For the Love of Cinci

I recently had the pleasure of visiting Cincinnati for the first time and was pleasantly surprised by the art scene I stumbled upon. From the amazing collection at 21C Museum Hotel to the neighboring Contemporary Arts Center the work was fresh, interesting and modern, which is appropriate for the newly revitalized and evolving downtown scene.

One of my favorite pieces at 21c was by South African artist Walter Oltmann entitled Child Skull, 2013. There was something beautiful and poetic that came forth from Oltmann’s haunting combination of delicately weaved wire of a child’s skull.

The other provocative artwork at the museum hotel was Raise Up by Hank Willis Thomas. In Raise Up, Thomas depicts the heads and arms of ten black miners, inspired by a photograph by Ernest Cole, who underwent a humiliating medical examination, in the nude. The sculptures are also reflective of the recent Black Lives Matter movement “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot.”

After receiving word that my flight was delayed, thrice times over, I headed next door to the Contemporary Arts Center. I got so swept up by the beauty of the building and the ingenious and stunning material sculptures by Korean-American artist Do Ho Suh that I managed to miss my flight all together. “Each abode becomes manifest in an ongoing series of life-sized fabric replicas that float gently, but vividly in space- hovering like constructions of the mind.” The translucent structures evoked a quiet, reflective experience that felt akin to the romance of rain on an autumn day.

Bouncing between New York and San Francisco, I was not prepared for such exquisite creativity within a city I knew so little about. If you ever find yourself in the town Mark Twain, perhaps erroneously thinks is always 20 years behind, make sure to stop down on Walnut and 6th for a glorious drink of inspiration.