“The Art of Charlie and Edie Harper in Needlepoint Exhibit” is exactly that. Charming and humorous, exquisitely designed and perfectly executed, each of these renditions of the famous Harper pieces in the clockwork precision of needlepoint seems just what the two artists would have anticipated as a future for their works.
The late Harpers’ prints and reproductions may be the most recognizable hometown art in Cincinnati, but good design is ageless, and apparently endlessly adaptable. This newest Harper fling adds the gentle dimension of velvety, raised stitches filling and delineating the originals faithfully, subtly underscoring the famous cardinals, the abstract zebras and, of course, companionable ladybugs. Some of these animals are a bit out there, endowed with appropriate, and inappropriate characteristics: a complete roomful of them is simply pure, colorful fun.
Richard D. Gegner spent 15 years of his life creating this display of 59 needlepoint productions, often with the critical approval of Mr. Harper, himself. It may have been a bit extreme, but Mr. Gegner describes the task as “a way to keep out of trouble”, for which the many visitors to the Barn are most grateful. The most commonly heard comments are those of amazement at the perfection of these pieces, carefully matching thread to paint and ratio to originals.
Mr. Gegner’s full time occupation is that of carilloneur for the beautiful Mariemont daily and special concerts. “The real thing,” he proudly avers, as opposed to the taped or recorded carillons most frequently heard in other venues. For forty-four years, he has filled the quiet air of Mariemont with inspiring music, and if he can continue to do so for just six more years, he will hold the record for continuous carillon service anywhere.
Open Tues. through Sun. from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., and worth every minute spent there. Closing September 25, 513.272.3700 for additional information. WACC Barn, 6980 Cambridge Ave., Mariemont, OH.