Contemporary Arts Center
Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center
for Contemporary Art
44 E. 6th Street,
Cincinnati, OH 45202

513 345 8400


Dear Friends,

Art Where You Are is the poignant title for our art auction fundraiser this year. Artworks you acquire surround you where you live and work. In 2020, the year when COVID-19 is confining us to our homes, shifting our attention to our domestic realities, our auction title automatically connotes bringing art to where you are spatially. Living with art, surrounding yourself and your loved ones with works you cherish and will be in continuous dialogue with for years to come, is one of the meaningful aspects of collecting. Works of art in our abodes will grow and change with us and unfold complexities of their meaning in surprising ways over years to come. And, just when you believe your quiet friends have nothing more to share, you discover a new meaning, a hidden layer.

However, Art Where You Are equally addresses the crucial question of where we are at this moment in time politically, emotionally, psychologically, as a country, a nation, and as individuals. Our auction specifically brings together powerful works of art that artists who recently exhibited or performed at the CAC have generously donated for us to raise funds to support our education programs that serve thousands of youth every day. Every single one of the participating artists gauges and explores, in their own unique way, the challenges and opportunities of today.

What are the profound issues humanity is facing and, more importantly, how can we enlist the creative power of the imagination to help us envision a more just, healthy, and inclusive world?

For our 2020 art auction benefit, and in concert with the possibilities of racial reconciliation in this country, our curators conceived of a special poster project with BIPOC artists from around the world. You likely will have experienced some of these amazing artists on stage or in our galleries or will in the near future.

This project will support the CAC, but equally importantly, our local artist relief fund and initiatives related to Black Lives Matter. This project speaks directly to our values as a socially just institution.

The poster of Chilean artist Cecilia Vicuña, who has for decades incorporated poetry into her paintings and prints, translates to “arm yourself with art!” Her imperative stems from her own practice, which sustained her through years in exile during the 1960s’ Chilean revolution and other hardships. arm yourself with art! corroborates the role art plays in our lives in times of crisis and how important it is for us to lean into caring for ourselves and one another in ways that feed not just our bellies, but our souls.

Art is a crucial form of individual and collective sustenance, a medium that reminds us of where we are, our values, our resilience, and our innate power to bring forth new possibilities.

Arm yourself with art during our Art Where You Are auction – let the artworks be friends and protectors in your homes, but also be the invaluable friends that nudge us, gently but urgently, to take an honest look at ourselves and to show up as best we can for the betterment of all.

With my warm regards, Raphaela

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