Showcase of artists offers weekend of exhibitions, programs

CINCINNATI — Live art performances and a film festival will take place at museums in downtown Cincinnati this weekend to mark the opening of the Truth and Inspiration artist showcase.

What do you want to know

  • Truth and Inspiration artist showcase opens this weekend at three different museums in downtown Cincinnati
  • Events include a mix of one-off and permanent exhibitions, including a gallery of murals and performance pieces for a film festival
  • Organizers said the plays would lead to a mix of emotions ranging from pain and grief to hope
  • Some exhibits are free but others require museum admission

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

To mark the return of the showcase, an inauguration Friday at the Cincinnati Art Museum, one of the sites of the event. Musician Margaret Tung performed selections from “New Music for the Queen City and Beyond” in the museum’s Great Hall.

The full weekend schedule 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 from the Cincinnati Art Museum. “We hope the artwork in the show will spark conversations among our visitors and our communities.”

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

  • “NEW MOON” by Asha Ama
  • “Mood Altering” by Asha the Artist
  • “REST” by Darnell Pierre Benjamin
  • “It’s Art” by Means Cameron
  • “12 Commandments” by Michael Coppage
  • “In the middle of the exhibition” by Iman Jabrah
  • “Tepozzanilli: Live Broadcast” by Rebecca Nava Soto
  • “Sanctuaries” by Michael Thompson
  • “Story Sharing” by Kailah Ware

This exhibition is open daily at the Schiff Gallery of the Cincinnati Art Museum. It will remain open until August 14.

The artists involved in the showcase received support from ArtsWave, a major source of funding for many artists and arts organizations in the Cincinnati area. The funds came from its Black and Brown Artists Program.

Organizers described truth and inspiration as displaying a mix of emotions – pain and heartache, skepticism and futility. But they also show hope, imagination and commitment.

Started in 2020, the showcase has expanded to three locations this year: the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Cincinnati Museum Center, and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Events will take place at each site throughout the weekend.

Woody Keown, president and chief operating officer of the Freedom Center, invited guests to come and visit his riverside museum on Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday, the Freedom Center will host “Monarca – Lost Butterfly (In Memoriam)”, a contemporary dance with a film by Gabriel Martinez Rubio. Immediately following, there will be a documentary about the incarceration of Japanese Americans in the United States during World War II. There will be a Q&A session to follow.

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

Guests will need to pay normal admission on Saturdays. Sunday admission is free to the Freedom Center, thanks to a corporate sponsor.

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

“Artists have a unique ability to stir something inside that moves you and inspires you to action,” he added. “Last year’s showcase did just that and, as you’ll see, this year’s showcase will be just as powerful.”

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

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

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

Programs and Events

Saturday July 16

Cincinnati Museum Center

10 a.m. to 12 p.m. – “On his shoulders” a masterclass by Annie Ruth

Cincinnati Museum of Art

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

12:30 p.m. – Round table “Mood Altering” by Asha the artist at the Fath auditorium

1:45 p.m. – Short film “Story Share” by Kailah Ware and testimony at the Fath Auditorium

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

(All events at the Harriet Tubman Theater)

3 p.m. – “Monarca – Lost Butterfly (In Memoriam)” contemporary dance with

film by Gabriel Martinez Rubio

4 p.m. – Documentary “Namba: A Japanese American’s Incarceration and Life of Resilience” by Emily Hanako

Momohara with Q&A

Sunday July 17

Cincinnati Museum of Art

film festival

(All films at Auditorium Fath)

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

12:05 p.m. – “12 Commandments” by Michael Coppage

12:15 p.m. – “laying the foundations” by Asa Featherstone IV

12:30 p.m. – “Black Arts Revamped” by Lamonte Young

1:30 p.m. – Break

2 p.m. – “Our Baby Knows” by David Chimusoro

2:15 p.m. – “REST” by Darnell Pierre Benjamin

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

3:10 p.m. – “It’s art” by Means Cameron

3:30 p.m. – Documentary “I’m Listening…” by Brent Billingsley

Current exhibitions

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

Mural “I listen…” by Brent Billingsley in the Everyday Freedom Hero gallery.

On view until September 22, 2022.

Cincinnati Museum Center

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

On view until January 8, 2023

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