Library and Contemporary Arts Center Team Up to Present Art Lab Series

By Alli Jacobs, Teen Librarian, Walnut Hill Branch, and Black Events and Exhibits Committee member

The Black Events and Exhibits Committee (BEEC) is pleased to be partnering with the Contemporary Art Center (CAC) on the three-part events series Art Lab. CAC is known for partnering with up-and-coming avant-garde artists, many of whom are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color). The CAC's education department, headed by Elizabeth Hardin-Klink, brings inspiring art projects to kids and teens all over the county and CHPL is pleased to be able to partner with them on two upcoming projects.

Upcoming Program: Our Daily Art

Both of our remaining programs in the series take place in person. Up next is the art duo Batres-Gilvin, opens a new window. When I spoke with Karla Batres, Gilvin about her partnership with Bradly Gilvin, she explained that they strive to make inclusive artwork.

“By using everyday materials and themes from our daily lives we make our art accessible to various audiences. Our artwork is influenced by folk art as much as it is by contemporary art practices. We use color, pattern, and recognizable symbols as tools to draw in people, in an inclusive manner, in order to create conversations,” Batres said.

Their work is heavily inspired by Karla’s Mexican heritage and Bradly’s experiences growing up in the southern United States. So, the Library is especially pleased to be partnering with Batres-Gilvin during Hispanic Heritage Month, which is celebrated Sept. 15-Oct. 15. Each year Hispanic Heritage Month serves to honor Americans whose ancestors come from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

“The CAC staff first met Batres-Gilvin at a DAAP (College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning)  Gallery visit, in preparation for their MFA (Master in Fine Arts) exhibition, and thought they’d be a wonderful fit for the CAC’s Artist-in-Residence program. The program provides artists with the opportunity to explore their own personal work while engaging and partnering with the public,” said Elizabeth Hardin-Klink, Creative Programs Director at the CAC. “It's an impactful learning experience for our young adult visitors to learn about the creative paths these local artists have taken.”

Batres-Gilvin’s next project is a partnership with ArtWorks to make a mural in East Price Hill. They also have the show Homing In premiering at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center, opens a new window starting Oct. 1.

But first, children and teens are invited to join them at for Art Lab at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 28, at the Corrvyille Branch for some pinata-making. Reservations required.

243 Glasses, Found Objects, 2021 by Batres-Gilvin.

Upcoming Program: Wonder Woman with a Brush

In our final installment of the series, we are hosting local artist Jeni Jenkins, opens a new window. Hardin Klink said the CAC was eager to work with Jenkins because she is a super cool, wonder-woman artist. Her work is based on American history, counter-culture movements, and visual activism. Recent work includes the wildly popular Our Distance is Resistance. The image of this work has been downloaded, printed, and posted in cities and homes all over the world.

Children and teens are invited to join Jenkins for an exploration of stylized self-portraits while learning carving, inking, and impressing the linocut block on paper. This Art Lab takes place at 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 1, at the Westwood Branch. Registration is required.

Our Distance Is Resistance, 2020 by Jeni Jenkins.

Previous Event: Phoenix Rising

Our first in the CAC Art Lab Series featured artist: Phoenix S. Brown. She led a virtual program for kids and teens this past July that focused on monotype printmaking. The CAC provided take-home art kits for kids and teens so they could make the project along with Phoenix.

That’s My Favorite Part, 2021 by Phoenix S. Brown.

Find more Library programs for kids and teens in our online events calendar.