Fine Arts Evening at the Essex Studios opens for its first event in two years

The Essex Studios, Walnut Hills’ premier building of artist studios, announces its re-opening to the public on Friday, November 19 with a new event, the Fine Arts Evening at the Essex.

Closed to visitors for nearly two years due to COVID, the Essex Studios invites guests to a special exhibit of five featured artists, a sculptor’s talk, many open studios, music, and refreshments. Essex fans will again be able to view and appreciate the rich diversity of art found in this historic building.

The free Fine Arts Evening will open at 2511 Essex Place on Friday, November 19, 2021 from 6 to 10 pm in the front lobby gallery of the Essex’s Missio Dei Church. The event will comply with current COVID protocols, and masks will be available at the door.

The five highly acclaimed Essex painters to be featured include:

Gilda Horn -- Velvet Flower Music: Horn is an oil painter, currently focusing on the complicated patterns created in flowers. She is also known for her warm true-to-life portraits and her colorful landscape work. Her artistic influences include John Singer Sargent and Pablo Picasso.

Stephen Jenkins -- The Rainbow Dancer Series: This series started after Jenkins’ wife was diagnoses with Parkinson’s. He began painting the figures to show what would be lost in movement and motion, with the aim of expressing beauty and joy instead of grief and despair.

Dave LaugMoVida [“more life”]: Laug is an accomplished artist and teacher who strives to emotionally connect with viewers in landscape, still life, or figurative subject matter. Laug is influenced by the Fauve and Post-Impressionist movements. He has developed many art programs inspiring students to make art and initiating Art Flix (free art movies at the Barn) and the soon-to-begin Art Book Club.

Magno Relojo -- The Influence of Color and Nature: Relojo is a Filipino-born American contemporary Impressionist painter. He loves the challenge of translating the beauty of landscapes and figures through the influence of bright color and texture and his use of impasto paints applied with a palette knife.

Trish Weeks -- A Conversation with Color: Weeks’ technique creates a tactile experience using simple compositions and complex layers of color. Her work has been described as “a dance with color.” In her oil paintings, she uses Impressionist wisps and bold color and is greatly inspired by nature with its positive energy and healing ability.

Artwork in the gallery will remain on display after this evening, and the individual artists may be contacted for a private showing of their work.

Twenty Essex artist studios will also open to the public on this night. Listings for open studios and maps will be available in the lobby, and tour guides will accompany guests to the open studios. The building will be handicapped accessible, with an elevator shuttling visitors from one floor to another.

Midway through the evening, well-known sculptor Tom Tsuchiya, an artist at Essex Studios since 2006, will share stories about his sculpting process and how his collaboration with the Essex Studios has shaped his work. Tsuchiya is best known for creating plaques for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and for local sculptures of Cincinnati Reds players at the Great American Ball Park and Marian Spencer at Smale Park. 

Artists began working out of the Essex in 1983, and in 2000, owner Trent Heimann subdivided the building into over 100 studio spaces and inaugurated the quarterly Art Walks, confirming the Essex Studios’ reputation as the site of a diverse and vibrant local arts scene. Represented in the building are visual and performing artists, arts organizations, musicians, and other creatives and businesses, including the Art Academy community education program.

Accompanying the evening’s art show will be the music of multi-instrumentalist Sarah Gorak, and refreshments will be provided by La Soupe, a community-oriented non-profit that has recently relocated to Walnut Hills and that bridges the gap between food waste and hunger.

Read more articles by Connie Springer.