Sunday, March 2, 2003

Local artist welcomes visitors to Wexner show

Visual arts

By Marilyn Bauer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

The Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus is still under construction, but its innovative exhibitions continue.

Through April 20 at the Columbus College of Art & Design, Away From Home features playful new takes on home, travel, communication, exile and displacement by emerging artists from around the globe - including Cincinnati.

Jill Rowinski's installation begins in the Canzani Center's entrance hall, where you cross an arrangement of common welcome mats.

There's also a stack of more than 100 ruffled pink-and-white gingham aprons that Rowinski wears for a performance piece.

She stands on a pedestal of welcome mats while assistants dress her in the aprons. She greets visitors with conventional hospitable clichÈs, sometimes accompanied by a tenor singing about home.

Rowinski will perform at 11 a.m. Saturday, 6 p.m. March 13, 11 a.m. March 29, 1:30 p.m. April 6 and 11 a.m. April 12. For more, contact the Wexner at (614) 292-3535.

Art as a second language: The Contemporary Arts Center is looking for new docents to help with the larger-than-average crowds expected to descend upon the museum with the opening of the new building and the much-anticipated inaugural show.

This year, according to curator of education Lisa Buck, there are more than just the intrinsic rewards of working with children and learning about contemporary art. There are social opportunities, parties and trips.

"Our docents are the kind of people you want to get to know," she says. How can you lose? Training starts this month with "Art as a Second Language." For more information, contact Laura Stewart at 345-8419 or

Miraculous modern art: The Milwaukee Art Museum will host the nationally popular exhibition The Quilts of Gee's Bend, Sept. 27-Jan. 4, 2004. Michael Kimmelman, critic for The New York Times, named the quilt show one of the best shows of 2002. They have been referred to as "some of the most miraculous works of modern art America has produced."

Women in the isolated community of Gee's Bend, Ala., engaged in the traditional art of quilting for generations, motivated by the need to keep their families warm.

The show celebrates these unsung artists through 70 quilts representing four generations who took fabrics from their everyday lives. The quilts are from the collection of Tinwood Alliance, a non-profit foundation founded by art scholar William Arnett for the support of African-American vernacular art.

Shrine on: The Contemporary Arts Center is looking for community members to participate in its inaugural exhibition, Somewhere Better Than This Place: Alternative Social Experience in the Spaces of Contemporary Art.

Taiwanese artist Lee Mingwei, who is exhibiting as part of the Away From Home show in Columbus, will create a new work for the CAC show, Pantheon Project, and needs 20 individuals to create actual shrines to the individuals or institutions they honor most.

"In many traditional cultures, individuals, professional organizations and other groups have their own protective saints or deities," says CAC senior curator Thom Collins. "Lee Mingwei believes that in modern secular life, many of us also have individuals or institutions that protect and promote us, but we don't often honor them publicly."

Anyone in the Tristate interested in participating should write a letter to the artist describing the person or persons they would like to enshrine, the reason why and what kinds of things (texts, pictures, objects) they would choose to represent the person.

Once the artist selects the participants, he will work with them to place their items in a prefabricated box 23 inches tall, 14 inches wide and 6 inches deep.

These shrines will be exhibited throughout the new Rosenthal Center, where museum visitors who share participants' sentiments will be able to add their own devotional material.

The deadline for the letters is March 24, and they should be sent to Collins at the Contemporary Arts Center, 115 E. Fifth St., Cincinnati 45202-3998. For more information, e-mail Collins at

Mother art: Pat Renick will be honored twice on Oct. 9 at a gala at the old Fifth Street Contemporary Arts Center.

The International Sculpture Center will present her with its Lifetime Achievement Award in Education, and the University of Cincinnati's College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning, where she is professor emeritus, will give her a yet-to-be-named award, too. During the gala, there will be a silent auction of Renick's work, with proceeds going to a scholarship for DAAP students to attend sculpture center events.

Wouldn't this be a great time for her to pull that behemoth sculpture out of her loft for all of us to behold? "Triceracopter: The Hope for the Obsolescence of War" is a dinosaur made from an OH-6A Cayuse helicopter donated by the U.S. Army.

Postcards for peace: The Dicere Gallery at 5827 Bramble Ave. in Madisonville is holding a "Postcards for Peace" art event. Everyone is invited to join in and make a postcard with a plea for world peace.

There are open studio sessions today and Monday, with a reception on Saturday featuring the completed postcards.

Dicere has been at the project for a month, inviting artists worldwide to create handmade cards which they hope to blanket the gallery with. For more information, call Robert J. Morris at 561-9582.

Call to artists: The deadline for the Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center's annual call to artists is April 1. Any U.S. artist and all styles and media are eligible. Entries are being accepted for solo, group and themed exhibitions by slide submission.

The blind selection process will be judged by Dick Rosenthal, Ann Taulbee Murakishi and Marta Hewett. For more information, contact Bill Seitz, gallery director at (859) 491-2030, Ext. 12.

• The Huntington Museum of Art is seeking entries for Exhibition 280/Parameters, a regional juried show running Sept. 27-Jan. 4, 2004. The contest is open to artists over 18, working in all media, who reside in West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland. Deadline: May 5. For more information, call (304) 529-2701 or log on at Web site.

• The Yavneh Day School is looking for Cincinnati artists who have ties to the Jewish community to submit work to be considered for the full-color cover of the 2003 edition of "The Source: The Guide to Business and Jewish Life in Greater Cincinnati."

The deadline is April 15 and entries should be submitted as jpeg (300 dpi), pdf or slides. The subject matter should reference Jewish themes. For more information, contact Barbara H. Rabkin at 984-3770.

• The Lexington Public Library is seeking applications for exhibitions in 2004 at its Central Library Gallery. The deadline is March 31. The library will select six to seven artists for shows lasting six-eight weeks. For an application, call Peggy McAllister at (859) 231-5559.

People: The Weston Art Gallery has released a mini-CD of the first live recording of a concert performance by Anthony Luensman and Current Quartet, composed of Luensman, Paul Hogan and Cincinnatians Michael Barnhart and Tony Franklin.

• Cyd Alper Sedgewick, who until recently represented only Joseph Kinnebrew in her Loveland gallery, has severed ties with the artist and gone off on her own, featuring the work of local artists.

• David Mueller will be the signature artist for this year's American Diabetes Association Celebrity Art Auction March 15.

The event is unusual in that it pairs local artists (as tutors) with local celebrities (artists) to create work to be auctioned off for the benefit of the association. Each artist/tutor also donates a piece of their own.

Artists participating include: John Leon, Wolfgang Ritschel, Michael Wilson, Milten Odell, Cindy Youse, Mike McGuire, Roger Heuck, Dave Klocke and Nancy Pendery.

• Carl J. Samson was elected chairman of the governing board for the American Society of Portrait Artists, the oldest and largest portrait society in the world.

• A gift from Dr. Stanley and Mickey Kaplan will fund the creation of a new museum entrance to the Taft. Upon entering the Dr. Stanley and Mickey Kaplan Lobby, visitors will encounter a two-story atrium with views of the museum's redesigned gardens.

A grand stairway will provide access to a second-floor walkway, connecting the historic home to the expansion.

• Greg Storer is opening the Powder Factory School for Drawing and Painting in the Peter's Cartridge Factory located on the Little Miami River in Kings Mills. The classes are for children and adults, and Storer will also offer workshops with local artists such as Tom Bacher (on May 3). For more information, call 583-0259 or log on to Web site.

• Meenoo Jain, an engineer at GE Aircraft Engines, has been named 2003 Steering Committee chairperson for the Taft Museum of Art's Club 316.

• Summerfair Inc. has selected Ken Landon Buck, Barbara Houghton, Susan Ewingand Diane Kruer to receive $3,000 individual artist grants.

• Terre Haute, Ind., Mayor Judy Anderson declared Feb. 7 Thom Shaw Day because of his commitment to helping children develop artistic skills and for his self-portraits exhibition at the city's Swope Art Museum.


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