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New Art Shows Open at Carnegie, Including Showcase of Covington's Eastside

The Carnegie leaps into spring with two new gallery shows: Not to Scale, showcasing the residents and spaces of Covington’s Eastside neighborhood, and It’s a Beautiful Mess, which evaluates how an artist’s studio process translates to a gallery setting. The exhibits are on view through April 29.

If you’re wondering how two such disparate shows are matched, Matt Distel, Carnegie Exhibition Director, is happy to explain. “Both of these exhibitions challenge the function of the art gallery as it relates to the work that artists do.”  

“For Not to Scale, the work truly exists out in the community, and with It’s a Beautiful Mess, the installations in the gallery are extensions of the environments that artists create in their studios.”

With the support of The Center for Great Neighborhoods, the City of Covington, and TANK, Not to Scale displays the documentation of performances and installations in Covington’s Eastside neighborhood, where The Carnegie is located.

Anissa Lewis, an Eastside native, and Mary Clare Rietz worked with residents of the Eastside to create temporary outdoor installations and outdoor performances. The installations, organized by Lewis, re-animated vacant lots and invited people to consider what once occupied these spaces, and what might re-fill them in the future.

Rietz produced a series of three performances on top of the Licking River floodwall aimed at Eastside neighbors “being seen and heard to counter-act the invisibility of the community.”

“Covington’s Eastside neighborhood holds rich history, but has historically experienced inequity when it comes to distribution of city, business, institutional, and non-profit resources – levels ‘not to scale’ as compared to other Covington communities,” said Lewis.

“In collaboration with Eastside residents, we wanted to make these ‘invisibilities’ visible, audible, colorful, material, kinetic, and in the course of doing so, support their calls for more just and equitable access.”

Opening simultaneously is It’s a Beautiful Mess, curated by Krista Gregory.

The show focuses on the way in which an artist’s studio process is translated into a gallery setting. In particular, the show addresses the question ‘can objects made in a working studio, or even a domestic setting, communicate the same pure ideas when displayed in the white box of a gallery?’

Gregory presents the artists’ works in ways that highlight and also blur those different environments as installations and objects bleed into each other. Artists in the exhibition include Sydney Rains, Julia Ranz, Edward-Victor Sanchez, Arvind Sundar, Lindsey Whittle, Paige Williams, and Casey James Wilson.

In addition to the two new exhibitions, The Carnegie’s season-long displays in the upstairs gallery continue through July 1: Andrey Kozakov: Trading Room is a fantastical, interactive environment where secret rooms expand into more rooms and compartments that hold curios and surprises; My Arms are Like Joy Joy Joy Joy! examines prevailing themes that emerged from studio visits in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky combined with work from artists outside the region.

Not to Scale/It’s a Beautiful Mess, through April 29. The Carnegie, 1028 Scott Blvd., Covington. Gallery hours 12-5 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday. Free. (859) 491-2030 and

-Jackie Demaline, RCN Arts