The January/February issue of aeqai has just posted. It’s a six week, rather than four week, issue, as the first two weeks in January were off to a slow start, after the holidays wended their way out of our systems, and the weather began to allow us to go out and not freeze. We begin one new feature this month, the first quarterly report from ArtWorks; we asked them to let our readers know some of their plans for 2015, and that feature is our first piece this month. ArtWorks, under the direction of the formidably creative and business savvy Tamara Harkavy, has been changing the entire visual landscape of Greater Cincinnati for a long time now. So this is the first in a series of quarterly articles, which speaks mainly about their mural projects, which was our first request of them.
A large number of reviews appear this month: two of different exhibitions at The Contemporary Arts Center, one by Hannah Loew and the other by new aeqai writer Hayley Day. Stacy Sims returns with a review of an Art Academy exhibition curated by their resident poet and Chair of the Liberal Arts, Matt Hart; the show deals with the interrelationships between images and words, poetry and drawing, in particular. Marta Hewett reviews the exhibition about Seraphs at Thomas More College, by area artist Tony Becker, and Matthew Metzger analyzes new work by young painter Leo U. (as we call him, as his last name is so long), at Phyllis Weston Gallery in O’Bryonville; the young artist is one of our new abstractionists. Marlene Steele reviews two different shows, one Frank Satogata’s painting show at Kennedy Heights Arts Center; Satogata has long been intrigued with the combination of Japanese calligraphy and American Abstract Expressionism. Steele also looks at the Manifest Drawing class works at Brazee Studios; Steele, a painter and draughtsman herself, offers extremely succinct observations about some of the artists’ works there. Karen Chambers reviews work by two very new photographers at Covington Arts, most persuasively.
Aeqai offers two profiles this month, one of Annie Bolling, whose new space on Woodburn Ave. , across from Manifest, in East Walnut Hills, will attempt to be a kind of aesthetic community center; she’s full of great ideas and enthusiasm,and aeqai writer Mike Rutledge has captured all of that in his profile of her. Laura Hobson offers another profile of area artist/teacher Greg Storer, whose paintings/interpretations of houses, in particular, have long resonated in this region, and whose teaching abilities are virtually legendary here, too. Storer started his career as a football player, and we think the arts are the big winner in his change of career early on.
Saad Ghosn devotes his entire column this month to the poetry/literary efforts of the late Aralee Strong, whose work we hope you find as moving as we do. Other poetry appears by Maxwell Redder, back from his world travels/honeymoon, and others by Princeton, New Jersey writer Huck Fairman, who also reviews a book for aeqai this month. Lexington writer/photographer Louis Z. Bickett also offers us one of his new haiku poems.
Illinois painting professor Cynthia Kukla asked a graduate student of hers to write a kind of ‘state of the art’, mainly contemporary, essay for aeqai, which we find spot on and often funny. Keith Banner was in New Orleans recently for a celebration and offers us a “Letter from New Orleans”, mainly about a couple of shows he saw at their art museum. Sue Ann Painter writes most persuasively about the great appeal of Art Deco architecture in Miami/Miami Beach, and let us know why she finds that style of architecture so iconic, as well as how the revival of all sorts of buildings there in that style are helping to revitalize Miami Beach, which was a great tourist destination in the fifties, sixties, and seventies.
We just received a letter from Arts Ambassador Susan Byrnes as we were about to post; it’s a letter to Mayor Cranley, full of facts and figures about what the arts offer to The City, and includes her hopes that the City can continue to fund these Ambassadorships. It seems to work so well with the ArtWorks feature that we’ve included it in this issue, as well.
I offer two book reviews this month, but cannot help but suggest even in this eblast that our readers of books out there try Atticus Lish’s first novel, called Preparation for The Next Life, which I found to be the finest debut novel I’ve read in at least 25 years.
We’ll be back in about five weeks; we’re trying to get back to posting by the third week of each month, so look for us around the third week of March. Information is pouring out as all sort of great shows and programs will be available in early Spring. In the meantime, please send us comments and letters , if you’d like to, and we thank anyone who sent us some money during our annual appeal. We are very grateful for the financial support.
Editor, AEQAI (www.aeqai.com)