The combined January/February issue of Aeqai has just posted, and it’s a rich and full issue, covering art shows both regional, national, and international. When our writers travel, we usually ask them to look at significant shows around the nation/world so that our creative talent can see what’s up in other areas, and our heavy national/international readership can keep up on shows here as well and hope that there’s interplay between and amongst regions accordingly.
Our regional coverage includes a fascinating review by Jonathan Kamholtz of the “Motel X” exhibition at The Freedom Center, which deals directly with the issue of sexual trafficking, one of the many downsides to globalization and the world of the internet (I got a notice on my “ads” section of a missing area girl just as I was reading Kamholtz’s piece). Chris Carter reviews a superb show at Kennedy Heights Arts Center, “Revolution: Being American Today”, curated by Jessica Oberdick; the photographs in this show remind us of both our rich differences and some similarities in this richly curated show. Steve Kemple deconstructs/analyzes fascinating video/installation work at Wave Pool Gallery, which continues to examine and enhance the idea of community, and concurrently finds artwork made as cakes symbolizing The Midwest at ThunderSky Gallery in Northside. Marlene Steele reviews the wonderfully surreal/absurdist work by poplar area artist Tom Towhey and well connected work by Jan Weisner at Caza Sikes. Karen Chambers admirably reviews paintings by Craig Britton at Ruth’s Parkside Cafe in Northside. And Dan Burr returns to Aeqai this month with an in-depth look at paintings by Holland Davidson at Indian Hill Gallery. And Josh Binkelhimer gives a terrific and thoughtful review of new work by Todd Pavlisko at The Weston Art Gallery downtown.
Two exceptional features this month include Laura Hobson’s very thorough look at what the art educators are doing these days with increasingly diverse audiences at The Cincinnati Art Museum, The Contemporary Arts Center, and The Taft Museum of Art: you’ll probably be amazed and delighted with the efforts and creativity of these educators. And, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the building of the house that’s become The Taft Museum of Art, architect/interior designer Stewart Maxwell gives us a scholarly history of the house itself. We also invited national art collector/patron/arts activist Sara Vance Waddell to offer us her thoughts about women artists, as 2020 is the l00th anniversary of the passage of the amendment to The Constitution giving women the right to vote; Vance Waddell shows us the ongoing inequities of gender in the art world.
We also offer three “in memoriam” pieces this month, two by William Messer, on the lives of photographers Robert Frank and that of photographer/Renaissance artist Dan Cohen. Jane Durrell offers a memorial piece about her old friend/mentor Carolyn Shine, along with thoughts about working at The Cincinnati Art Museum together back in the ’80s; Shine died recently at the age of 101.
Our out of town coverage includes a wonderful review of work by pop artist Emmo, Iceland’s premier contemporary artist, at a show she saw in Reykjavik in Iceland. Hannah Leow does a combined interview/review of work by former Cincinnati artist showing in Seattle at Specialist Gallery; she saw the show by internet/file folders and raises astute questions about doing so strictly via internet. Matthew McBride reviews a highly creative show at The Toledo Art Museum in Northwest Ohio; the show examines modern paintings using modern music as a backdrop, suggesting new directions in curatorial creativity. Megan Bickel reviews the film “The Cave” by Feras Fayyal at Speed Museum; this riveting, emotionally charged film came from cell phone clips and shows us workers/patients in a hospital in Syria during the bombings by Syrians and Russians in that endless civil war. And Aeqai’s fashion critic, Jenny Perusek, reviews the career of fashion great Jean Paul Gautier, as he bows out of the fashion world with an amazing final splash. Steve Kemple also offers a review from Houston of work centered around the idea/historical significance and resonance of the brick, that building block of so much history.
I offer two book reviews this month, including a review and defense of “American Dirt” by Jeanine Cummins, and the other of the magnificent “This Is Happiness” by Niall Williams, a book of such breathtaking beauty and redemptive power that it’ll amaze those who read fiction.
We hope that you find this combined issue stimulating and informative, and we’ll be back in March with more reviews and features; in the meantime, we welcome your comments . To go directly to the new issue, click onto www.aeqai.org.