Resolution for 2002: Give Youth a Chance
>direct link to Bill Davis paragraph
day, I'm personally reminded of the April riots. I pass
vacant buildings and broken windows in my neighborhood,
Walnut Hills. On my walks from CityBeat's downtown
offices to an Over-the-Rhine coffeehouse, I witness firsthand
the lethargy that has affected Over-the-Rhine and spread
across the rest of Cincinnati.
Throughout the year, local politicians and corporate executives
had their say about what needs to occur for Cincinnati
to rebound. They've formed committees and sponsored numerous
public meetings. So far, nothing of note has resulted.
In this column, I've often said that Cincinnati's arts
community is not a bubble detached from the rest of city.
It's too easy to sit back and wait for the politicians
and corporate leaders to take action. Personally, I think
it's time for an artistic response to Cincinnati's problems.
The Dec. 10 arts forum organized by Cathy Springfield,
director of Xavier University's performing arts department,
and Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati Director D. Lynn Myers
was a positive first step. Still, I would argue that the
best hope for making the arts part of the city's everyday
fabric requires us to step away from the large institutions
and familiar faces. Cincinnati's major arts organizations
will always play a significant role, but the best hope
for an activist cultural community lies with grassroots
projects that operate outside established arts circles.
Over the next few days, as local TV newscasts broadcast
their own "year in review" segments, footage of the April
riots will play over and over again. I hope that seeing
the footage will wake up those people who refuse to accept
just how bad things have become in Cincinnati.
Still, art -- and its ability to heal -- continues to
occupy my thoughts. Cincinnati's arts community needs
to take a more activist role in the lives of ordinary
people. I think the following young people have an idea
of just how to do that.
Unit 2's Steve Zieverniak and Lou Larson
From inside their Camp Washington studio, artist Steve
Zieverniak, 26, and musician Lou Larson, 35, have created
the stark gallery space known as Unit 2, home to a rotating
series of exhibitions and performances. By creating a
vibrant art world inside this old building, they've become
leaders among Cincinnati's young artists.
SSNOVA Founder Emily Buddendeck
A 28-year-old performance artist who's organized informal
art events in the past, Emily Buddendeck convinced Fred
Lane to convert the former Bellevue Brewery building at
2260 Central Ave. into SSNOVA, a vibrant avant-garde gallery
space. It's quickly attracted a sizable following, a testament
to Buddendeck's vision and hard work.
Artist Kendall Bruns
There are times when it seems like Art Academy of Cincinnati
alum Kendall Bruns and his artwork are everywhere. His
prehistoric pop art sculpture BIGFOOT was the highlight
of the 21st biennial Art Academy Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition
at the Civic Garden Center earlier this year. He poked
fun at stand-up comedy through an innovative installation
at a recent Unit 2 group show. And The Warsaw Project
Space housed a solo exhibition of his work.
Throughout the year, Bruns, 24, finds time to work at
a Web site design firm and to record music. For young
artists who feel they need to leave Cincinnati to test
their creativity, he shows that the local visual arts
scene still has a lot to offer.
The Artery Director Laura Hollis
As director of The Artery, Newport's arts center, Laura
Hollis works to integrate the arts into the Northern Kentucky
community. The area's current development boom is placing
greater emphasis on entertainment developments like Newport
on the Levee, but she's confident an art center like The
Artery can make a difference to people there.
Hollis, 30, also has a suggestion for city of Newport
leaders reluctant to fund The Artery: Middle-class people
like to live near art, so if you want to attract new residents,
take a closer look at The Artery.
Know Theatre Tribe Director Jay Kalagayan
Jay Kalagayan, 28, has limited financial resources and
a volunteer staff. Still, his emerging performance group
continues to grow at its Over-the-Rhine home. He's proof
that community awareness, artistic ideals and audience
growth don't always require large operating budgets.
It's amazing what Kalagayan and his Know Theatre team
have accomplished with little money. Just imagine what
they'll do once the funding community gets in their corner.
Banned Photographer Bill Davis
After the University of Cincinnati pulled two of Bill
Davis' photographs from Imaginations: Altered Visual
Perceptions, a fall exhibition at University Hall,
he moved forward and displayed the work at Gallery 109
in Covington. More importantly, he continued to advocate
his photography students at Antonelli College to bring
their work to the people and display their work as often
Davis, 31, was never given the opportunity to defend his
photographs to the people who pushed for their removal.
Instead, he made sure his "censored" photographs would
reach Cincinnati audiences. For people who support tolerance
and freedom of expression, Davis' victory is extremely
in Arts Beat
Lessons from April's Riots
By Steve Ramos (December 20, 2001)
Davis Strikes Back at 'These People'
By Steve Ramos (December 13, 2001)
Springfield's Cry for Help
By Steve Ramos (December 6, 2001)
articles by Steve Ramos
Year in Film: 2001 (December 20, 2001)
It's a Wrap!
(December 20, 2001)
(December 20, 2001)
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