Arts & Entertainment News

Check Out These 14 Amazing Images of Cincinnati’s Inner City Neighborhoods

The first part of this two-part series proved to be very popular. While last week’s edition focused on aerial photographs of the center city, this week’s collection looks at neighborhoods just outside the city center.

As previously noted, Brian Spitzig is studying urban planning at the University of Cincinnati and is an occasional contributor to UrbanCincy. He recently took a flight over the city to capture these photographs.

We went through hundreds of photographs that he took and selected some of the best for you. The following 14 photographs capture views of the West End, Queensgate, Corryville, Mt. Auburn, Mt. Adams, Clifton Heights, Walnut Hills and University Heights.

If you like what you see here, you can follow Brian Spitzig on Instagram.

Arts & Entertainment News

Modern Women at the Cincinnati Art Museum

The storied, 129-year-old Cincinnati Art Museum is perhaps easy to miss.  High on a hill just east of downtown Cincinnati, it is surrounded by the natural beauty of Eden Park.  But its collection of over 60,000 works of art is far-reaching and definitive.

The exhibit Thomas Gainsborough and the Modern Woman, which opened last month at the CAM, is a shining example of the museum’s curatorial discernment and ingenuity.

Gainsborough (1727-1788) was born in East England, the youngest son of a textile maker who sent him to London to study engraving and then art.  He married the illegitimate daughter of a duke, whose yearly annuity allowed the painter to be quite productive.

Benedict Leca, the CAM’s Curator of European Painting and Sculpture, has assembled a group of Gainsborough paintings from both sides of the Atlantic.  The piece that initially captured his interest is a CAM holding: Gainsborough’s 1760 portrait of Ann Ford, a musician who aimed to raise her reputation and social standing with a beautiful, full-length image of herself – painted by Thomas Gainsborough.  The colorful, newly restored masterpiece hangs with 15 other Gainsborough portraits at the museum today.

“We forget that these were radical paintings in the 18th century,” Leca told me by phone.  “These are provocative women, provocatively painted.”

In the late 18th century, Georgian England was a state in transition.  The old traditions of Europe began to lose favor as the new philosophies of the Enlightenment took hold. Curiosity, reason and enterprise began to replace religion and loyalty to the aristocracy as the bedrocks of the intellectual class.  Instead of the staid masculinity that defined society for centuries, women moved into the public eye and gained a degree of independence.

Thomas Gainsborough ran up against the traditional art society of his day, though the royal family loved his work. He painted quickly and using a variety of methods, like large strokes and wet-on-wet.  His biggest rival was Joshua Reynolds, a better-known English portrait artist who was the first president of the Royal Academy.

“Gainsborough recasted the traditionally dichotomized gendering of portraiture,” Leca said.  The traditional views held that a skilled male painter actively makes an image of a passive female sitter.  This painter made portraiture more active.  “Gainsborough turned that upside down into a dynamic interchange that was based on complicity.”

Thomas Gainsborough and the Modern Woman is on display at the Cincinnati Art Museum through January 2, 2011.  The Cincinnati Art Museum (map) is open 11am to 5pm Tuesday through Sunday.  Admission is free to the public; parking is $4 for non-members.  The Terrace Café, located in the museum, is open from 11am to 3pm, closed Mondays.


Balluminaria 2009 – 11/21

One of the best, and lesser-known, events in Cincinnati is Balluminaria. The annual event helps kick off the holiday season festivities at Eden Park, and will take place this year on Saturday, November 21 from 4pm to 6pm. The “balloon glow” event has grown in popularity over the years according to park officials, and now coincides with the opening of the Holiday Flower Show – a must see for any family – at Krohn Conservatory.

In addition to the balloon glow there will be costumed carolers, clowns, and concessions all around Mirror Lake for Balluminaria 2009. Those attending are encouraged to bring their cameras along to capture the incredibly beautiful scene of the hot-air balloons surrounding Mirror Lake.

Balluminaria photography by Jayson Gomes

Cincinnati’s Krohn Conservatory goes digital

Visitors to Cincinnati’s famous Krohn Conservatory can now enjoy an even more interactive and engaging visit by utilizing the new technology available that includes podcasts, videos, self-guided tours, and a virtual tour.

A new partnership between the Cincinnati Parks, the Primax Group, Cincinnati Public Schools’ Zoo Academy, Sound Images, and Apple has led to the implementation of the new technology that can be used to enhance your experience to Krohn. “Our design partners have put together a phenomenal combination of information, photos and audio files to be used as pre-visit preparation or self guided touring,” according to officials at Krohn Conservatory.

One of the new features is the availability of MPEG-4 audio and video tours that can be downloaded to your mobile device. If you aren’t privileged enough to carry your own mobile device like that, then you can try to borrow one of the few that Krohn has to lend out. With the audio and video tours guests can learn at their own pace about the botanical collections at the Palm House, Tropical Fern House, and the Desert House. There is also a special piece on the history of Krohn Conservatory. A new virtual tour of Krohn that highlights the best of the botanical collections at Krohn including the conservatory’s history.

The current Fall Floral Show, Backyard Birds and Wildlife, is the first show running with the new self-guided iPod tours, and is the first show since the Krohn Conservatory completed its major renovations earlier this year.

Krohn Conservatory (map) is open daily from 10am to 5pm. Free parking is available in nearby Eden Park surface lots. Metro’s #1 bus route also serves the facility (plan your trip now), and nearby bicycle parking is also available.

Image Provided

Arts & Entertainment News

Great ways to enjoy Cincinnati Parks

The way things are going these days, it’s tough for some families to afford a trip to the movies. Luckily, in addition to the family-friendly movies every Saturday on Fountain Square (at 7 & 9pm), the Cincinnati Parks Foundation has been showing family friendly movies in our parks all around the Cincinnati area.

Forget paying to see a movie and having to buy overpriced concessions, there are great movie options literally in your backyard! All movies start at dusk and will have concessions available.

Below are some of the remaining movie nights:

August 8th, Rapid Run Park
Movie: Madagascar 2 (there will be pre-movie events such as canoeing, face painting, balloon artist and magician)

August 14th, Mt Echo Park
Movie: Hotel for Dogs

August 29th, Mt Airy Forest
Movie: Hotel for Dogs (repeat)

If you are looking more for musical fare, the 16th annual “Its Commonly Jazz” series is being kicked off this week at Eden Park in Mt. Adams. Since I’m not really familiar with jazz and we have been provided with a relatively cool summer thus far, these concerts are a great way to get a free introduction.

The website is billing this event as “staying green”, but it’s not clear whether there is an actual intent to have eco-friendly anything or if it is just a play on words since all events are outdoors. From what I understand, you can bring a picnic to enjoy while watching the music, but I am not sure whether alcohol will be allowed. The website gives good background on each of the performers, but seems to be a bit underdeveloped beyond that.

Below is the line up, all shows are from 6-8pm:
August 6th – Othello Molineaux & the Art Gore Quartet
August 13th – Vintage Keys
August 20th – Terell Stafford w/ the Erwin Stuckey Trio
August 27th – Mandy Gaines and her Dream Band

Maybe the economy has made the local government and parks board boost these kinds of outdoor events, or maybe they are just better publicized these days, but I hope they keep it up. Hopefully as more people get out of doors and enjoy our local parks they will better appreciate the wonderful parks system we have and the great amount of forethought that goes into the planning of the events that are planned in them. Many people do not know we have one of the top parks systems in the nation, and these events are a great way to get out and enjoy them for free!

Photo by Jayson at Cincy Images