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Too Shallow for Diving: the weight of water

  • Dates
    MAR. 27 - JUN. 7, 2015
  • Venue
    Weston Art Gallery
  • Location
    Entire Gallery





Too Shallow for Diving: the weight of water

CINCINNATI, Ohio—On Friday, March 27, 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 open Too Shallow for Diving: the weight of water, a group exhibition of regional artists that examines the political, social, and environmental aspects of water.

Co-curated by Carolyn Speranza (Pittsburgh, PA) and Christopher Hoeting (Cincinnati, OH), Too Shallow for Diving brings the age-old conflict between man and nature to contemporary art through the examination of our relationship with water. Through a mix of politics, humor, environmental discourse, and poetry, artists will bring our attention to the weight water bears not only on our everyday concerns, but to the future of our planet. The Ohio River Basin plays a lead role in the exhibition, connecting to waterways both north and as far south as the Gulf of Mexico. Participating artists include Prudence Gill (Columbus, OH); Richard and Doug Harned (Columbus, OH); Brad McCombs (Ft. Thomas, KY); Numediacy (Covington, KY); Carolyn Speranza (Pittsburgh, PA); and Roscoe Wilson (Oxford, OH).

Six discrete installations will move visitors throughout both levels of the Weston Art Gallery:

Richard Harned, a professor of art at Ohio State University in Columbus, OH, where he heads the Glass Art program, and Doug Harned, a scientist and filmmaker living in North Carolina, will collaborate on Ice Cave, a yurt-like structure in the Weston’s street-level exhibition space intended to evoke issues about climate change and provide a snapshot of Cincinnati at the end of the Ice Age. The enclosure will serve as a gateway into the exhibition combining a circular perforated steel structure with sound and video generating a sense of curiosity, wonder, and humor.

Carolyn Speranza is an artist, activist, and independent curator living and working in Pittsburgh, PA. Her installation Down the River: Muhammad Ali Threw His Olympic Gold Medal into the Ohio flows from the upper to lower galleries using the staircase to represent the path of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. Her imagery illustrates abuse of this waterway—environmentally through toxic dumping and historically as a vehicle for human trafficking. Down the River geographically connects the senseless deaths of young black men with the United States’ former slave trade, examining the political and social divisions that have been created by the waterway's physical divide.

Roscoe Wilson, associate professor of art at Miami University-Hamilton, Hamilton, OH, will address issues of water demand and conservation related to the Great Lakes basin through his installation Tapped Out. Incorporating suspended and floor-based sculpture created from hundreds of post-consumer plastic bottle caps, the installation suggests the commodification of this critical public resource.

Prudence Gill is an independent curator and the former director and curator of Hopkins Hall Gallery & Corridor at Ohio State University’s Art Department in Columbus, OH (1989–2012). Her cartographic installation Flow maps the Ohio River’s pathway from its confluence with the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf Stream, along the Everglades and out the Florida Straits. This visual journey, comprised of LED lights, projection, and wall-mounted sculptures, will document geologic time through fossil and water samples collected along the waterway.

Jason Gray and Caitlin Sparks who comprise the artist collaborative Numediacy based in Covington, KY, investigate the Lick Run Watershed project under development along the Queen City Avenue corridor in the Fairmont neighborhood of Cincinnati. Through a multichannel video and audio installation, they will explore the positive and negative impact of this multimillion dollar environmental project on the surrounding neighborhood and its residents.

Brad McCombs, coordinator for New Media Art at Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights, KY, will contribute Adrift, a multimedia installation presented in a darkened circular enclosure that addresses water-quality issues, the importance of native vegetation for runoff and combined sewer overflows, and how every one of us is connected to the watershed.

Curatorial statement panel

Gill statement panel

Harned statement panel (lower gallery)

Harned statement panel (upper gallery)

McCombs statement panel

Numediacy statement panel

Speranza statement panel

Wilson statement panel