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The Art Academy of Love

There are many things students would expect to gain during their time at the Art Academy of Cincinnati: knowledge, perspective, inspiration, life-long friends, a degree. But a surprising number of alumni also leave with something else — the love of their lives.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that over the 147-year history of the AAC, hundreds of couples have found their other half while attending the Art Academy. Even one of the AAC’s most distinguished alumni, Charley Harper, met his wife, Edie Harper, at the Art Academy, “in the same class, in the same row.”

Charley Harper used his Wilder Traveling Scholarship to take his new wife on a cross-country road trip honeymoon. The trip, in which the pair did a lot of camping to stretch their funds, took the couple across the Rockies, down the coast to Los Angeles, to Florida, before returning back to Cincinnati.

The honeymoon tour of unspoiled wildlife is largely credited with being the impetus behind shaping Charley Harper’s distinct minimal realist style of nature art that he’s celebrated for today.

Charley Harper’s traveling companion and wife, Edie, was a noted artist herself. When asked if the pair ever collaborated, Charley Harper said that everything they did was a collaboration and that Edie helped him — with encouragement, critical comments and her ability to look at things a different way.

As Valentine’s Day approaches, we reached out to a handful of AAC graduates to tell their own stories of finding love while attending the Art Academy of Cincinnati. Read them below.

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“Make Me Up,” Work by AAC Senior The’Shima Craver

“Inspired” is the word that might best describe The’Shima Craver’s work. The Senior Art Academy of Cincinnati Illustration major has been using her art to explore social issues in the world around her.

Through her combination of poetry and visual art, Craver confronts tough subjects by drawing on her own struggles while grappling with various issues.

“As an attempt to influence others to be more comfortable with their self, I have been exposing myself and or struggles through my work,” Craver wrote in her artist statement.

Recently, her work has evolved, pairing her powerful poetry with video pieces that help illustrate her words. Check out a brief Q&A with Craver below to learn more about her experience at the Art Academy of Cincinnati.

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AAC Alumnae Bring Beanbags to a Park Near You

Picture this: Giant. Beanbags. You read that right. This is the vision of Art Academy of Cincinnati grads, Amy Scarpello and Abby Cornelius. And thanks to grant from People’s Liberty, a philanthropic lab devoted to accelerating the positive transformation of Greater Cincinnati, soon they’ll be coming to a city park, a bike path or even the lobby of government building near you.

Plop! a project dreamed up by Scarpello and Cornelius, is designed to create engagement and bring an element of whimsy to the city’s public spaces. We recently caught up with Scarpello to chat with her about the project and what life has been like since graduating from AAC.

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Image provided by the National Archives. "USS PENNSYLVANIA and battleship of COLORADO class followed by three cruisers move in line into Lingayen Gulf preceding the landing on Luzon." Philippines, January 1945. 80-G-59525.

Remembering Carson Smith – A Man of Great Distinction

A hero takes many forms. There is the kind that saves lives, the kind borne out of quiet determination and advocacy, and the kind that exhibits bravery in the face of danger or adversity. Then there are those heroes that encapsulate a little of all of the above. Carson Smith was that kind.

Smith, an Art Academy of Cincinnati grad, arts advocate and World War II veteran, died December 1. He was 95.

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Image provided by http://phyllisweston.com/

Thank You Phyllis Weston

World traveler, tastemaker, curator, patron of the arts; these are just few of the titles one could use to describe Phyllis Weston but even those fail to convey the magnitude of her influence. Weston’s significance in the Cincinnati arts scene is undeniable and her lasting impact on the Art Academy of Cincinnati — immeasurable. It’s this legacy for which she will be remembered. The East Walnut HIlls resident and well-known Cincinnati arts advocate died on Sunday. She was 94. Continue reading

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Art Academy of Cincinnati and ArtWorks Celebrate a New Sculptural Bike Rack.

Whether you’re looking for a little inspiration or just a place to park your bike, you’ll find both at the intersection of art and utility in the form of a new sculptural bike rack. The new sculpture, known as an ArtRack, is the result of a year-long collaboration between Art Academy of Cincinnati and ArtWorks Queen City Art Racks program.

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AAC Student Takes Home Gold

Doing your best work and having the courage to share it with the world can be empowering and rewarding. Pride, confidence, and scholarships — this is what the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have been delivering to artists since 1923. This year, the Art Academy of Cincinnati is proud to produce the awards for our region, which will be held on our campus in historic Over-the-Rhine.

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