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Sunday, December 2, 2018

Gund Gallery Honors aeqai, International Online Visual Arts Publication And Arthopper

By Laura A. Hobson

Gund Gallery of Kenyon College includes aeqai and Arthopper in the ongoing exhibit Publishing Against the Grain.  Its nomination acknowledges the service that both publications provide as forums for the visual arts in its region.  Gund champions the best art and artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, with exhibits and a permanent collection.

Ohio is a diverse state with vastly different populations from north to south and east to west.  “With a nod to that diversity, aeqai, based in Cincinnati and Arthopper, centered in Cleveland, offer their readers a geographic perspective that informs and examines the present, contemporary moment,” said Christopher Yates, director of The Gund Gallery at Kenyon College.

The Gallery believes both publications are vital to the State of Ohio.

Aeqai will be included in the duration of Publishing Against the Grain’s international tour.  Future presentations of the exhibit include Pitzer College Art Galleries in Claremont, California; Critical Distance Centre for Curators and McIntosh Gallery in London, Canada. 

Aeqai is a Cincinnati-based e-journal for critical thinking, reviews and reflective prose on contemporary, visual art and culture.  The word aeqai was selected from a reprint of Livy’s text for the ‘Aequi.’  They were peoples that Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus of ancient Rome conquered upon his famous, brief tenure as a ‘temporary’ dictator.  He crushed their rebellion and then reintegrated them into the burgeoning empire.  It is a playful analogy to the artist community since it implies the inevitable incorporation of the avant garde into mainstream culture.  Since the word “aequi” was already taken, aeqai founder A. C. Frabetti changed it to “aeqai.”

Now in its eleventh year of operation as a solely online journal, aeqai offers intelligent, in-depth criticism of art exhibitions in the Greater Cincinnati region, as well as in Boston, Los Angeles, New York City, Seattle, Tokyo, Lexington, Louisville and various parts of Texas.  Aeqai has been singled out for excellence 33 times in critical writing on painting shows by the exclusive Painter’s Table blog and has also been mentioned on Huffington Post’s website several times.

Daniel Brown
Editor Daniel Brown said, “We are honored to be recognized for excellence in writing about art by our peers, who are acknowledging aeqai’s importance to the cultural life of Ohio.”

Regular monthly readership in 2018 is at 55,000, with 270,000 people reading occasionally and 470,000 page hits per month.

Writers in the Greater Cincinnati region include Jonathan Kamholtz; Chris Carter; Amy Bogard; Laura Hobson; Jane Durrell; Cynthia Kukla; Karen Chambers; Russell Hausfeld; Daniel Brown; Annie Dell’Aria; Susan Byrnes; Dan Burr; Marlene Steele; Kent Krugh; Will Newman; Jennifer Perusek; Hannah Leow; Ben Michaelis.  Of these, Hobson, Durrell Dell’Aria and Newman all live in Hyde Park/East Walnut Hills.  

Gund Gallery also named Arthopper, based in Cleveland, Ohio, a project of the Foundation for New Creative Projects.  It seeks to provide high quality arts journalism in the Greater Lake Erie region including Cleveland, Columbus, Akron, Cincinnati, Dayton, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Toldeo and Youngstown.

Publishing Against the Grain highlights the current state of independent, critical publishing as it exists in small journals, experimental publications, websites, radio and other innovative forms around the world.  It is organized around projects that connect theoretical, social, political and aesthetic questions with a focus on community.  While most of the included projects are grounded in a particular place, the scope of the exhibition is broadened to examine projects that take as their location identitarian and diasporic communities rather than a particular geography.  The exhibit runs to December 16, 2018.

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