[Skip to Content]

Seeing Opera

  • Dates
    Jun 14 - Aug 31 , 2013
  • Venue
    Weston Art Gallery

Exhibition Sponsor(s): 

Whitney and Phillip Long

Exhibition Co-Sponsor(s):

Joyce and Roger Howe with additional support from Richard Weiland, Toni LaBoiteaux

Season Sponsor:

Dee and Tom Stegman


Seeing Opera

CINCINNATI, Ohio—On Friday, June 14, from 6 to 9 p.m., the Cincinnati Arts Association’s Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Art Gallery in the Aronoff Center for the Arts will premiere Seeing Opera, a group exhibition of nine Cincinnati-area artists creating new works inspired by opera productions. 

Curated by Stewart Goldman, visual artist and professor emeritus of the Art Academy of Cincinnati where he taught for thirty-three years, Seeing Opera is inspired by the Cincinnati Opera’s 2013 summer festival: Don Giovanni, Der Rosenkavalier, Galileo Galilei, and Aida. Participating artists will create original works related to these productions plus two more well-known operas.

download The Curator’s Statement Panel

A wide range of artistic disciplines including film, installation, sculpture, photography, drawing, textiles, and live performance will be presented by the following Cincinnati area artists: Jay Bolotin, Deborah Brod, Denise Burge, Stewart Goldman, Jill Rowinski, Rebecca Seeman, Joey Versoza, and Howard Wells. In addition, an installation will be created in the Gallery’s street-level exhibition space by artist Peter Haberkorn as a backdrop to musical performances by the Cincinnati Opera’s Young Artist Program in collaboration with the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. The lunchtime performances will be presented on four Tuesdays at noon in July (July 2, 9, 16 and 23). 

Deborah Brod has frequently employed fabric and clothing in her sculptural installations. Intrigued by Phillip Glass’s production of Galileo Galilei, she will create an installation featuring a suspended nun’s habit with a sound component inspired by Galileo’s relationship with his daughter Maria Celeste who became a nun. Brod’s work embodies the conflict inherent in Galileo’s scientific studies and the Catholic Church’s view of the universe. 

download Deborah’s Statement Panel 

Denise Burge, professor of fine arts at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning, works in a variety of media including drawing, film, and quilt making. Burge will create a large-scale cut-and-fused fabric portrait of the actress playing Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier. The actress is playing a “trousers role,” a type of male role typically played by a woman; Burge seeks to emphasize the gender ambiguity of her physical presence. 

download Denise’s Statement Panel 

Although recognized primarily as a painter, Stewart Goldman has also explored installation-based works during his long career, most notably through his tape wall drawings. In an effort to connect with the emotional impact of Aida, Goldman will incorporate sound and shadow projection in an enclosed room environment viewed only through a small opening at the top of the boarded-up entrance. 

download Stewart’s Statement Panel 

Jill Rowinski has for many years created socially conscious installations that combine sculptural elements with live performance, both as a solo artist and with fellow artist and collaborator Karen Dunphy under the name Art Force. Focusing on act one of the opera Der Rosenkavalier when the main character, the Marschallin, muses on her own waning youth, the passing of time, and indecision of her current relationship, Rowinski’s installation will combine three pink upholstered seesaws, a set of mirrors, and a metronome to reference these concerns. As part of the installation, Rowinski will perform in collaboration with vocalist Chris Noel during the course of the opening reception. 

download Jill’s Statement Panel 

Rebecca Seeman, sculptor and Foundations Department Chair at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, will create an evocative wall installation comprised of concave circular and perforated discs elevated from the wall on pins. Inspired by Galileo Galilei, the elongated formation suggests a celestial cluster of planets orbiting in an imaginary universe.

download Rebecca’s Statement Panel 

Since graduating from the Art Academy of Cincinnati with a bachelor of fine arts in 2000, Joey Versoza’s multimedia works mine pop-cultural detritus and have been featured at some of the most challenging exhibition spaces (past and present) throughout Cincinnati including the Linda Schwartz Gallery, Contemporary Arts Center, Aisle, Publico, Semantics, and U-Turn. In a new video piece conceived while listening to the sound track of Don Giovanni, Versoza humorously captures the mating rituals of Canada geese. Set against the dreary backdrop of a local mall, the geese construct loose but familiar narratives of love, solitude, and togetherness amidst a surrounding fort of Midwest consumerism. 

download Joey’s Statement Panel 

As a photographer, Howard Wells has been photographing ordinary objects for more than three decades revealing the mystery in the things we think we know best. Over the years Wells has tried to reduce the literalness of his images, focusing instead on expressing the emotions they generate within him. Working with pinhole or altered lenses, Wells reflects on all four summer operas through a series of new photographs, each representing an emotional response to the individual performances. 

download Howard’s Statement Panel  

Two artists have been influenced by operas outside the Opera’s upcoming summer program. Multidiscipline artist Jay Bolotin, whose long career has bridged music, theater, and visual arts, will premiere Kharmen, a twenty-minute animation created through the digital manipulation of original graphite drawings inspired by Carmen and Bolotin’s own rich assortment of characters. A series of drawings that served as the source imagery for the film will also be presented. 

download Jay’s Statement Panel  

Peter Haberkorn makes sculptural installations using found material and scavenged objects. In response to the soaring heights of the gallery’s street-level exhibition space, he will suspend a series of boat sails in homage to the opera Billy Budd

download Peter’s Statement Panel 

“Seeing Opera Lunchtime Performance Series”:
FREE Musical performances in the Weston Art Gallery street-level exhibition space featuring Cincinnati Opera’s Young Artist Program in collaboration with the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. 
Tuesdays at Noon: July 2, 9, 16 and 23 


Gallery Talk Series: An Evening at Seeing Opera: Wed., June 26, 2013 at 7 p.m.