I would like to thank everyone who came to, or helped with, the aeqai benefit party at Marta Hewett Gallery on April 17th.  The event was highly successful, and generated 125% more money than last year’s.  We also want to thank all the artists who were kind enough to donate their work for our silent auction to add to our coffers.

The April issue of aeqai has now posted, and we hope that when you get to the bottom of this e-blast and click directly onto the site, that you don’t find it already too busy: we apologize for that, add that there is not a problem with aeqai’s computers or your own if you find you are unable to get directly to the site right away.  Others of our 18,000 monthly readers must all be hitting the site at the same time.  It may help if you erase old aeqais, and particularly old photos from aeqais, which take up a lot of space on computers.

We have some excellent reviews and other pieces this month, reflecting some excellent exhibitions around the area.  Jonathan Kamholtz’s review of the Kirkland still life show at The Dayton Art Institute is an absolute model of superior art criticism, and we print it with real pleasure.  Matt Metzger offers a brilliant analysis of a show called “Fresh Air” at the Ascent Private Wealth Management building, which is not at The Ascent: call for reservations to see the show at 513-629-8189.  These are the offices of UBS, but they are in the US Bank building.  The show consists of art from the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest and was curated by Martha Slaughter from Portland, Oregon.  The exhibition interprets nature by a number of area artists in residence at the Arboretum in Kentucky.  Our readers may well know the work of Cincinnati artist Shinji Turner-Yamamoto, whose work is in this show, and Metzger persuades us of the elegant sophistication of all the work in this beautiful exhibition.

Aeqai’s brilliant cultural critic Regan Brown returns with an outstanding analysis of the Todd Pavlisko “Crown” exhibition at The Cincinnati Art Museum: that’s the show that involved the shooting of the gun in the Schmidlapp Galleries: Brown makes a compelling case for the reasons behind the show, if not for all the show itself.  My own fourth and final essay about what we want in a museum director builds upon the recent death of former museum director Millard Rogers, as fine a man as I have had the pleasure of knowing in my long career in the arts here.  And Keith Banner is back with a superb analysis of the installation/exhibition by UC professor Charlie Woodman at The Weston downtown.

Karen Chambers writes a serious combination of some photography history since the early 70’s as manifested through the very fine work of area photographer Anita Douthat, also showing at The Weston downtown.  Douthat works in photograms, which create shadowy images often circling the topic of female identity.  Aeqai also welcomes new writer David G. Smith, who recently spent a day at the art museum listening to a variety of guest speakers about the topic “Midcentury Modernism”, which is Smith’s professional field.  He gives us an analysis of midcentury work in its different artistic forms.  Matt Metzger offers a second review of the new Alice Aycock, recently unveiled outdoors at the medical school, and finds it one of the most superior in town.

My own exhibition “The Definitive Contemporary Landscape” at Covington Arts, which closed on April 25th, is done in a different format, as I am not comfortable asking aeqai writers to review my own shows.  Aeqai welcomes Mike Rutledge to our stable of writers, and Mike interviewed me about the show, and why I curated it and we discuss a number of the artists’ works in the show.  Shawn Daniell likes to find small and/or emerging galleries, and this month she went to Popp=d Art in Corryville, and found delightful work by three young area artists.  Jane Durrell gives us a fine overview of a show called “Atmosphere” at Miller Gallery, a group landscape show, which includes the paintings by aeqai writer Matt Metzger, among others.  Fran Watson looks at a portrait show at The Carnegie, with mixed results.  She also was recently in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and reflects upon its days before it was a mob scene and urges us to check out the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts there.

Saad Ghosn offers his monthly Art for a Better World, and writes about visual artist Ricci Michaels and literary artist Terry Petersen.  We always find Saad’s columns moving and informative.  We offer three poems this month, one by Maxwell Redder, who will be sending us poems from around the world for the next several months, one by freelance curator Alissa Sammarco Maggenheim, and another by Lexington art maven Louis Zoellar Bickett.  I offer two intertwining book reviews, both dealing with the war in Iraq, and both by extraordinarily gifted young writers Phil Klay and Jennifer Percy.

We join the visual arts community in mourning the loss of artist/dealer/aeqai writer Lily Mulberry, who died recently at 31.  Lily was already a very strong and positive presence in the arts here, and her gallery, called 1305 Main, in OTR, was a virtual model of aesthetic excellence.  Aeqai is reprinting a profile that Jane Durrell wrote about Lily for us several years ago, with some thoughts about her death, and I add some thoughts of my own.  We will miss Lily formidably: we refer you to the “Lives Remembered” section of the Cincinnati Enquirer for an article about Lily and ways in which we can help.  The article appears on Friday, April 25th, both in hard copy and online, and is written by Ally Marotti.

—– Daniel Brown

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