“The symbolic act of looking at a Black and Brown womyn state her experience, then approaching her to impose your views, and touch her body without consent is an unfortunate reality Black and Brown womyn/people deal with all the time.
The person who felt empowered to do this is not original. They feel comfortable violating Black/Brown bodies, and they do not care about the Black/Brown experience, which is the point!
Black/Brown bodies (especially womyn ) coddle your guilt. We bend to protect your feelings, your opinions, and your egos. Instead of observing, listening, holding your tongue, stilling your hand, reflecting on your role, your response to our voice is this.
It may seem minor to you, but actions like these perpetuate the same misogynistic, racist, aggressive, and harmful things Black/Brown people deal with on a micro and macro level. So doing this, especially when no one can see you, doesn’t make you a bigger person, it only makes you smaller than you already are. Do better. Unlearn….. and for once, bend. “
David Michael Butler, AAC Illustration Chair
“So most of us Black creatives love it when we get the chance to celebrate ourselves living our lives, enjoying our communities, connecting with one another, building with one another. Celebrating Black joy and showing the world that we are here, now!” – David Michael Butler
Dear Art Academy of Cincinnati students,
The last few months and most recently the last few days we have witnessed the full scope of racial tensions that have gripped the United States for centuries. The Art Academy of Cincinnati is making a statement to condemn the acts of the police officers in Minneapolis in the death of George Floyd, the shooting of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, and the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, GA.
Humanity should be outraged with these acts of terror.
The Art Academy of Cincinnati stands for justice, truth, empathy, and the belief that life should be honored and respected. This miscarriage of justice and the handling of events that have evolved to represent a systemic problem that needs to be addressed locally, nationally, and globally. Our black students uniquely confront challenges that others do not face. We want our students to understand that the Art Academy of Cincinnati acknowledges that structural, systemic, historical, and intersecting forms of oppression require our ongoing attention, action, innovation, and leadership for positive change. The AAC is committed to protecting the rights of the diverse population of students of color understanding that their situation is uniquely theirs in the context of humanity and in the scope of higher education. More information can be found here as we continue to learn how to be successful moving forward in supporting all of our students: https://www.aicad.org/principles-on-dei/
In November of 2019, The Art Academy of Cincinnati established the Corrina Mehiel Center for Urban Impact in collaboration with Mel Chin’s S.O.U.R.C.E. STUDIO. This initiative will bring diverse woman artists to Cincinnati to work within the community of Cincinnati. The first two Corrina Mehiel Fellows, Monique Muse Dodd and jackie sumell were scheduled to engage with the AAC and the city this Summer and Fall but have been delayed due to the events surrounding COVID 19. Updates will be forthcoming regarding their visits to Cincinnati.
The Art Academy of Cincinnati also is committing to establishing a committee that includes students, faculty, staff, alumni, board members, and OTR community members to begin to address pathways forward looking at many of the following:
*Implementing diversity and inclusion/sensitivity training for faculty/staff to help ensure that we all have adequate foundation to work from: This process is ongoing and is required every year.
*Surveying students, faculty, staff, board, and alumni for perspective and experiences. This survey will be sent in September of 2020 and will be completed at the start of every semester.
*Reaffirming or creating a mechanism for response/input to personal experiences on campus/class. This will be in place by the start of the Fall 2020 Semester.
*Reviewing/updating our vision, mission, operating principles, and codes of conduct to be sure they are comprehensive. This process will begin in September.
*Establish strategic partnerships with organizations in OTR/City. This process is ongoing.
*Partnering with organizations to host conversations and discussions on the issues, opportunities, and necessary changes that underlie the systemic issues we see. This process is ongoing.
*Adapting curriculum to include more inclusive thinking, or explicitly tackle these issues. This process will be addressed by the Academic Management Team.
*Investing in resources that enable peer mentorship and stress/anxiety services that address the unique challenges that confront our black students. This process will begin in September.
This is just the start of a conversation and we welcome your input as we move forward attempting to understand the tragic past and present systemic racism, and to navigate towards a better and more just future.
Our thoughts are with the Floyd, Taylor, and Arbery families and of all persons of color that have been jeopardized through centuries of systemic racism. As the city of Cincinnati also engages in the conversation, we ask each of you to be safe, care for one another in this difficult time, and stay connected with us if you are in need of assistance.
Joe Girandola, President
Paige Williams, Academic Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Tysonn Betts, Chair, Board of Trustees
Art Academy of Cincinnati
Artwork from our students and alum.
Stephen H. Wilder Traveling Scholarship
The Art Academy of Cincinnati is pleased to announce that seniors Jordan Haworth-Zermeno and Kile McVey are the recipients of the 2020 Stephen H. Wilder Traveling Award, one of the most coveted awards given to graduating seniors.
Jordon Haworth-Zermeno will travel to Tala, Jalisco Mexico, to build a partnership with local schools to create murals, and art classes for students ages 10 – 17 during their summer break. Haworth-Zermeno’s mother was born in Tala and as a child, they would visit frequently. The town square was vibrant with parties, people, and murals painted everywhere. After a recent visit, Haworth-Zermeno found the square desolate. The vibrant colors that once covered the town had faded. Through the partnerships with local schools in Tala, they hope to revive the art scene that had once thrived in Tala.
Kile McVey will travel to San Francisco in preparation for the second volume of, Queer Boy Joy. San Francisco is a hub of Queer culture and is home to an astounding amount of organizations and networks for research on Queer issues and ideas of the past and present. Some of these sources are the GLBT Historical Society and Museum, the Bay Area Lesbian Archives, the National AIDS Memorial, and the Transgender Law
About Wilder Traveling Scholarship
The Stephen H. Wilder Traveling Scholarship was first awarded in 1947.
In 1941 Edith Carson Wilder endowed the scholarship in memory of her husband. In turn, it was specified the scholarship be given to deserving students for travel.
Funds serve as a travel stipend for special research in fine art or design in the United States or abroad.
Each applicant must submit a proposal that includes a budget, itinerary, senior thesis, and portfolio. In addition, students must submit a description of how the experience will benefit their artistic goals.
Full-time faculty members, the Academic Dean, and the President vote to select the winners of this award.
We want to give a special thanks Dottie Stevens and her family for their supporting the Wilder scholarship. The endowment will continue to support and inspire the future for students at the Cincinnati Art Academy for generations yet to come.
Jim Effler Named Distinguished Alumni 2020
The Alumni Council of the Art Academy of Cincinnati is proud to confer upon Jim Effler the 2020 Distinguished Alumnus Award.
The Art Academy of Cincinnati Alumni Association established this award as our highest honor. The Alum who receive this honor have distinguished themselves by the contributions they have made in their particular field or profession, in service to the Art Academy and to the betterment of humanity.
About Jim Effler
Jim is a professional artist living in Cincinnati, Ohio. Originally known for airbrush illustration, he now works predominantly in oils, a medium he first explored while attending the Art Academy of Cincinnati. Effler’s style combines painting and digital techniques with traditional methods.
Effler graduated from the Art Academy of Cincinnati in 1978 with a major in illustration and graphic design. From 1982 until 2000, he was a partner in AIR Studio, which represented more than a dozen regional illustrators. Since then, he has been a full-time independent illustrator.
Over the years, Effler has gained a reputation for his many beer posters and labels. His whimsical illustrations featuring goats are one of the highlights of Cincinnati’s annual Bockfest celebration. The goats have been featured on the festival’s posters for the past 25 years. He has also completed numerous posters for the Hudepohl 14K Brewery Run.
Effler paints landscapes and portraits. His commissioned work has included a number of family and institutional portraits, including one of May Festival Chorus Director Robert Porco, which hangs in Cincinnati’s Music Hall.
He has created a number of public and private murals throughout Cincinnati. His “Beer Barons” mural is on display at the Moerlein Lager House at The Banks. Jim has worked with ArtWorks since 2015, when he designed and illustrated the Cincinnati Brewery District Mural, “Grain to Glass,” at the Moerlein Brewery in Over-the-Rhine. In 2016, he designed two additional ArtWorks murals, “Prost to Cincinnati” in Over-the-Rhine and a tribute to the Miami-Erie Canal, “Locks, Docks and Barrels” in the CUF district.
Effler is a member of the Cincinnati Art Club, serving on its board from 2006 to 2009 and chairing the club’s ViewPoint juried competition. He has taught at the College of Mount St. Joseph, the Art Academy of Cincinnati, Miami University, and AIC College of Design.