By Thomas Consolo
It might prove a little more difficult to focus in coming weeks. The daffodils already are opening, and daylight saving time will give us an extra hour of evening light. Best to make sure you’ve seen the region’s most important arts events before spring fever seizes you. Here’s a manageably short list.
Krohn Conservatory | 1501 Eden Park Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-421-5707
- Through Sunday, March 11: “A Garden of Pure Imagination”
Oscar Wilde famously said that the only way to overcome temptation is to yield to it. If that’s the case for you, too, perhaps the way to overcome the siren song of spring’s arrival is to dive straight in it at this seasonal show. Eden Park’s art deco temple to flora blossoms with vivid colors that, as the title’s Willy Wonka reference suggests, conjure thoughts of candy.
Vibrant tulips, cheerful daffodils, fluffy hydrangeas and fragrant hyacinths dazzle you with the sweet flavors of spring. To reinforce the candy theme, giant candy props are sprinkled through the landscape. It’s the final weekend for this show, so, if you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it … but only through Sunday.
ISRAEL AT 70
There has now been a state of Israel for almost 70 years. The “almost” disappears in mid-May, and several organizations are collaborating on events to mark the anniversary. Much of Israel’s existence has been fraught with conflict (starting on Day 2, when the new state’s Arab neighbors declared war on it), but conflict is often a powerful inspiration for art and expression. The 2018 Jewish & Israeli Film Festival has already wrapped, but plenty of activities remain, including:
Skirball Museum | 3101 Clifton Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45220; 513-487-3098
- Opening Thursday, March 8: “Israel at 70: A History in Art and Artifacts”
The longest-running event in the celebration is the exhibition in this museum at Hebrew Union College in Clifton. HUC has collected Judaic art and artifacts since its opening in 1875, and it has amassed an impressive collection – most of which they don’t have room to display at the same time. The wide-ranging “Israel at 70” exhibition, which runs through June 3, features objects from the museum’s core collections and from the B’nai B’rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum Collection, which is housed at the Skirball. It explores early pioneers of Israeli art as well as modern masters, and includes paintings, sculpture, silversmith work and photography.
Contemporary Dance Theater | 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-621-2787 (ARTS)
- Saturday, March 10, 8 p.m.: Koresh Dance Company
For the second offering of its 2017-18 Guest Artist Series, Contemporary Dance Theater has partnered with the Mayerson JCC and Jewish Federation of Cincinnati to present Koresh Dance Company of Philadelphia. (Now 25, it’s celebrating a milestone year of its own.) Named for founder and artistic director, Roni Koresh, the troupe will offer an eclectic evening from its repertory, including excerpts from “The Heart,” “Deconstructing Mozart” (danced to Mozart’s 23rd piano concerto), works from “Out/Line” and Koresh’s choreography to Ravel’s “Bolero.”
The performance at the Aronoff Center’s Jarson-Kaplan Theater repeats at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Cincinnati World Cinema | 1225 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-977-8838
- Saturday-Sunday, March 10-11: Oscar nominated shorts
Sure, they’re Oscar nominees, but we all know that short subjects, whether live action or animated, aren’t going to draw “Shape of Water” crowds, let alone “Black Panther” crowds. That’s why you won’t get many opportunities to see them. Cincinnati World Cinema is screening all of them twice, in two blocks each, at Memorial Hall in Over-the-Rhine. Both days’ screenings are at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., but blocks A and B are switched from Saturday to Sunday so you can go either to both sets each day, or both sets at either time across two days.
Yes, we know the Oscars have already been awarded, but, no, we’re not telling you who won.
Christ Church Cathedral | 318 E. Fourth St. Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-621-1817
- Tuesday, March 13, 7 p.m.: Taft Lecture – Krista Tippett
We were thinking of telling you about Thursday’s “Evening with Neil Gaiman,” but enough of you know about it already that the Aronoff Center’s Procter & Gamble Hall is sold out. If you didn’t get tickets for that event, fear not: There are alternatives.
Krista Tippett, host of public radio’s “On Being” and the 2014 winner of the National Humanities Medal, speaks Tuesday at downtown’s Episcopal cathedral on a topic in short supply lately, civility. Her Civil Conversations Project has focused in practical terms on questions like, How do we want to live? As one might expect in this venue, she’ll talk about the role faith communities can have in the process.
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
It’s Thursday, if you didn’t know, and it’s the hook for a pair of intriguing events.
1628 Ltd. | 11 Garfield Place, Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-381-2795
- Thursday, March 8, 6 p.m.: “The Pieces I Am”
The woman-owned combination of co-working space and art gallery downtown has technically already opened this exhibit, but its official, free public opening is Thursday. “The Pieces I Am: Artwork from the Sara M. and Michelle Vance Waddell Private Collection” features local, national and international work from women artists in sculpture, tapestry, folk art and photography. Some of the artists, like photographer Annie Leibovitz, are household names, while others wait to be discovered. Many pieces have not been publicly displayed in Cincinnati.
Salon 21 | 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-977-4165
- Thursday, March 8, 7 p.m.: “Música pro Femina”
We all know Cincinnati is a hub of musical activity, but we don’t hear so much about its composers, and especially its women composers. Salon 21 is happy to change that with this program at the Weston Art Gallery in the Aronoff Center. With the help of the program’s artistic adviser, Cincinnati Soundbox, Salon 21 (in just its second season) features pianist Brianna Matzke performing works by Laura Harrison, Alexis Bacon and Carrie Magin – Cincinnati composers all. Read more about the program here.
A quick note about two last calls:
- Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park: “Be Here Now” – The world premiere by Deborah Zoe Laufer runs through Sunday at the Thompson Shelterhouse. (962 Mount Adams Circle, Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-421-3888.)
- Cincinnati Landmark Productions: “Guys and Dolls” – We’ve got the horse right here, but only through Sunday. (Covedale Center for the Performing Arts; 4990 Glenway Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45238; 513-241-6550.)