By Laney Konz, Staff Writer
Built from a do-it-yourself mentality and a dream of creating an outlet for delving into the art world, Art on the Hill in Mt. Adams is a testament to Cincinnati’s potential as fertile ground for existing and aspiring artists to flourish beyond the Queen City.
The community event occurs six times a year — once a month during May, June, July, August, September and October.
The hill on Gregory Street is home to plenty of cafés, bars, pubs and small, locally-owned businesses, including Upper Eden, a store that sells handmade jewelry made by artists around the globe.
Art on the Hill came to fruition from a local business owner’s idea to build a foundation where local artists could take their first steps into the intimidating world of art.
Linda Loschiavo, owner of Upper Eden, realized her love for artwork early into her storefront’s residency in Mt. Adams. Eventually, she got involved in the Art Walk in Cincinnati. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, proved to be an obstacle to small businesses and community engagement throughout the city. Soon enough, the Art Walk died out, leaving Loschiavo with a passion for art and a business that relied on foot traffic.
“I created an art gallery in my store where myself and local artists could display pieces for sale. But then, I realized that people were still apprehensive about entering stores, even after the pandemic had slowed and businesses started opening up again,” Loschiavo said.
Determined to keep her dream alive, Loschiavo adapted to the unprecedented happenings at the time.
“I created Art on the Hill as a way to not only encourage people to get back out and support local businesses safely, but also to build a platform for local artists to make a name for themselves in the harsh art world,” Loschiavo said. “Without a name, you almost never make it.”
Typically, the artists who show their work on the hill are regulars, but occasionally there are new artists. At the event on Sept. 9, Loschiavo shared that there were only a few returning artists and a majority of the artists that were showing were new to Art on the Hill. There were a plethora of art styles and genres present as well.
Artist Alexis Schrimpf’s pieces were created using the pointillist technique.
“It’s the process of placing small dots of color next to each other to create the optical illusion of light and dark and mixing of colors,” Schrimpf said.
A Cincinnati native and University of Cincinnati alumni, Schrimpf finds inspiration from everyday items and street scenes, all from her point of view. Her works consist of special glimpses of Cincinnati landmarks, as well as homely images of vegetables, fruits and other foods.
Many of the artists involved in Art on the Hill have similar stories — they had dedicated their life to a traditional career path, but their love of art always lingered in the back of their minds. Schrimpf had a similar story displayed on her booth, detailing her 35-year career in the design industry, working at Procter & Gamble for some of this time. After retirement, she decided to explore her artistic vision.
Lily Kroencke, another artist, has pieces related to Cincinnati, including Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, as well as intricate scenes inspired by her trips to other countries.
Artists of all ages and backgrounds are at Art on the Hill, and the locals eagerly passed from booth to booth looking to support these up and coming artists. If you are interested in making your first steps into the world of art, Loschiavo encourages young artists to consider Art on the Hill.