Sunday, September 28, 2003

New creative team to lead SSNOVA alternative gallery

By Marilyn Bauer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Emily Buddendeck, the respected director of alternative art space SSNOVA, has resigned, citing creative differences with the building's owner. A new creative team, Carissa Barnard and Christopher Daniel, will take over managing the space.

Buddendeck has facilitated nearly 100 shows since SSNOVA opened in August 2001.

Her themed multimedia events, which included any artist interested in showing work, were first produced in her Brighton apartment. The response was so great that soon her space was too small to accommodate the growing crowds.

"Fred Lane (her landlord) bought the Mockbee building and asked me to help him, as a volunteer, to create an arts center," says Buddendeck.

She gained a reputation for creating a viable alternative art scene in the former Central Parkway brewery, and an online network. She was also known for nurturing those ready to begin showing their work.

The concept was simple, artists hung their own work and admission was free. Buddendeck promoted the shows and provided the artists with a mailing list. The result was a unique mix of events mounted, usually, for only one night.

Buddendeck, also an artist, has not made future plans except to continue with her day job at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

"I am considering all my options," she said.

Barnard and Daniel teamed up three times this year at SSNOVA for the well-attended Massive sculpture shows. (It was one of the Massive shows that helped convince the International Sculpture Center to select Cincinnati as its first International Sculpture City.)

"We are developing a larger, more in-depth mission statement highlighting education and community involvement," says Barnard. "We are dedicated to the advancement of this non-profit institution."

Barnard says future shows will be larger and last longer. There will be permanent gallery hours, visiting artist opportunities and shows featuring local, regional, national and international artists. A city grant inherited from Buddendeck's reign will help renovate the building.

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