Artist Showcase offers weekend exhibitions, programs

CINCINNATI — Live artistic performances and a film festival are taking place at museums in downtown Cincinnati this weekend to mark the opening of the Truth and Inspiration Artist Showcase.

what you need to know

  • The Truth and Inspiration Artist Showcase opens this weekend at three different museums in downtown Cincinnati
  • Events include a mix of one-off and ongoing exhibitions, including a wall gallery, performance pieces and a film festival
  • Organizers said the plays will lead to a mix of emotions ranging from pain and heartache to hope
  • Some exhibits are free, while others require admission to the museum

With a mix of artistic disciplines and styles, the works of 22 local artists aim to present a range of perspectives on the theme of truth and reconciliation. Working styles include visual arts, film, music, dance and children’s literature.

To mark the return of the showcase, the ribbon will be cut Friday at the Cincinnati Art Museum, one of the venues. Musician Margaret Tung performed excerpts from New Music for the Queen City and Beyond in the museum’s Great Hall.

The full weekend program is below.

“The themes of this year’s exhibit align closely with the museum’s mission to contribute to a more vibrant Cincinnati by inspiring and connecting our communities through the power of art,” said David Linnenberg, acting director of the Cincinnati Art Museum. “We hope the show’s artwork will stimulate conversations between our visitors and communities.”

While special events are taking place at several downtown locations this weekend, there is also an ongoing visual arts exhibition at the Cincinnati Art Museum. This exhibition includes works by the following artists:

  • “New Moon” by Asha Ama
  • “Mood Aging” by Asha the Artist
  • “REST” by Darnell Pierre Benjamin
  • It’s Art by Means Cameron
  • “12 Commandments” by Michael Coppage
  • “In the midst of an exhibition” by Iman Jabrah
  • “Tepozzanilli: Live Stream Broadcast” by Rebecca Nava Soto
  • “Hallows” by Michael Thompson
  • Story Share by Kailah Ware
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This exhibit is open daily at the Schiff Gallery in the Cincinnati Art Museum. It will remain open until August 14th.

Artists participating in the exhibition received support from ArtsWave, a major funding source for many Cincinnati-area artists and arts organizations. Funding came from the Black and Brown Artist Program.

The organizers described Truth and Inspiration as a mixture of emotions – pain and heartache, skepticism and futility. But they also show hope, imagination and commitment.

The showcase, begun in 2020, has expanded this year to three locations — the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Cincinnati Museum Center, and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Events are held at each location throughout the weekend.

Woody Keown, the President and COO of the Freedom Center, invited guests to visit his riverside museum on Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday, the Freedom Center hosts “Monarca – Lost Butterfly (In Memoriam)”, a contemporary dance with film by Gabriel Martinez Rubio. A documentary about the imprisonment of Japanese Americans in the United States during World War II will be released immediately afterwards. A question and answer session will follow.

Keown also invited guests to visit on Sunday to see artist Brent Billingsley’s ongoing wall exhibition, ‘I’m Listening…’. The piece combines art with months of conversations between officers from the Cincinnati Police Department and residents of the communities they serve.

Guests must pay regular admission on Saturday. Admission to the Freedom Center on Sunday is free thanks to a corporate sponsor.

Keown described the showcase as “something that can really move our community forward” through “dialogue about justice and empathy.”

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“Artists have a unique ability to spark something within them that moves you to emotion and inspires you to act,” he added. “Last year’s showcase did just that, and as you’ll see, this year’s will be just as impressive.”

In addition to capturing the themes of ‘truth’ and/or ‘reconciliation’, each artist aimed to create works that incorporate an aspect of collaboration with community members and other partners.

The goal was to allow the public to participate in what ArtsWave described as “balancing the moment and envisioning a more just and equitable future” for the Cincinnati area. They also wanted to show what role art can play in this process.

Other project partners include City of Cincinnati, Duke Energy, Macy’s, Greater Cincinnati Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati, Hard Rock Casino, and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

programs and events

Saturday 16 July

Cincinnati Museum Center

10am – 12pm – “On Her Shoulders”, a master class by Annie Ruth

Art Museum of Cincinnati

11:30 am – Reading of the book “I Am Not Afraid of Spiders” by Ashley Aya Ferguson at the Rosenthal Education Center

12:30 p.m. – Panel discussion “Mood Altering” by Asha the Artist at the Fath Auditorium

1:45 pm – Short film “Story Share” by Kailah Ware and testimonial at the Fath Auditorium

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

(All events at the Harriet Tubman Theater)

3 pm – “Monarca – Lost Butterfly (In Memoriam)” Contemporary dance with

Film by Gabriel Martinez Rubio

4:00 pm – Documentary “Namba: The Imprisonment of a Japanese American and a Life of Resilience” by Emily Hanako

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Momohara with questions and answers

Sunday 17 July

Art Museum of Cincinnati

film festival

(All films in the Fath Auditorium)

11:15 am – “Same Garden: An Identity Documentary” by Jonesy

12:05 pm – “12 Commandments” by Michael Coppage

12:15 p.m. – “Foundation Stone Laying” by Asa Featherstone IV

12:30pm – Black Arts Revamped by Lamonte Young

1:30 p.m. – Break

2pm – “Our Baby Knows” by David Chimusoro

2:15pm – “REST” by Darnell Pierre Benjamin

2:55 pm – “Monarca – Lost Butterfly (In Memoriam)” by Gabriel Martinez Rubio

3:10pm – It Is Art by Means Cameron

3:30pm – Documentary ‘I’m Listening…’ by Brent Billingsley

Current exhibitions

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

“I’m Listening…” mural by Brent Billingsley at the Everyday Freedom Hero Gallery.

On view until September 22, 2022.

Cincinnati Museum Center

“Regeneration” by Erin Fung, part of “America’s Epic Treasures Featuring Preternatural by Michael Scott” on the lower level

On view until January 8, 2023

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