FOTOFOCUS 2012 is underway!

Oct 2, 2012

FOTOFOCUS, a Cincinnati-based nonprofit organization championing photography, launched their first biennial month-long celebration of historical and contemporary photography and lens-based art last week at over 50 participating venues.

FOTOFOCUS celebrated the 2012 Biennial launch on Friday, October 5th with “Sideshow”, an outsized street party staged in the heart of downtown Cincinnati.   Ruth Lyons Lane and Gano Street became the arena for a vintage/ high tech carnival complete with music, food, drink, entertainment, stunts, dare devils, artist made games, rides, and an AV fun house.

Headlining Exhibitions include the compelling juxtaposition of the Taft Museum’s Star Power: Edward Steichen’s Glamour Photography, focused on the father of modern fashion photography and one of the best known and highest paid photographers of the 1920s and 30s, and the Cincinnati Art Museum’s exhibition Herb Ritts: L.A. Style, showcasing the leading fashion and celebrity photographer of the late twentieth century.

Just off the recent success of their Big Bambú installation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the 2011 Venice Biennale, FOTOFOCUS and the Cincinnati Art Museum present Mike and Doug Starn’s Gravity of Light, an immersive, experiential installation organized by James Crump, Chief Curator, Cincinnati Art Museum, in the historic Holy Cross Church in Mt. Adams. The Contemporary Art Center features a groundbreaking exhibition organized by the Rose Museum, Brandeis University devoted to Andy Warhol’s Polaroid portraits.

Other highlights of the month-long celebration of photography include:

  • Jazz guitarist Bill Frisell in concert at the Emery Theatre on October 10th: Musical Portraits from Heber Springs:  Bill Frisell’s Disfarmer Project Inspired by the work of photographer Mike Disfarmer
  • Fall 2012FOTOFOCUS Lecturer and Visiting Artist Laurel Nakadate Polaroids from the Stay the Same Never Change series on view for the first time at The Art Academy of Cincinnati
  • Collector’s Roundtable with New York City-based David Raymond, Akron, OH-based Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell, and San Francisco, CA-based Trevor Traina, moderated by James Crump, FOTOFOCUS co-chair and Chief Curator of the Cincinnati Art Museum
  • parProjects Factory Square Fine Arts Festival featuring 11 container installations, two of which are curated by Hank Willis Thomas, Fall 2009 FOTOFOCUS Lecturer and Visiting Artist
  • THUNDERDOME, Invitational Juried University Student Exhibition, Clifton Cultural Arts Center, juried by FOTOFOCUS Co-Chairs Raphaela Platow and James Crump
  • 4 University of Cincinnati exhibitions: photo-video installations from The Forest series from Helsinki-based Santeri Tuori; Photogenus, looking at work of international artists challenging traditional notions of photographic production, display, and discourse; and, at the newly reopened downtown Sycamore Street Gallery, Images of the Great Depression in Ohio: FSA Documentary Portraits Revisited, and Artless Photographs, documentary photographs taken in a range of institutional contexts—from the commercial to the carceral, including mug shots, model casting Polaroids, forensic images, and government ID photos installed alongside images of their production processes
  • and Cincinnati Enquirer photojournalists featured in The Good River: What Divides and Connects Us, Eva G. Farris Gallery at Thomas More College, and Freedom of the Press: I Am A Witness at the National Underground Freedom Center.

FOTOFOCUS 2012 media partners are Enquirer Media, Cincinnati Magazine, CityBeat, WNKU Public Radio, and WCPO-TV. Additional sponsors are ArtWorks, 3CDC, Harlan Graphic Arts Services, Inc., pickworthbell communications, ShutterBooth, and Voltage

“We are delighted to see the regional art and academic community enthusiastically embraceFOTOFOCUS’s debut biennial,” says FOTOFOCUS Director, Mary Ellen Goeke. “FOTOFOCUS offers all audiences in the region an unprecedented opportunity to learn about and experience the diverse currents of photography. FOTOFOCUS reignites Cincinnati’s legacy as an epicenter of art production and creative exchange, revitalizing that spirit for the 21st century.”

FOTOFOCUS offers a plethora of ways to learn, connect, and become engaged and inspired by photography. While many FOTOFOCUS events are free to the public, the PASSPORT program offers enhanced access to FOTOFOCUS programming.PASSPORT program levels at Flash ($25. individual), Zoom ($150. per couple), and Focus ($500. per couple) offer specific benefits for the professional photographer, the student, the art collector, the educator, and the art enthusiast. The FOTOFOCUS PASSPORT features access to exclusive lectures, parties, sneak previews of exhibitions, performances, gallery talks with local and internationally known artists, and private dinners, and discussions. Ticket are currently available at the Aronoff Box

FOTOFOCUS, a nonprofit arts organization, champions the ubiquity of photography and its important role in
contemporary culture. FOTOFOCUS recaptures the spirit of Cincinnati’s legacy as an epicenter of art production and creative exchange, and seeks to revitalize that spirit for the 21st century. Acting as a catalyst for institutional collaboration and community engagement, FOTOFOCUS organizes a month-long biennial celebration spotlighting independently programmed exhibitions of historical and contemporary photography and lens-based art. For more information visit