New book highlights city’s ‘Gathering Places’ in word and art

Cincinnati Book Publishing has announced a new book coming out, “Gathering Places of Greater Cincinnati,” by authors Beverly Helmbold Erschell and Sue Ann Painter.

During the COVID pandemic, individuals and civilizations throughout the world suffered the loss of family, fellowship, and the sense of belonging that accompanies regular interaction with other people. Now, amid the re-openings of 2021, this tribute to communal gathering places is intended to reawaken the pride and pleasure taken in some favorites in Southwestern Ohio and Northern Kentucky.

Sue Ann Painter and Beverly Erschell in front of an Erschell original

In this book, two friends and collaborators – artist Beverly Erschell and writer Sue Ann Painter – depict and discuss a selection of Greater Cincinnati buildings, public squares, and sites that have served past and present generations as communal gathering places. Although they vary in historical and architectural significance, they all share a special place in the collective memory of residents and visitors.

“Gathering Places” is a hybrid of an art and history book that explores Cincinnati’s history – from a walking city in a central downtown, to the decentralization of suburbs, and now moving back to the riverfront – that highlights how essential “gathering places” are to connecting as a community. (Making it an even more timely book in light of the pandemic.) And the book features Beverly Erschell’s art of these popular, favorite areas. 

“’Gathering Places of Greater Cincinnati’ provides a powerful vantage point from which to see our home – through the eyes of an artist and a writer,” says Christopher Manning, co-founder/principal/landscape architect of Human Nature Inc. “Together they peel back the layers and reveal our ethos. My thanks go out to these insightful authors for opening our eyes a little wider.”

Beverly Helmbold Erschell is one of Greater Cincinnati’s most admired contemporary artists. She works with color, light and energy to create paintings. Erschell studied at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and a master’s from the University of Cincinnati—DAAP, where she received the Distinguished Alumnae Award in 2019. She taught art at both institutions, as well as at Northern Kentucky University. Erschell’s paintings and drawings have been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the United Sates. Her work is in numerous private and corporate collections as well as in museum collections such as the Cincinnati Art Museum and Dayton Art Museum.

Sue Ann Painter is an art and urban historian whose research and writing focuses primarily upon Greater Cincinnati subjects. She is the author of “The Art of Beverly Erschell “(2009), “Architecture in Cincinnati” (2006), and “William Henry Harrison: Father of the West” (2004). Painter earned a bachelor’s degree in art history from Indiana University and a master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati. She is the founding principal of Cincinnati Book Publishing, specializing in nonfiction titles and quality illustrated books for children and adults.

The book will be published in late October and can be pre-ordered through Cincinnati Book Publishers.

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