Dear Readers,

We are happy to bring you the May 2012 issue of ÆQAI, your journal of the visual arts in Greater Cincinnati. Although we are nearing the end of the art season, which runs parallel to the school calendar, there is no lessening of interesting shows or of a richness in the overall tapestry constituting the visual arts scene in our region. We welcome all the graduates of area art schools and art programs into the cultural life of our city, as each year students transmogrify into artists and enrich our existing visual culture.

Selena Reder was once a student at the old SCPA of Althea Thompson’s. Althea is the chair of the Art Department at the new school, as well, where she is widely credited with establishing one of the most rigorous and creative visual arts curricula in the country. She is also a very gifted sculptor in her own right; I had the privilege of meeting her around 25 years ago, when she won a prize for her raku work in an exhibition at the old Arts Consortium on Linn Street. Selena has returned, in a sense to Althea’s classroom as a writer and artist herself, and she has written one of the most complex and sensitive portraits that ÆQAI has been privileged to publish. Althea’s twin sister Adrienne, also works in the same department, and she makes an excellent cameo appearance in Reder’s profile.

Some other highlights of this issue include a very intelligent and sensitive look at a couple of shows in Louisville, wherein ÆQAI founder A.C. Frabetti ruminates about manifestos, which seem to be replacing the art itself (remember Tom Wolfe’s book “The Painted Word”?). Jane Durrell writes intelligently of the current exhibition at Thundersky, while Fran Watson not only reviews the current show at AEC in Covington, but gives us a memorial meditation on her old friend Arlene Gibeau, whose recent death stunned many of us because she seemed immortal. Arlene ran the Carnegie Arts Center while it was still almost fallen apart. You had to be careful, in those days, which steps you walked on to get upstairs, and to bring a warm coat in the winter due to the lack of heat, but none of that mattered when you encountered this most vibrant and intelligent of women running her one person show out of a small upstairs office at the Carnegie.

Glass sculptor Margot Gotoff shares her thoughts on a couple of very special pieces mainly in the antiquities areas of the Cincinnati Art Museum; this piece was commissioned before the change in the Schmidlapp Wing, and we decided to hold the piece until the changeover so our readers can decide which of the two Schmidlapps they prefer, and to remind all of us how creativity can change the look of a gallery in a museum.

Painter Cole Carothers writes brilliantly of the Botanical show at Manifest, and we continue our series of film reviews by David Schloss with his analysis of “A Separation”, and I continue with my own series of book reviews with an analysis of Edward St. Aubyn’s newest novel “At Last”. You will find most of the ÆQAI’s regular writers in this issue, which we hope you enjoy and find informative. We always welcome your comments. Our next issue will come out at around the same time of the month in June, but we do one joint summer issue, and that will appear around July 25.

Daniel Brown

Editor ÆQAI

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