Monday, July 28, 2014

The Pendelton Spinnradl

I made it over, slightly after the dedication, to see the brand spanking new Spinnradl in Pendleton.  What's a spinnradl you ask?  Well, the shape looks kind of like a giant parking meter but the base is decorated in Rookwood tiles with different themes relating to the cultural history of Cincinnati and the top looks like a glass box that houses a musical device similar to those found in a jewelry box.  There is a small turning crank toward the bottom that you can turn to play a simple melody.  It's pretty cool and I've definitely never seen anything like it.  There are two in Pendleton!  If you click here you can read a bit more about the design and development of the spinnradl.  My apologies for not taking a picture of the entire spinnradl, but below are the top and bottom.
Top part with the music box

Base with the Rookwood tile and turning crank (on the right side)

Reds vs Nats

Ok, I know baseball typically does not typically get categorized as "art" but I'm going to go ahead and say that this game took on an element of performance art because firstly, we all received hats and mustaches to wear when we entered the stadium.
Looking tough

Turns out mustaches make great unibrows and beards too
Secondly, the Nationals brought the racing presidents which I believe require sophisticated acting skills to adequately perform the drama that inevitably takes place (not to mention the artistry involved in the creation and costuming of the presidents!). Here they go!
Mt Rushmore presidents looking civilized (for now)

Billy Taft plotting his devious plan

Presidents leaving the gate and Teddy, running for the win, thanks to  a tackle by Taft!

Photo of the Day

Friday, July 25, 2014

Got an idea?

It is a great time to be a creative!  In yesterday's Enquirer, there was an article about an amazing new organization called People's Liberty who will be giving out two $100,000 grants to individuals with great ideas about how to improve Cincinnati.  There are also a number of smaller grants for projects and creative initiatives.  A few days before this story was published, the Enquirer featured another story about Brandery, a start up accelerator located in Over-the-Rhine.  Working at ArtWorks, I am, of course, familiar with another similar initiative called co.starters which helps creatives launch and develop their businesses.  People's Liberty, Brandery and co.starters are just the three groups I know about, I am sure there are at least a couple others out there with a similar mission. This interest in launching local businesses, investing in creative enterprise, and supporting start-ups is really wonderful and I think, forward thinking. I'm really interested to see how these groups shape Cincinnati's economic landscape.  Let's keep the momentum going!

If you are curious to learn more about Cincinnati entrepreneurship or having a moment of Cincinnati love, read this blog post from Brandery.  I really enjoyed what these three men had to say and could definitely relate to the sentiment that Cincinnatians are helpful and always willing to say 'yes' to help someone achieve their dreams.  Cincinnatians have been nothing but helpful since I've moved back.

This Weekend

What are you doing this weekend?

I'm looking forward to (but probably will not get to do all of these things):

*Final Friday, especially the work at Clay Street Press and the Spinradl dedication at Pendleton

*Taste of OTR in Washington Park on Saturday (sponsored by the wonderful Tender Mercies)

*Reds vs Nats game on Saturday (complete with racing presidents- go Teddy go!!)

*Sunday Brunch :)

*Art on Vine Sunday afternoon

Photo of the Day

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Windows from Prison

I want to offer a big congrats to the Windows from Prison project which was featured online yesterday in the New York Times Lens Blog! The Windows from Prison project is an amazing collaboration between several organizations including an artist named Mark Strandquist and the always wonderful Free Minds Book Club and Writing Workshop. The basic concept behind the work, which you can read about more fully in the article, is that Strandquist and a team of young artists send prompts to individuals facing incarceration asking if their prison window could face one place from their past, what would they choose?  From this prompt, the artist and students located each place and thoughtfully photographed it, sending the photo to the inmate who requested it.  Last spring, the project transitioned into a public art piece as the photos were displayed on large banners on the public square of George Mason University. Along with the banners, Free Minds and other social justice non-profits held special events to engage the community. Turning the photos into a large scale public art installation serves to raise awareness about mass incarceration and shatter stereotypes about those facing incarceration. The photos on the Lens blog are thought provoking and the two letters written by the inmates are compelling.  We need more of this type of work.