During ArtWalks, fifty Essex studios offer free behind-the-scenes tours of their workspaces

After nearly a one-year absence, this October 7 and 8 the Essex Studios re-opens its doors to the public with its signature ArtWalks, offering visitors the opportunity to meet working artists and buy original art.

For 22 years the Essex Studios, a three-story, 150,000 square foot historic building of over 100 art studios and business spaces, has been a fixture in Cincinnati’s Walnut Hills neighborhood.

The Essex building began in 1913 as a plant for the Herschede Hall Clock Company. Since the late 1950s, the Hamilton Tailoring Company, making custom suits and uniforms, has called the building home. In 2000, owner Trent Heimann had the aesthetic vision to transform the building into artists’ studios, including visual and performing artists, arts organizations, and musicians.

During the ArtWalks, 50 Essex studios will offer free behind-the-scenes tours of their workspaces to share the inspiration of their art, lively conversation, and savory refreshments. Embodying a diversity of media and styles, the artists at the Essex create in sculpture, painting, pastels, glasswork, ceramics, jewelry, photography, woodworking, printmaking, and metalwork. 

Alongside art studios, other unique offerings include the Lucky Cat Museum, A Little Touch of Heaven massage parlor, RTS Barbell basement gym and Lean Styles fitness center, T-shirt printers (DIY Printing and CincyShirts), Frame Concepts professional framing, and Cincinnati Actor’s Studio & Academy (CASA).

Added to the excitement of seeing resident artists’ work, visitors will also be able to enjoy the work of several dozen guest artists displaying in the building’s hallways. Rounding out the event will be live music, the taco food truck Taqueria los Cunados, a CincyShirts warehouse sale, and a series of performances by CASA and a drumming group.

The evenings feature a special poetry reading on peace and justice hosted by social activist and founder of SOS ART, Saad Ghosn. Poems for Peace and Justice highlights eight guest poets reading each evening from 7 to 9 pm in the lobby’s Missio dei Church auditorium.

A number of Essex artists also teach classes, and those with open studios during the ArtWalks include:

Tom Tsuchiya, sculptor (Studio 155), who teaches a fall semester at UC/Blue Ash on figure sculpture and a DAAP Fine Art Internship at the Essex.

• Glen Carley from Wooden It Be Nice Custom Designs LLC (Studio 162), who offers a woodworking class through the Art Academy’s Community Education program.

Brent Keltch, artist in metal and wood (Studio 181/163), who instructs in metal sculpture through the Art Academy (http://www.facebook.com/brent.keltch).

•  Aaron Kent’s DIY Printing (Studio 188), teaching Screen Printing 101 on paper as well as screen printing on ceramics in collaboration with Core Clay pottery (http://diyprintingshop.com/classes.html).

Jacqueline Sullivan, painter/calligrapher/bookbinder (Studio 231), who instructs in mixed media in various locations.

Painted glass pieces by Mary Beth Martin. Shari Replogle, encaustic artist (Studio 241/246), who teaches online encaustic art classes.

Gilda Horn, oil painter (Studio 247), teaching private and semi-private lessons in beginning and intermediate oils in her studio.

Mary Beth Martin, painter (Studio 255), who teaches art classes at Hilltop Glass Creations in Mt. Healthy in lacquer and glass painting.

April Culbreath, A.D. Culbreath Designs (Studio 279), teaching Japanese-style Taiko drumming.

The October 7 and 8 ArtWalks take place from 6pm to 10pm each evening. Maps and guides will help visitors navigate the building.

Essex Studios is located at 2511 Essex Place, Cincinnati 45206, minutes from the Wm. Howard Taft exit off I-71 South. Free parking is available in the lot adjoining the building.

For more info:
Call (513) 658-2490.
 [email protected].
Visit the Essex Studios’ Facebook page or website.
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Read more articles by Connie Springer.

Connie Springer is a publicist, writer, photographer, and watercolorist. View her work at her website and portfolio.