Museum offers culture at a discount

Contemporary art is all about the “now.” If you are looking to experience a side of art that is being created today, then The Contemporary Art Center in Downtown Cincinnati is the place to be.

Looking to see great art on a budget, no worries there, the Contemporary Art Center offers a student discount ($5.50 with a student ID), and on Mondays after 5:00 p.m., admission is free to the public.

The Contemporary Art Center, established in 1939, is a non-collecting institution that focuses on continually changing exhibits that explore current artists and the world around us. The architectural design of the Contemporary Arts Center reflects a contemporary sensibility with its sleek, cube-like shapes. The building, named The Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, was completed in 2003.

Two of the many exhibits on display at the CAC are “Keith Haring 1978-1982,” showing from Feb. 26 to Sept. 5, and “Jimmy Baker: Remote Viewing” showing from Feb. 26 to April 10.

The Keith Haring exhibit focuses on his early years, in which his style and process developed as an artist. Haring, well known for his mixture of pop and graffiti art, was a very productive artist during the eighties before his death in 1990.

Many of the pieces that are on display at the CAC explore his relationship with New York City street culture, his homosexuality and his stance on politics and social issues of his time. By examining artwork such as early subway drawings, sketches, diaries, video and word collages, viewers are able to see Haring’s maturation as an artist.

The “Jimmy Baker: Remote Viewing” exhibit features artwork created by local artist and Art Academy adjunct faculty member Jimmy Baker. Baker’s process focuses on merging classical oil painting with digital print technology to create something new.

“The duality of the show is that it is also about the history of painting and its anachronistic gesture in a world of digital media,” Baker said. “Thus, the paintings blend varying stages and applications of oil painting and digital printing to make a seamless image [or] object.”

Baker explores many concepts and themes within his artwork.

“My work has always been research-driven, whether it’s conspiracy theories, clandestine wars, architectural history, technological advancement or anything in between,” Baker said.
According to Raphaela Platow, the CAC’s New Alice and Harris Weston director and chief curator, contemporary art and the CAC has much to offer college students as viewers of art.

“What’s beautiful about contemporary art is that it talks about the world we all share at this present moment,” Platow said. “And here at the Center we show artists from around the world. So, we live in a global world, and we show art from around the world.”

“It’s the largest institution dedicated solely to contemporary art and culture in the region,” Baker said. “It gives Cincinnatians a reason to get out and have an engaging social experience with challenging art.”

Besides the typical gallery fare, you can also check out the UnMuseum, an interactive exhibit located on the sixth floor of the CAC, which allows visitors to touch, smell, hear and immerse themselves in art. The CAC commissions artists to create artwork for the UnMuseum that is geared towards children and the child in all of us.

For adults, tickets are $7.50; seniors (65+), $6.50; students w/ID, $5.50; and children (3-13), $4.50. Gallery hours are Monday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Wednesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information about current and future exhibits, you can visit the CAC website at

Story by Shawn Buckenmeyer