Letter from the Editor
Greater Cincinnati visual arts venues returned in earnest in February, with the holidays laid to rest. The February issue of aeqai should reflect the wealth of exhibitions, the variety of talent, and the very different types of art being made and shown, both in our own region and nationally. Aeqai is introducing some new writers and columns again this month, and we continue to ask writers in other cities to send us information so we can link the arts here with what goes on nationally and internationally.
Cynthia Kukla returns this month with her “Letter from Chicago”, which focuses on the art of William Kentridge; Kukla’s understanding of his work is profound. Centre College Professor of Art Sheldon Tapley is back with a very thorough and insightful analysis of Gaela Erwin’s paintings, on display in Lexington, Kentucky. Aeqai is reprinting a feature article I wrote for The Artist’s Magazine about Cincinnati artist Deborah Morrisey-McGoff, whose new paintings are part of a group show at the Miller Gallery in Hyde Park called “Local Artists”. Mayor Mallory has decreed Feb. 22 to be Miller Gallery day in Cincinnati, as the gallery celebrates 53 years in the art business run by the same family.
We introduce Gideon Fink Shapiro to our readers; Shapiro is a student of design, and he will write occasional articles for aeqai, and we are calling the column Design Analysis. We asked him to analyze the renovated Schmidlapp Galleries at The Art Museum, as many have pondered the new design , but we think that few understand it and its importance: Director Aaron Betsky’s design ideas run through the renovation. Dustin Pike continues his series on the analysis of design itself, offering his analysis of the number nine; Pike will join Shapiro in offering our readers insights and critiques of the worlds of design.
Aeqai also welcomes writer Susan Amis, whose column The Occasional Collector begins this month. Amis has an engaged interest in the visual arts, and we have asked her to serve as aeqai’s Baudelaire, our flaneur, so she will wander around this region and others to which she travels and give us her observations on the visual culture she encounters, and tell us about art she may buy and why. Laura Hobson’s profile of Ruth Dickey, Director of The Clifton Cultural Center, appears this month, and will be followed by profiles of directors of the Kennedy Heights Arts Center and the arts leaders at The Women’s YWCA downtown. Dr. Saad Ghosn continues his new monthly column about Peace and Justice: a curator, writer, collector (and medical doctor), Ghosn selects an artist from the region each month along with a poet, whose work he believes helps enhance the quality of life, and of our quest for peace and justice: the artist this month is UC sculptor Farren Allen.
And our guest writer this month who examines a work of art from The Art Museum which has influenced her world and her art, is Sheila Fleischer, a pastel painter who moved to this region about two years ago; Fleischer gives a very personal account of the museum’s painting by Bay Area artist Richard Diebenkorn.
Poet James Cummins returns to aeqai with new poetry about Hick and Willie and their ongoing adventures in the art world; Maxwell Redder’s new poems are entirely different, but reflective of his interior contemporary world.
We offer a slew of reviews this month. Karen Chambers gives an excellent analysis of new paintings by Hadley Holliday at Carl Solway Gallery; Fran Watson offers two different reviews, one of the Chinese porcelains show at The Taft Museum of Art (Chinese porcelains are as sophisticated and veiled with meaning and metaphor as Chinese paintings), and the other of the exhibition “Aqua” at The Artisans Enterprise Center in Covington, a show originally curated by Cate Yellig at Xavier University. Yellig has also been named the new Director of the AEC, while former director Natalie Bowers has become Director of Marketing for the City of Covington.
Other reviews this month include Jonathan Kamholtz’s thoughtful and sensitive look at paintings by Cincinnatian Greg Storer, showing in a new space in Clifton for exhibitions, LaPoste Eatery, where the exhibtions will be curated by area painter Kay Hurley. Kamholtz discusses the space as well as the show. We welcome this addition to the visual arts scene here.
Marlene Steele, a realist painter herself, thoughtfully analyzes the High Realism show at Manifest Gallery, and Kenn Day, an artist and healer in this region, gives an excellent critique of the show After The Fall at Prairie Gallery in Northside. Kevin Ott reviews realist work by area artist Paul Wolven at Greenwich House Gallery in O’Bryonville.
Keith Banner offers an overview of the just-opening exhibition at The Taft Museum of Art, selections from the David Driskoll Collection: Mr. Driskoll has collected superior works by African-American artists. Jane Durrell reviews new paintings by Cincinnati abstract painter Philip LaVelle at 1305 Main Street, and Shawn Daniell was also in Over-the-Rhine, and gives us a sense of the art and energy in the illustrations by Brian Uhl at Static Age Gallery.
My book review this month is on Camille Paglia’s Glittering Images, A Journey Through Art from Egypt to Star Wars, Paglia’s attempt to garner a wider audience for art.
Aeqai is getting larger every month, as we seek to cover areas of visual culture we haven’t in past issues. We appreciate your support and interest in aeqai, and are always pleased to hear from you. If you want to subscribe, which is free, just click the subscribe button on the site, and you will get the monthly e-blast, letting readers know that the new aeqai has been posted. The Carnegie in Covington will be hosting a benefit party for aeqai in April, I think –more on that as soon as the details are in place. We want to add more visuals to the site, and that’s our first order of business as soon as Mr. or Ms. IRS lets us know when we will receive our status as a not-for-profit organization, after which a redesign of the site will occur to make it more user-friendly and more visually exciting. We ask you to bear with us til then, and remember that everyone at aeqai is doing what he or she does without any remuneration: as editor, I am hugely grateful to the dedication of all aeqai’s writers and webmasters and photographers et. al.
I hope you find the Feb. aeqai stimulating and thought-provoking.