Carolyn Wagner, Frank Buschmeier, 2017. Archival digital print, 36 x 28 inches. Courtesy of the artist

FotoFocus Super-Charges Final Friday

September 23, 2018

It’s Final Friday—on steroids! Chances are you’ve been to the Over-the-Rhine art walk by now, held the last Friday of each month…hence the name. (And if not, keep reading, this is a great opportunity to start.)  Galleries and shops along and adjacent to Main Street throw open their doors to neighbors, newbies, and visitors who nosh, drink, conversate, and, of course, admire art. It’s a genuinely good time.

But get ready, because Final Friday is super charged in September and October—boosted by the energy and presence of FotoFocus.

And, really, the FotoFocus cup runneth over in Over-the-Rhine, providing opportunities well beyond Final Friday. For instance: all of the cinematic offerings this year are showing at The Mini Microcinema at 1329 Main St. (check out a full list of what’s showing here), and a big white dome soon-to-appear in Washington Park, the FotoFocus ArtHub.

In this edition of The Lens, we’ll help you catch all the Final Friday extras on September 28 and October 26 (including one great reason to leave OTR and head for Plum Street: the Lloyd Library), and zoom in on a couple of exhibitions in particular.

Final Friday Sept. 28

Carolyn Wagner took a history class in college on beauty and fashion, and one thing her professor spoke about stuck with her: The military encouraged soldiers to take home surplus equipment, like parachutes, after World War II. Once home, resources were scarce, and resourceful brides-to-be turned the silk parachutes into wedding gowns.

Wagner had to find them—the objects themselves, but also the people and stories behind them. So, she did, traveling the country to track them down. Her photographs of these dresses and connections with the people who made them are just one part of her FotoFocus show The Things They Kept at 1305 Gallery on Main Street.

Wagner will also show a series of photographs of local veterans holding a special item they kept from military service.

Wagner doesn’t want us to forget this generation.

“These are the smaller stories of war, not the stories you read in books,” she says. “It relates to the bigger story and they’re just as meaningful as the stories we hear over and over.”

Stop by the opening at 1305 Gallery between 6–10 p.m., meet Wagner, and meet her subjects.

Other FotoFocus exhibitions:

Carolyn Wagner, Charles Stix, 2017. Archival digital print, 36 x 28 inches. Courtesy of the artist

 Final Friday Oct. 26

The biennial theme Open Archive couldn’t be more fitting for the Lloyd Library, an archive itself of plant-based science, medicine, conservation, art, and history.

This year, the library opened its entire collection to 20-some members of the Cincinnati Book Arts Society for inspiration. Each artist created a book as part of the show Out of the Stacks.

The books are so unique and heartfelt, says Lloyd archivist Devhra BennettJones.

“It’s clear they didn’t communicate that much with each other,” BennettJones said. “The one theme that odes appear, is the use of accordion, do-si-do books. Each side of each paper within the accordion has a photographic element.” As a whole collection, they’re captivating, BennettJones says.

Visit the show’s closing Oct. 26 from 5:30–8 p.m.

Other FotoFocus exhibitions:

Snap Shots page. Courtesy Lloyd Library.