Cincinnati Art Exhibit rings in New Year

By: Zenab Saeed ~Staff Writer~

cincinnatimagazine dot com
Photo coutesy of | In many cultures, a Tree of Life is represented as a colossal tree connecting the heavens, the world, and, through its roots, the underworld.

To end this year’s final month and to ring in the new year, the Cincinnati Art Museum will feature many notable exhibitions. It is currently showcasing an especially unique exhibition: the Tree of Life.

This exhibition of the art piece, which opened on Nov. 17 and will be on display through Jan. 10, marks its third consecutive year at the Cincinnati Art Museum.

The Tree of Life is a 16-foot tall interactive sculptural exhibit transformed from a crabapple tree with more than 800 small glass vials that hang from its branches. Visitors to the museum can write New Years wishes on pieces of paper and place them in the glass vials, where they will remain until they are burned on Jan. 1 of the new year. Using the ashes from the burned wishes, the museum will plant a new Tree of Life.

“This is our opportunity to connect with the community in a manner that embraces all cultures and religions. The Tree of Life celebrates the diversity of our community, which is also represented in our overall collection,” Emily Holtrop, director of learning and interpretation, said.

The museum decided to feature this exhibit in 2013 in order to mark the holiday season and unite the community through the long-standing symbol of the Tree of Life.

Local Cincinnati artist and sculptor Matt Kotlarczyk, who graduated from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning program in 1994, was commissioned for the project.

In addition to the Tree of Life, the Cincinnati Art Museum is also featuring an exhibit titled High Style: Twentieth- Century Masterworks from the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection, which opened on Nov. 7 and will continue until Jan. 24. The exhibition, which was organized by the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, includes many garments created by influential designers throughout the 20th century.

“This exhibition brings to Cincinnati examples by some of the most important fashion designers of the 20th century from one of the oldest and most distinguished American collections.

It is a tremendous opportunity for us to showcase these quintessential fashions and tell the story of the designers behind them,” Cynthia Amnéus, chief curator and curator of fashion arts at the Cincinnati Art Museum, said.

The museum is open each Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Eden Park and operates with free general admission.

More information about both of these exhibitions and other features at the Cincinnati Art Museum can be found on their website at