FOTOFOCUS, a Cincinnati-based nonprofit organization championing photography, announces programming highlights at over 70 + participating venues for its first biennial month-long celebration of historical and contemporary photography and lens-based art.

Headlining Exhibitions of the first installment include the compelling juxtaposition of the Taft Museum’s Star Power: Edward Steichen’s Glamour Photography, focused on the father of modern fashion photography and one of the best known and highest paid photographers of the 1920s and 30s, and the Cincinnati Art Museum’s exhibition Herb Ritts: L.A. Style, showcasing the leading fashion and celebrity photographer of the late twentieth century. Just off the recent success of their Big Bambú installation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the 2011 Venice Biennale, FOTOFOCUS and the Cincinnati Art Museum present Doug and Mike Starn’s Gravity of Light, an immersive, experiential installation organized by James Crump, Chief Curator, Cincinnati Art Museum, in the historic Holy Cross Church in Mt. Adams. The Contemporary Art Center features a groundbreaking exhibition organized by the Rose Museum, Brandeis University devoted to Andy Warhol’s Polaroid portraits.

Newly Announced Highlights
Jazz guitarist Bill Frisell in concert at the Emery Theatre: Musical Portraits from Heber Springs: Bill Frisell’s Disfarmer Project Inspired by the work of photographer Mike Disfarmer.

Fall 2012 FOTOFOCUS Lecturer and Visiting Artist Laurel Nakadate Polaroids from the Stay the Same Never Change series on view for the first time at The Art Academy of Cincinnati.

Collector’s Roundtable with New York City-based David Raymond, Akron, OH-based Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell, and San Francisco, CA-based Trevor Traina, moderated by James Crump, FOTOFOCUS co-chair and Chief Curator, Cincinnati Art Museum.

parProjects Factory Square Fine Arts Festival featuring 11 container installations, two of which are curated by Hank Willis Thomas, Fall 2009 FOTOFOCUS Lecturer and Visiting Artist.

Cincinnati Enquirer photojournalists featured in The Good River: What Divides and Connects Us, Eva G. Farris Gallery at Thomas More College, and Freedom of the Press: I Am A Witness at the National Underground Freedom Center.

THUNDERDOME, Invitational Juried University Student Exhibition, Clifton Cultural Arts Center, juried by FOTOFOCUS Co-Chairs Raphaela Platow and James Crump.

4 University of Cincinnati exhibitions: photo-video installations from The Forest series from Helsinki-based Santeri Tuori; Photogenus, looking at work of international artists challenging traditional notions of photographic production, display, and discourse; and, at the newly reopened downtown Sycamore Street Gallery, Images of the Great Depression in Ohio: FSA Documentary Portraits Revisited, and Artless Photographs, documentary photographs taken in a range of institutional contexts—from the commercial to the carceral, including mug shots, model casting Polaroids, forensic images, and government ID photos installed alongside images of their production processes.

FOTOFOCUS 2012 media partners are Enquirer Media, Cincinnati Magazine, CityBeat, WNKU Public Radio, and WCPO-TV. Additional sponsors are ArtWorks, 3CDC, Harlan Graphic Arts Services, Inc., pickworthbell communications, ShutterBooth, and Voltage.

“We are delighted to see the regional art and academic community enthusiastically embrace FOTOFOCUS’s debut biennial,” says FOTOFOCUS Director, Mary Ellen Goeke. “FOTOFOCUS offers all audiences in the region an unprecedented opportunity to learn about and experience the diverse currents of photography. FOTOFOCUS reignites Cincinnati’s legacy as an epicenter of art production and creative exchange, revitalizing that spirit for the 21st century.”

FOTOFOCUS celebrates the 2012 Biennial launch Friday, September 28 with “Sideshow”, an outsized street party staged in the heart of downtown Cincinnati. Ruth Lyons Lane and Gano Street become the arena for a vintage/ high tech carnival complete with music, food, drink, entertainment, stunts, dare devils, artist made games, rides, and an AV fun house. Tickets for “Sideshow” are available at the event and through the Aronoff Center for the Arts Box Office.

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