Thursday, March 28, 2002

Knip's Eye View

Proposals for pots pop up like weeds

        So, you were wondering, what does one do at a pot-picking party?

        Pick pots, of course. Flower Pots, we mean, for Flower Power, the summer public arts project that follows the Big Pig Gig on the streets of Greater Cincinnati.

        This is the one, recall, where artists decorate large flower pots (an urn, 40 inches high with a 26-inch opening; a fluted vase, 40 inches high with a 36-inch opening, or a wooden planter, 3 feet square) just like they did for the Big Pig Gig of 2000. Professional gardeners will plant them full of goodies and Flower Power volunteers will haul them to the streets May 19.

        Patrons will pay $2,000 to $10,000 to sponsor a pot; 100 are on board with 100 more expected. The money raised goes to the Cincinnati Horticultural Society to cover expenses, and anything more will go for downtown beautification.

        So anyway, Monday was the night for patrons to see artists' proposals at a Pot Picking party at Tower Place.

        First surprise was the volume: “We expected a couple hundred,” said spokeswoman Betsy Neyer, “but we got more than 600. We have them all over.”

        Second surprise was the diversity: Here's a box designed to look like an ice cream sundae. Here's artist Deborah Ward's Flora-tasia, with an honest to goodness wizard rising from the pot. And Clotilde Royal's Jack in the Pulpit, with a clown popping out. And here's Lynn Cooke's Bouquet Sorbet with the pot modified to look like an ice cream cone, complete with strawberry drippings.

        Lisa Molyneux's Cosmos alters the shape: She added colored rings — think Saturn — and flying saucer feet supporting them.

        Barbara Trauth's cube also does some altering. She has pastoral scenes painted on the sides and a large topiary garden nymph rising from the pot.

        Artist Judy Harrell was there and ecstatic: Her antiqued brush-stroke urn was already sold (Auctions by Maggie) and her PO'ed Fat Lady, complete with hairnet and loose slip strap, was attracting attention aplenty. “I don't care who buys it. I'll go home with whoever takes me to the prom,” she said.

        Proposals are on display 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Saturday in Tower Place, off the Fourth Street entrance, for about two more weeks.

        Winning romance: We're going to need a polite round of applause here. The kind befitting a refined lady of romance.

        Clap it for one Reon Laudat, a former Cincinnatian and ex-Enquirer reporter. She was Reon Carter then, but got married and moved to Detroit.

        Anyway, back here in Cincinnati she was all the time dabbling in romance fiction, promising a book any minute.

        Wellsir, the book is out and merciful heavens, it was nominated for one of romance's big league awards.

        Her Yesterday's Dreams, Tomorrow's Promises (Genesis; $8.95) has been nominated for a Reviewers' Choice award in the Best Multicultural category.

        “I was actually scanning the list looking for someone else's name,” she says, “so imagine my surprise when I saw my own! I won't win. There are too many heavy-hitters among the nominees (Donna Hill, Brenda Jackson, Francis Ray), so in this case the nomination really is enough.”

        Win or lose, in her honor: ClapClapClap.




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- KNIPPENBERG: Knip's Eye View
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