By Doug Geyer
By Kathy Swartz
It was an evening of recognition and celebration at the Presidents Reception on Friday, September 25th when 50 friends of the Art Academy gathered for refreshments, camaraderie and a chance to mingle with some of our student, faculty and alumnae artists. Remarks were shared by Dick Friedman, Chairman of the AAC Board of Trustees; John Sullivan, AAC President; Len Weakley Jr. Director of the The William G. and Mary Jane Helms Charitable Foundation. Derek Alderfer and Katelyn Wolary, both recipients of a Helms Trust Award, talked about their art and their student experience at the Art Academy of Cincinnati.
Derek Alderfer is a freelance illustrator from Fairfield, OH who graduated from the Art Academy of Cincinnati’s BFA program in 2015. He considers himself an aspiring children’s book illustrator who works as a painter using mostly traditional media. “I was so humbled to have gotten 2nd place in 2015′s Helms Trust Award competition. I’d never entered my work in a show that granted awards, especially against my own friends and peers. I very fondly look back on having hung my work next to theirs, and winning among some of them. In the end I was proud of everyone who entered. The judge’s decision showed me that my newest work was truly unique and worth pursuing, and since then I’ve continued pushing myself to make my best work.”
Katelyn Wolary commented, “It’s an honorable award, with a history of great artists and work selected. I’m very happy to be in my school’s collection, and feel very grateful for the opportunities I’ve received so far in my time at AAC. I have reinvested the award money back into my education, which is a great feeling!”
Genius comes in all shapes and sizes, but at the annual AAC Minumental Exhibition, no masterpiece can exceed two inches in any direction. That’s what makes it one of the best and most beloved shows among AAC students, faculty and alums year after year.
This past February, the AAC Alumni Committee hosted the 29th Annual Minumental Show at the student-run Exposure13 Gallery in Over-the-Rhine. Hundreds of art lovers attended the exhibition, and more than 200 pieces were sold netting nearly $2000 in sales. For many students, this show presents the opportunity to make that “first sale” as an artist. It also provides exposure and recognition for the impressive work created by our AAC community at large.
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.