What’s older than the Cincinnati Opera and the Cincinnati Zoo? The Art Academy of Cincinnati!

Celebrating its 150th anniversary, the Art Academy of Cincinnati has allowed artists to grow within the creative city of Cincinnati.

“People are able to make a living using art,” says Joan Kaup, vice president of Institutional Advancement at the Cincinnati Art Academy. “We are a city of design and creative minds. We graduate those with creative minds.”

Cincinnati is home to 65 businesses in Over-the-Rhine that have been identified as having employed Art Academy graduates or students since 2005. These small businesses consist of design firms, art galleries, restaurants, bars, coffee shops and retail stores. The Art Academy of Cincinnati has graduates working at major companies such as The Disney Television Group, GE, Facebook, Deskey, ArtWorks, 21C, Rookwood Pottery, Relequint, LPK, P&G, RISD, Rhinegeist, Victoria’s Secret and many more.

While walking around Cincinnati, one can see art by students of the Art Academy wherever they go. Charley Harper is one of Cincinnati’s most celebrated artists. He went to school and taught at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, having signed up for classes as a veteran after the G.I. Bill was introduced.

Charley Harper’s mural entitled “Homecoming (Bluebirds)” can be found on East Court Street. The mural depicts two bluebirds returning home.

The Art Academy of Cincinnati has been home to many other notable artists including Frank Duveneck, John Ruthven, Tom Wesselman, Elizabeth Nourse, Kim Krause and Edie Harper. These artists also have murals in the city of Cincinnati.

The Art Academy works to keep its alumni engaged with the academy.

The Minumental Exhibition began in 1987 with 34 works of art in the first show. The exhibit has now exceeded 600 works by students, faculty, staff and alumni. Artists create works that are 2 inches in any direction. This allows alumni of the Art Academy to submit pieces from all over the world. What makes these works of art unique is that the art is very small. This year’s Minumental Exhibition will be held Nov. 30.

The Art Academy has been an expressive institution for 150 years, and it doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.

“We have not been afraid to embrace new thinking,” Kaup says. The Art Academy of Cincinnati works to provide personalized attention to all students.

“The Art Academy has been producing people with a legacy for 150 years,” says Richard Friedman, chair of the board of trustees. “We are always looking for people to make art and make a difference.”



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