We are pleased to bring you the December issue of aeqai, probably our largest issue ever, and perhaps our most comprehensive. One of our primary goals is to cover as many aspects of the visual arts communities in Greater Cincinnati as we can, in each issue. This aeqai again reflects the richness and diversity of programming and aesthetic thinking in our area.
We felt that two photography shows, still here as part of FotoFocus, deserved reviews, and both are in this issue: a splendid exhibition at the YWCA downtown features work by Judi Parks, Nancy Rexroth and Jane Stevens, and is reviewed here by Jonathan Kamholtz: we hope that you find the art and the review as outstanding as we do. Shawn Daniell also reviews work in the “Flags” exhibition by long-time Cincinnati photographer Brad Austin Smith; the show is at Behringer-Crawford Museum in Covington. Any show by Brad Smith is well worth a look, as he is one of the region’s most gifted and creative artists and thinkers.
The exhibition of work by Shinji Turner-Yamamoto at Phyllis Weston Gallery has been extended, with new work supplementing that which has been on display for awhile, and Laura Patridge Yoo reviews this most sensitive and subtle of artist’s work this month. At downtown’s Collector’s Art Group, located right above Cincinnati Art Galleries, a terrific holiday show is up and includes work by many of this region’s finest and best known artists; Collector’s Art Group has been mounting shows there for about two years, and each one tends to be choice; aeqai encourages its readers to give the gallery and this show, in particular, a look-see: work by Cole Carothers, Rich Bitting, and Kevin Kelly is there, among many others. Jane Durrell reviews this show, giving it an overview for us.
Fran Watson writes intelligently and passionately about each of the nine artists in the exhibition “Nine” at The Carnegie Center for Visual and Perfoming arts; this is another top of the line Carnegie exhibition, and we send kudos to Curator Bill Seitz for his curatorial vision and wisdom. Karen Chambers takes a look at the brand new show by ceramicist Pulley at The Weston Gallery at The Aronoff Center; she sees pluses and minuses in the show. Stephen Slaughter reviews the current show at Art Beyond Boundaries, curated by the indefatigable Jymi Bolden, with passion and insight; the show includes work by such Cincinnati stalwarts as Tom Phelps and Jimi Jones.
Several aeqai writers examine shows or events at The Cincinnati Art Museum: Emil Robinson writes with intelligent insight at the work of the first Schiele prize winner, Ellen Vanderlip, in an exhibition that just recently closed. Kathy Valin, our dance and performance maven, reviews an obviously exciting performance in two different CAM sponsored venues by area dance troupe MamLuft & Co. Kevin Ott gives us thoughts on a CAM Spanish-inspired Baroque painting, as part of aeqai’s series focusing on individual works of art in the Museum’s permanent collection.
Keith Banner is the first aeqai writer to take a tour of the art and spaces at the new 2lst Century Hotel downtown, located between the CAC and The Weston Gallery, and his cultural commentary is, as always, brilliant. Dustin Pike continues his original series called G.O.D., about the origins of design within our numerical system. David Schloss, aeqai’s film critic, gives us a couple of lists of his pick of the best films of 2012.
And I, aeqai’s editor, offer you my annual best fiction of 20l2 list, which I have been making and sending around since before the computer existed. I learn more about both art and life from reading fiction than from any other source and, since I am frequently asked this question, I read at least 250 novels or short fiction every year, the vast majority contemporary American and English fiction. Several years ago, I went back some centuries and read Russian, English and French classics, and still maintain that Marcel Proust’s A la Recherche du Temps Perdu to be the finest novel ever written, with Muraskai Shikibu’s Tale of Genji a close second. I have attempted to describe and/or analyze each novel, and , this year, I have added a long lead, a kind of diatribe examining what has gone wrong with The New York Times Book Review. I hope that you enjoy this annual offering.
Aeqai is growing, as you can see. We await word from the Internal Revenue Service, as we have applied to become a not-for-profit group, with education as our main goal and mission. We mention this now, as when our status is approved, we will begin the ubiquitous search for money; all of us have been working free for years to build this publication into respectability and more.
As always, we welcome your comments.