On the morning of May 28 at 2460 Gilbert Avenue, you may have noticed intricate Kolams adorning the thresholds of our new office and gallery. Radha Chandrashekaran, local artist and Walnut Hills resident, woke up at the break of dawn to bless our new home through “Kolam bombing,” before our staff reported for its grand opening. That’s what this community is about, and we’re happy to be here.
Our homecoming in the historic Walnut Hills at Peebles Corner, consisted of an open house for the community and the inaugural exhibition of our new V² Gallery (also known as Vandell Verdona). Ecstatic doesn’t quite cover the level of excitement in welcoming in a few of our closest friends and new ones alike.
Putting this new life for ArtWorks together was no easy feat. Model Group has been so generous as the owners of our space and on-going in kind supporters. Artists Molly Cardosi, Lizzy DuQuette, Kathryne Gardette and Dai Williams splashed some color onto these walls with eye-catching murals internally and externally alongside our astounding Youth Apprentices. A portion of Nikita Gross’ Heart and Soul mini-mural collection also decorates part of the office.
Additional supporters who transformed this vacant storefront into our headquarters include ADC Fine Art, Ron Bates and Randy Lasley, C-Forward, Janet Collins, Ernst & Young, GMi Companies, Denny Grimm, Colleen & Andrew Houston, John & Cheryl Korn, Joe Muraca, the plant trolley, inc., Ken Pray, RCF, and Mark Younkin. Every inch of the space is because of their kindness.
Internal Team which completed Lizzy DuQuette’s and Dai Williams’ designs in the ArtWorks office: Regina Cooper, Rhiannon Chapman, Tairen Fenhoff, Sophie Osborne, Miles Brueggemeyer, Shaylee Hall, Tana’ra Heard and Yumi Song.
External Team which completed Kathryne Gardette’s design with Molly Cardosi on the corner of Gilbert Ave and Curtis St: Grace Mattina, Tamara Munoz, Dinah Pastoor, and Ashley Smith.
The V² Gallery, a collaboration between longtime ArtWorks supporters Sara and Michelle Vance Waddell and Ron Houck and David Nebel, showcased its first exhibition that evening. The artwork based on Student Power was created by our first cohort of eight youth artists who learned the printmaking ropes from artist Terence Hammonds. Ceramics, posters, and textiles featured Hammonds’ and the emerging artists’ creations. The group also did live printmaking of their designs on masks and other printable materials event-goers brought with them.
The youth artists included in the youth artist exhibition with Terence Hammonds: Erica Curtis, Wesley Ericson, Satchid Macharia, D’Airion McCullough, Jasper Murphy, Georgina Osae, Sami Rowlett, and Grace Stringer.
The new office includes a shop where patrons can purchase ArtWorks merchandise Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm. Couldn’t make the open house? Watch the livestream of our virtual tour here. The V² Gallery will be showcasing Student Power through July 31. Its hours are Wednesday-Saturday 12pm-5pm.
Photos by Sandra Okot-Kotber unless otherwise noted.
ArtWorks is an award-winning Greater Cincinnati nonprofit that transforms people and places through investments in creativity. The organization collaborates with community organizations and residents, businesses, governments, foundations and nonprofits to build creative works of art that bolster the region’s global reputation as an arts destination. ArtWorks employs professional artists who inspire and mentor diverse teams of youth, ages 14-21, helping them build 21st century career-readiness skills. These teams have completed more than 13,800 public and private art projects in its 25 years, including more than 200 permanent outdoor murals.