Friday, August 27, 2004

Young artists finding niche in Covington



By Natalie Morales
Enquirer staff writer

painting
Katie Grone, 24, of Fort Mitchell. works on an untitled oil painting at Power House Factories.
(Patrick Reddy/The Enquirer)
COVINGTON - Young, local artists, an old building and the efforts to build up an arts district have combined to form a powerhouse of creativity in the city.

After a couple of years of planning, Powerhouse Factories, a small group of young artists who are merging commercial graphic arts with fine art, is opening its Jim Amann Gallery Sept. 3 at 30 W. Pike St.

"We wanted to create an area where we could incorporate both design and fine arts," said Mike Amann, an artist and owner of the Powerhouse Factories building. "We had both together in school and we wanted to put both together in the corporate world, too."

The Powerhouse artists met while attending Western Kentucky University. After Amann, 24, graduated in 2002, he moved to Covington to buy the building from his parents.

"I remember when we were sophomores in college, and we jokingly said we should make a design and fine-arts house," he said.

Amann called on his grandfather, Jim Amann, to help rehabilitate the old building. The duo tore down walls, installed new ventilation and lighting systems, and turned the building into a gallery, studio and living environment.

The gallery was named after Amann's grandfather, who died in a car accident in June.

After the other Powerhouse members graduated in 2003, they too returned to Northern Kentucky and joined the studio the Amanns had refurbished.

"It's been a great pleasure for me to be around all the people who inspired me all through college," said Katie Grone, 24, a featured artist at the gallery opening. "This is something we always wanted to do, and it really is a dream come true for me; I'm so fortunate to be involved in something like this."

Mayor Butch Callery said that Powerhouse is a welcome addition to Pike Street and the effort to promote a city art district.

The city's downtown once was thriving, Callery said, and he hopes the gallery will help to make it vibrant and alive again.

The gallery's free grand opening, titled Workers Union, will include the work of six artists. Amann said Powerhouse made about 400 announcements for the show.

E-mail nmorales@enquirer.com

If you go:

What: "Workers Union," opening show of Powerhouse Factories

Where: Jim Amann Gallery, 30 W. Pike St., Covington

When: 8-11 p.m. Sept. 3

Cost: Free

Find more information at www.phfdesign.com




TOP LOCAL HEADLINES
Employee lawsuit: Allen coerced sex
On home turf, prosecutor's all the talk
Office affairs are high-stakes gambles
Allen lawyer's statement
Mall accused of bias over tilted cap
Ohio pollution rated as high
Local teen drug use falls to 20-year low
Cleanup of barrel building may not start for months
6 more indicted in Tot Lot drug case
Helpers in awe of Charley's violence
Brent Spence, 'an invitation to disaster,' may get funds
Nothing's too humble to collect - even bricks
Is alleged highway shooter sane?
Public safety briefs

KENTUCKY HEADLINES
Newport cop stopped, driven home
N.Ky. couple face charges for leaving kids alone
Cameras to monitor dumping of animals
Ky. police told it's legal to name injured
Newport tax rate reduced
GOP candidates get exposure
Fletcher creates anti-drug office
Kentucky obituaries

EDUCATION
District savors top-tier rating
School district bills Taft to stress funding problems

NEIGHBORS
Young artists finding niche in Covington
Festival hits 39th year, but not without struggle
Butler Co. proposes task force on transit
Rec center plans revised
Neighbors briefs

COLUMNS
Downs: Rugby club keeps contact the hard way
Good Things Happening

LIVES REMEMBERED
Murray Weiner, doctor, writer, pharmacologist