Joseph Winterhalter poses in his studio above an Over-the-Rhine dry cleaners. (Photo by Craig Ruttle)
Joseph M. Winterhalter
Diebenkorn, Derrida and Deconstructionism all come up in
discussions with artist, Joseph M. Winterhalter. So do muggings,
crack heads, affluent suburbanites and sausage. And the fact his
grandparents were born 100 yards away from the home/studio space he
rents above a dry cleaners.
Mr. Winterhalter, 36, is disheartened. The situation is grim in
Over-the-Rhine. He thinks things are going to get a lot worse before
they get better. He thinks the place has an edge that didn't exist
before the April riots.
"I'm a little more cautious and a little more fed up," he says.
"I moved down here seven or eight years ago because it was a cheap
place to get decent studio space. But every day you walk out the door
and who knows what's going to happen. I'm not sure how much longer I
want to stay."
The victim of a violent street robbery five years ago, Mr.
Winterhalter was accosted again on his way to an exhibition of his
paintings at the Weston Gallery late last year. On his way to
schmooze it up with the more than 500 guests who would attend, and
uncharacteristically dressed in a suit, he was accosted for the
second time by an African-American male. Someone he knew from the
"I stopped to get a pack of cigarettes up the street," he
remembers. "Because I had a suit on he automatically thought I
wasn't from here."
A big guy with a shaved head, black-rimmed glasses, wearing a
black pocket T, Mr. Winterhalter doesn't look to be the typical
target of street crime. Standing among the beautiful lightness of his
abstract paintings he has presence. He quotes Leonard Cohen and Hans
Hoffman. He says he is philosophical about all that has happened.
"The problem is there is a lot of hypocrisy and ignorance on both
sides," he says. "People who come down here wanting to make it
better don't necessarily see what it is living down here day to day.
I think it would be nice if people stepped back and took a more
logical view of what is going on as opposed to acting on impulse or
heart. You don't undo centuries of injustice."
Mr. Winterhalter says little has changed in the last year. He
doesn't see more beat cops but more guys hanging out on the street
who hadn't before. He doesn't see opportunites for affordable
housing that he feels would solve a few problems and create civic
pride. And, he sees city government responding with "bandaid
solutions" often out of self interest.
"I don't have any answers," he says. "But when you keep seeing
the same things happen over and over, it doesn't give you much
Faces of Over-the-Rhine
Restaurant owner Paul Sebring
Taft senior Darrel Shields
Social worker Angela Coleman
Sarah Center director Sister Jeanette Buehler
Jordanian grocer Taraq T.A. Adwani
Filmmaker Steve Gebhardt
Gallery owner Suzanna Terril
Beauty shop supplier Chong Kim
Teacher's aide Kemberley Alexander
Waitress Karla Davis
Teacher Sharon Brooks
Dock worker Leo Sneed
Police officer Michael Ammann
Soup kitchen manager Denise McPherson
Artist Joseph M. Winterhalter
Janitor Latrell Walker
Fund-raiser Torren "T.J." Partridge
School social worker Joe Wilmers
Rehabber Greg Badger
Medical student John Eckman
Treatment counselor Calvin W. Wooten
Photographer Jimmy Heath
Violence up, arrests down
Changes made since April 2001
Q&A with Police Chief Streicher
Q&A with former F.O.P. president Keith Fangman
Neighbor to Neighbor
Community meetings produce results
Going beyond polite silence
What your neighbors said
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Matters of Race: Bridging the divide in Greater Cincinnati
On the Same Page Cincinnati
Live Without Hate
Cincinnati 2001: Year of unrest
Unrest in the city: Archive of riot coverage
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