Sunday, March 30, 2003

Some Good News

Art grant award winner planning to study Italian artists in Europe

Barbara Houghton wants to better understand where her ideas come from.

So the photographer, who teaches at Northern Kentucky University, will use a grant from Summerfair Inc. to travel to Europe to explore the source of ideas for two of her "heroes," Galileo and Brunelleschi Filippo, a sculptor and architect of the Cupola of the Duomo in Florence.

"I find it fascinating when someone has an idea based on an observation that no one else noticed. That's what Galileo did. And what Brunelleschi did with the dome without any formal architectural training is amazing," Houghton said. "How does an artist come up with these ideas? I've been looking at it as a way of understanding that about myself."

Houghton, a photographer since 1968, will also use the $3,000 grant to produce billboard-sized prints of photographs for exhibition.

Three other artists, Diane Kruer, Susan Ewing and Ken Landon Buck, also received the Aid to Individual Artists grants this year. The program, designed to give funds directly to artists, was the first of its kind in Cincinnati when it began in 1983.

The grant can be used by recipients, who live within a 40-mile radius of Cincinnati, for the purchase of anything they need in their art, from renting studio space to purchasing supplies. Summerfair hosts a triennial exhibition featuring past AIA recipients. The next exhibit is scheduled for 2004.

Kruer, a teacher at Seven Hills Upper School, plans to use the AIA award to pursue her visual diaries and the concept of marking time with memory. And Ewing, a metal sculptor, will use the funds to explore the use of mica and titanium for a coming exhibit at the Aronoff Center from April through August.

Buck, a painter and teacher at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, will use the money to hire models and purchase materials, including large canvases, for his art of human figures and water.

"I do a lot of figure painting, people in the shower and pool scenes. I love painting people, and I especially love painting swimming," Buck said. "I find (water) fascinating. It's peaceful, and it's difficult"

Buck will have an exhibit open 6-10 p.m. Friday and 12-4 p.m. Saturday at the Essex Studios, Essex Place and East McMillan, Avondale.


The Society of St. Vincent de Paul will have a Spring Cleaning Drive 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at Tri-County Mall. The society is looking for donations of gently used clothing, household items and furniture.

The items will be sold at the five St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Stores in Greater Cincinnati, with proceeds going to the needy.

The one-day event, sponsored by radio stations MOJO 94.9 and WYGY 96.5, is the beginning of a two-week drive encouraging the public to donate items to the five stores.

For more information, contact St. Vincent de Paul at (513) 562-8841, ext. 10, or visit

Allen Howard is on vacation. Karen Vance is writing "Some Good News" until he returns April 8. If you have a "good news" story you would like to share, e-mail Karen at

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