took the 2nd place award. The matron of the group definitely keeps a lid on the tea cup characters,  dominating in both size and attitude. Fleshy pink glaze over wrinkled corpulent arms and legs and big bulging eyes add individual character to each family member. Of course the curling tail serve as the whimsical finger grip on each individual juvenile.