Tuesday, September 14, 1999

Mag finds Cincinnati is, like, hip




BY JIM KNIPPENBERG
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Well dang, Cincinnati, aren't you looking good? And hip too, despite the frump image among out-of-towners.

        Witness the October Teen People, where Cincinnati is a full page in the mag's monthly “Trendspotting” feature. That's the one where TP staffers go to a city and hang out, looking for kids who make a statement with clothes, makeup, hair, whatever.

        So what did they find here? Twins Amber and Mandy Gellenbeck, 15, sitting curbside in black and white tank tops. Keshia Wilson, 14, with trendy hair clips. Missy Matre, 19, showing off her pierced tongue. Plus some out-there fingernails in purple, white and clear; Nalom Voeun, 20, with newly orange-ish hair; and some right tight Capri pants.

        We also find in a Top 10 list that Northgate Mall and Paramount's Kings Island are favored hangouts. LaRosa's, Skyline and BW3 (Buffalo Wild Wings) are best bites. Cargo pants and three-quarter sleeves are big, as are mesh bags, white eyeliner and colored mascara, toe and thumb rings, and, of course, piercings.

        The 12-photo spread was shot here and there around town in midsummer.

        ON THE EDGE: Elsewhere among the young and trendy, something remarkable is happening in the arts world. And will probably continue to happen for a while.

        Turns out a group of cutting-edge artists has been meeting here, forming what organizer Chris Sigler calls “an all new collaborative of 25 or so artists.

        “We've been meeting and talking, showing art and giving each other feedback. There aren't a lot of places showing this kind of stuff, so it's our only feedback.”

        Showing what kind of stuff?

        “Anything. It's a carnival. Like our fire breather — very cool — and filmmakers, musicians who play odd and exotic instruments, even a guy who builds his own instruments.”

        Born in a warehouse in Over-the-Rhine, the group moved to Carol's on Main in July and started talking about going public. That happens Sept. 25 when they let the secret out at “An Intimate Affair,” a show as diverse as the group itself.

        Open to the public and complete with music — Tony Franklin's Last Affront, street musician Archie Harrison and his harmonica, DJ Mellowman — it's on the walls of Carol's first floor and all over the second floor.

        Tickets — painted and signed by the artists because “we wanted people to see what we're doing. At least a little preview” — are $20 at Carol's.

        Knip's Eye View appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Have an item to report? Call Jim Knippenberg at 768-8513; fax: 768-8330.

        KNIPPENBERG ARCHIVE