Sunday, June 02, 2002

Carnegie program immerses kids in Islamic culture

By Marilyn Bauer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The newly re-opened Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center presents “Everyone is an Artist” from 1-4 p.m. today. According to executive director Mary Anne Wehrend, the afternoon will provide plenty of laughs and artistic inspiration for all ages. Admission is free.

        A series of five media stations will be set up where gallery-goers can stop and create. Local artists Jackie Slone, Michelle Heimann and Jonathan Heart will provide the instruction, and Scott Ruben will provide “vintage music with a contemporary flair.”

        “It will be a festive, carnival atmosphere,” Ms. Wehrend says. “We'll have music and a juggler and a balloon artist who makes hats. We will also use the event as a recruiting tool for A Child's Eye View: Seeing Islamic Culture Through the Arts.

        Thanks to a $5,000 National Endowment for the Arts grant, the center will provide education in Islamic culture for 40 kids. “The first slots will be filled by at-risk kids from the Covington area,” Ms. Wehrend says. “Then we will open it up to Greater Cincinnati.”

        The program is an interesting one. Two groups of 20 children each will meet twice a week for 10 weeks for a “total immersion” experience in Middle Eastern culture. Through painting, calligraphy, dance, music and fabric arts, they will learn what it is like to be Islamic.

        After the first two weeks, the kids will make a narrative portfolio, including a journal of what they have learned, drawings and anything they may have made. After week three, they will experiment with calligraphy, and later they will make a friendship quilt that will go on tour of Northern Kentucky schools with a videotape made by Laura Hollis, director of Newport's Artery gallery.

        The Artery has donated video equipment to the cause and ICM6, a Northern Kentucky cable channel, will air the video 10 times starting in late October.

        “There's a lot of misunderstanding of Islamic culture,” Ms. Wehrend says. “We hope to break down barriers to understanding and learn something about ourselves in the process.”

        The Carnegie is at 1028 Scott Blvd., Covington. For more information on how to get involved, call (859) 491-2030, Ext. 13.

        Bromo Seltzer: The construction crew working on the site for the Taft Museum of Art addition has uncovered some art of its own. During the first phase of the building project, crews unearthed several antique bottles from what appears to have been a 19th-century privy.

        One is inscribed “Digestive Ferments, Armour Co. Chicago” and another “Bromo Seltzer, Emerson Drug Co., Baltimore.”

        Shards of Chinese and Meissen porcelain, an enameled dipper and Minton tile fragments were also brought up. To take a look, go to

        Chicago scene: If New York was too far to travel to see the rave-reviewed Gerhard Richter retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, the show opens in Chicago at the art institute on June 22. Considered by many to be the very model of the post-modern artist, Mr. Richter has embraced a daunting variety of painterly styles and this exhibition presents almost 200 examples of paintings, prints and drawings. The institute has also added work from their private holdings, as well as Chicago-area collections.

        They will pair the Richter with two additional shows billed as a “historical reflection on German art and artists over the past 200 years, and a focused look at Post-War and post-modern art.” Information: (312) 443-3600 or log on at

        Our genome, ourselves: The Santa Barbara (Calif.) Museum of Art is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the double helix by inviting artists to submit optically based work that explores and expands the relationship between our genome and ourselves. The exhibition photoGENEsis will open Nov. 9 and travel nationally as part of the commemoration of Professor Watson and Crick's identification of DNA. For more information, log on at and for issues artists may be addressing,

        More "Mood': If you have not had the pleasure of visiting the Wexner Center for the Art's Mood River exhibition you are in luck. The popular show — 35,000 have already seen it — has been extended until June 30. The show reveals the design connections among more than 2,000 objects from everyday life.

        The second wave of the show includes 20 additional works by fashion designer Hussein Chalayan, Fabian Marcaccio's Paint-Ball Robot and “Protrude, Flow” by Sachikko Kodama and Minako Takeno where magnetic fluids react to ambient sounds and project 3D images. For more information, call (614) 292-3535.


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