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Campbell Co. Artist Has New Show Opening in Cincinnati

Artist and life-long Campbell County resident Barbara Ahlbrand is showing a body of work in : Encompass : encircle : embrace : at Clifton Cultural Arts Center from March 20-April 23. 

Ahlbrand entered the annual competition for the first time last year and “Shirts” was chosen as Best in Show in Clifton’s Golden Ticket. “To be handed a solo show opportunity with this support is a dream come true,” Ahlbrand said. 

: Encompass : encircle : embrace : features 30 figurative paintings from an ongoing body of work, often created in series, almost invariably addressing energy – and finding order in the chaos of our world. 

The exhibit includes work from the last 15 years – the ‘encompass’ speaks the retrospective element of the show and “ongoing series of ideas and compositional elements,” Ahlbrand says. 

Among the subjects for her series are suits (“Shirts” is a part of it), ceiling fans, horses and what she calls “Crazy Eyes.” “They’re all male, they all have party spectacles on – I want them to ask viewers, ‘Who am I? Who do you think I am?’”

“'Encircle'.... especially applies to the horses,” Ahlbrand says. “These paintings are about power and presence using the horse as subject. The nature of the horse, its majesty and strength” juxtaposed with found objects from a pasture -- ropes, chain and wire – and incorporated into the work.

Many of the canvases are five by seven feet, because, Ahlbrand points out, “when it’s about power, it can’t be small.”

Finally, 'Embrace' speaks to “the overall beginning to end dialogue of each series.”

Her next projects, Ahlbrand asys, will take her back to basics. “I am excited about drawing, black and white, strong and bold – but SMALL!

: Encompass : encircle : embrace :, March 20-April xx. Clifton Cultural Arts Center, 3711 Clifton Ave., Cincinnati. Viewing hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays, 12-7 p.m. Thursdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays. Opening reception: 6-8 p.m. March 20. www.cliftonculturalarts.org and 513-497-2860.

Written by Jackie Demaline, RCN Arts

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