While I do not remember when I first stepped into the Carl Solway Gallery nor my first encounter with Carl, I do know that it was 40+ years ago. I was introduced to modern and contemporary artists, some whose names were  familiar. and others not: Georges Rouault, Ray Parker, Sam Gilliam, Joan Miro, Judy Pfaff, Joan Snyder, Jean Arp…

I do know that with time I had many encounters with Carl. Initially he graciously gave time to me as a novitiate of the arts. Carl had that uncanny ability to identify one’s interest and passion for the arts. That was enough for him to allow me an audience.  Subsequently, there were innumerable sessions with the man who was to be my art mentor and guru. Carl was there to educate, guide, and counsel. And I was but one of countless devotees. Carl had an ever evolving stable of artists and an  even greater number of  patrons whose interests in art he fostered and nurtured over the years. I, as I am certain others did, developed a passion for the visual arts . Before long I became an inveterate collector, a trait bordering on pathology; the purchase of a print was a fix!

I got to know Carl and visa versa. With time I became more knowledgeable regarding art. I’d like to believe that I became more sophisticated in my understanding and ultimately selecting that which appealed to me. But at the same time I retained that essential visceral quality of viewing art.

Carl importantly proved to be invaluable in essential and critical pecuniary matters. When I first came to the gallery I had little money and clearly even less for the acquisition of art. Carl assisted my participation as a consumer. He always offered a payment plan/terms that I could live with. Additionally, he enabled my move to the next level a reality- “trading up”. For many of us, certainly me, who have become collectors, some purchases lose favor over time. Rather than holding on to them, Carl advocated moving on; he afforded me that opportunity and I did.

Carl made my journey in the visual arts an enjoyable and rewarding experience. Art has become an integral part of my life. I have surrounded myself with prints, drawings, paintings, photographs, and artifacts in my office and at home. This passion has influenced my travels, visiting galleries and museums wherever travel has taken me. Our children having grown up surrounded by art and were “escorted” to museums and galleries of all sorts; they now pursue the arts freely; without coercion. Each has developed her own eye for the arts.

I am but one example of those who have gained immensely from Carl’s tutelage and legacy to Cincinnati. He has contributed so much to our community, to the city at large. It is Cincinnati’s good fortune that Carl has committed his knowledge, creativity, and insight to the arts.  I/we thank you. And finally, as a community leader, he has a succession plan. Michael Solway is poised to ensure that The Carl Solway Gallery continues into the 21st century.

–Jeffrey Keller


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