Darice Polo participate in the group exhibition "Ohio Artists for Freedoms" at The Art Academy of Cincinnati

CINCINNATI, OH – The Art Academy of Cincinnati is pleased to present the group exhibition Ohio Artists for Freedoms. Curated by Associate Professor of Studio Arts Emily Hanako Momohara, this exhibition is part of the For Freedoms 50 State Initiative—a non-partisan, nationwide campaign to use art as a means of inspiring broad civic participation. The 50 State Initiative aims to build a network of artists, arts institutions and civic leaders, and to map and connect the cultural and artistic infrastructure in the United States.

For Freedoms was founded by Hank Willis Thomas and Eric Gottesman in 2016 as a platform for civic engagement, discourse, and direct action for artists in the United States. Inspired by Norman Rockwell’s 1943 paintings of the four universal freedoms articulated by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1941—freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear—we seek to use art to deepen public discussions of civic issues and core values, and to clarify that citizenship in American society is defined by participation, not by ideology. In the For Freedoms 50 State Initiative in Fall 2018, concurrent decentralized art exhibitions and public events across the country will encourage broad participation in civic discourse and, through lifting up a multiplicity of voices, will spark a national dialogue about art, education, advertising and politics.

Darice Polo, Freedom of Speech, 2016, serigraphy, 22” x 16”

About this exhibition:

As clay in the hands of the artist, democracy, especially in America, proves malleable. Shaped by its founders, reshaped by its citizens over and over, it remains uncast, ever-evolving. Whose hands shape it now in Ohio? Whose voices rise? Whose stay silent? How does the rise and fall of certain voices play into Ohio’s swing state power in our American democracy?

Artists included: Ryan Dewey (Cleveland, OH); Melvin Grier (Cincinnati, OH); Scott Hagen “The Barn Artist” (Jerusalem, OH); Terence Hammonds (Cincinnati, OH); Anissa Lewis and Mary Clare Reitz (Cincinnati, OH); Darice Polo (Kent, OH); Jenny Ustick (Cincinnati, OH); Wave Pool Contemporary Art Fulfillment Center (Cincinnati, OH)

Darice Polo

Through objects and language, Ryan Dewey challenges ethnic norms. As a photojournalist, Melvin Grier documented the notorious 2001 Cincinnati Riots. The Barn Artist has designed and painted over 100 patriot-themed Ohio barns for individual families and corporations. Anissa Lewis and Mary Clare Reitz engaged community members in neighborhood-centered art programs. Through prints and film, Darice Polo gives voice to the history of Puerto Rico’s annexation and its impact on the arts. Jenny Ustick fills a wall with a hand painted mural of Lady Liberty shedding colonialism. Wave Pool’s execution of Carlos Reyes’ Gun Flute will be on display alongside a video of the flutes being played in the Cincinnati March for Our Lives Protest. All the artists deal with the nuanced juxtaposition of love of country and participation in democracy.

—Emily Hanako Momohara, curator

The group exhibition Ohio Artists for Freedoms is open through September 21, 2018 at Pearlman and Convergys Galleries, 1212 Jackson Street in Over-the-Rhine - Gallery admission, reception, and discussion are free and open to the public.

Gallery Hours: Monday – Friday: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm and Saturday and Sunday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Closed Monday, September 3rd, 2018 (Labor Day)

For more information contact Matt Coors at 513-479-3639 or matt.coors@artacademy.edu.