COMMISSIONED PORTRAIT ARTISTS

Who's Who: Bios/Artist Statements

 
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MARREYA IRENE

2019 Cover Art
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Marreya Bailey known as Marreya Irene, is an American contemporary visual artist based in Cincinnati, OH.  Born and raised in Wisconsin, Georgia and Minnesota respectfully, Marreya developed and gained a true appreciation for her passion in all forms of abstract art at an early age ranging from drawing, painting, creative writing and metalwork to sculpting and photography based upon being inspired by the presence of color, the unconventional, ambiguity, beauty and progression everywhere.  After passing over attending art school for fashion design to attend a 4-year university to swim collegiately, she earned her BA in anthropology with an emphasis on forensic science at Hamline University in 2011.  In 2018, after earning her MS in Industrial/Organizational Psychology via Purdue University Global, she decided to reignite her passion for creativity and pursuit of art.  Today, as an artist and sommelier, she uses her talent, passion, and skill set as a conduit for positive societal change progressively, equally and successfully.  Her journey has only begun…

 

Theda Bara
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HANNAH PARKER

Hannah Parker is a Cincinnati born artist specializing in mixed media painting. Her work is known for playful depictions of dark subject matter, portrayed in bright technicolor. Her work often focuses on personal associative symbolism and aspects of the subconscious and psychological. She earned her BFA in illustration from the Art Academy of Cincinnati in 2018.

After researching Theda Bara (an anagram for Arab death), I discovered that she was not only the first sex symbol of the silent film era, she also played a big part in defining the Femme Fatale in film. Her role as the vampire in “A Fool There Was” earned Bara the nickname, “Vamp” and solidified this as a term used to define the Femme Fatale.

Bara was also the first fabricated star; while she was a Cincinnati born, blond girl of Jewish heritage, she dyed her hair dark and producers created rumors that she was the daughter of an artist and Arabian princess. She supposedly spent her youth in the Sahara desert and later moved to France to pursue her career as an actress. This earned her yet another nickname, The Serpent of the Nile.

This fabrication played a very important role in her success as an actress. Bara was unknown to the public when she entered into film, her contrived background created mystery and intrigue that gained her popularity. This also aided in her role as “Vamp”, as American films often portrayed Femme Fatales as foreign, usually as being of Eastern European or of Asian descent. Bara was also encouraged to discuss mysticism and the occult which further solidified her as the “Vamp”, creating and image of a dark and powerful siren.


Bara’s history as an actress is what guided me in creating her portrait. There are many wonderful photos that were taken of Bara during her film career and I had great difficulty choosing which one to work from. I found a photo with a pose I loved but Bara wasn’t making direct eye contact with the viewer, this was important because it not only establishes a connection with the viewer but  displays her as confrontational and powerful, a trait that is inseparable from the Femme Fatale. I also wanted to directly reference her nickname, the “Vamp”, I did this by adding a skull into the composition with elongated canines. I ended up blending two different photos of Bara for this portrait, one for her pose and one for her face. I then exaggerated her eyes, the most vital feature for a silent film actress, and ensured to depict her with her trademark heavy eye makeup. Changing the scale of some of her facial features was an important decision by creating a portrait that was a little more stylized and contemporary to solidify her continued importance into the 21st century. I ultimately decided that, overall it must appear otherworldly, dark and a bit ethereal, this is where the unusual color choice and dark background came about.

 

JAMIE SCHORSCH

Virginia Coffey
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Jamie Schorsch, a Cincinnati native, holds a BFA and MA in Art Education with PK-21 licensure from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Art, Architecture, and Planning as well as a MED from the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services.   Jamie’s teaching experiences have been widely varied, including working with students ranging in ages from 5-adult, private and public institutions, and both inner-city and suburban schools.  Jamie has taught at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, The Fitton Center for Creative Arts, ArtWorks, Cincinnati Public Schools, and is presently employed by Oak Hills Local School District as a Visual Arts Teacher at Oak Hills High School and serves as the Art and Design Department Coordinator. Currently, Jamie teaches: Drawing and Printmaking; Painting and Mixed Media; Art History AP; Studio Art AP Drawing, and Studio Art AP 2D Design at the high school.

When not teaching, Jamie Schorsch can be found deconstructing concepts of the Identify through fairy tales and characters from literature, while deconstructing representations and interpretations of popular culture.  Psychology, mythology, religion, literature, history, and film inspire the conceptual and visual development for her artworks which are created in a wide variety of media.  The resulting repertoire of images created illustrates visual, social, and spiritual explorations in relation to modern societal standards and personal experiences.

Virginia Coffey

“The hardest thing in this world to do is like people for what they are – regardless of the artificial barriers of color and worship.” –Virginia Coffey

Virginia Coffey was an American social reformer and civil rights activist who worked for improved race relations in and around Cincinnati, Ohio. Virginia arrived in Cincinnati in 1924 to teach at an all-black school, one of the few opportunities for African-American teachers.  Instead of finding a progressive northern city, she found a segregated city. Virginia fought to integrate areas of the city, including Coney Island where she coordinated an event protesting the segregation at the gates of the park. In addition to the multiple committees and organizations that Virginia partnered with throughout her life, she formed the first Girl Scouts troop for African-American girls and became the first woman, and first African-American, Executive Director of the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission in 1968. Throughout her life Virginia worked to achieve her goal of getting people to listen to each other, getting to know each other, and treating each other as human beings.

 

JENNIFER BALDWIN

Dorothy Dolbey
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Artist, Jennifer Baldwin is a life long resident of the Greater Cincinnati area.  She is an art educator at Dixie Heights High School and Associate Director for the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.  She received a  BA from Thomas More College in 1976 in art and an MAAE from The Art Academy of Cincinnati in 2005.

Dorothy Dolbey was an outspoken member of the Cincinnati Council of Church Women United (CWU).  She believed that women, as well as black members of the church, were not represented, were not heard regarding their concerns.  A devoted mother of two children, Dorothy became president of the CWU in 1951.  She further sought to advance the underrepresented by running for Cincinnati City Council, but was unsuccessful in her first attempt.  In 1953 and in her second attempt, as a member of the Charter Party, she ran and won a seat on council.  With the Charter Party gaining an advantage over the Republican Party on council, she became Vice Mayor to Mayor Edward N. Waldvogel. 

As is a customary event for Cincinnati mayors, Waldvogel was invited to throw out the first pitch for the Cincinnati Reds, but became ill.  Dorothy stepped in and became the first woman to throw out the pitch.  Waldvogel died a month later and Dolbey became the first woman mayor of Cincinnati for six months while his replacement was being found.

Dorothy is truly an inspiring figure in Cincinnati history.  She loved her family and her fellow woman/man.  She saw the need to stand up for those who felt no one listened.  She made a statement and found her presence where others did not.  It’s sad and ironic that some of the same people who weren’t heard then, are not heard now.  The greatest lesson learned from her life is that the work was started and never is over.  If there is injustice, underrepresentation, take a stand.  Raise your voice.

 
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NATALIE GRILLI

Cora Dow
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Natalie Grilli is a photographer, visual artist and educator born in Youngstown, OH; living and working in Cincinnati, OH. Trained in fine art, photojournalism and portrait photography, her current personal work focuses on preserving the abstract and intangible nature of a memory with a tangible and visual form in a photograph. Natalie has exhibited her personal work nationally and is an award-winning portrait photographer both nationally and internationally. In 2019 she was commissioned to create and contribute to three different projects for the FotoFocus Biennial in Cincinnati, Oh.  Natalie earned an AS degree in photojournalism from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 2001, received her BFA in Photography from The Ohio State University in 2004 and holds an MFA (2016) in Photography from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She is currently teaching as an adjunct in the Photography department at Miami University of Ohio.

 

ARIELLE MIRANDA GOLDBERG

Sarah Fossett
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Statement coming soon!

 
Dottie Kamenshek_Christine Ochs-Naderer.

CHRISTINE OCHS-NADERER

Dottie Kamenshek
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Christine Ochs-Naderer is an admissions director at Roger Bacon High School and adjunct English teacher at Xavier University. She lives in Camp Washington with her husband, Caleb, and two greyhounds, Robin and Clark. Christine enjoys creating collage-style art that incorporates unique colors, patterns, and textures, while integrating aspects of history and pop culture to tell a multi-layered visual story.

 
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JO ANN BERGER

Edna Murphey
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Jo Ann Berger “Glitter, Gears, and Scraps of Fabric”
An internship as a designer at Tonka Toys led to a job designing Easy Bake Ovens, Sparkle Spirograph, Nerf, Littlest Pet Shop, and My Little Pony for Kenner/Hasbro.  I’ve designed a lot of products for markets as varied as Sporting Goods, Pet, Food and Fashion.  I love the creative process, and spend my time exploring problem statements then answering them with creative solutions. 
Several years ago, I started painting, and characters just started popping up.    Colorful designs and whimsical characters full of shadow and light float into my consciousness like messages in a Magic 8 Ball.  It is a magical process to put pen to paper, play in the computer, and then to collage the drawing onto the canvas and start painting.  I build the layers, and then flatten them with acrylic medium.  I can glaze up to 25 layers, embedding detritus like fabric, glitter, gears, photos and ticket stubs.  The result is a painting that has great depth both in the subject and the acrylic medium.

 

LAUREN DARPEL

Sister Anthony O'Connell
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Originally from Northern Kentucky, I am a multidisciplinary artist based in Cincinnati. I am currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts and Art History at DAAP at the University of Cincinnati. Currently in my work I am exploring ideas about the body in relation to dynamics of power, the relationship between analog and digital processes, merging contemporary culture with history, and identity. I work mainly in printmaking, projection, and film photography. Outside of studio, I enjoy writing, knitting, and yoga.

 

SARA LEAH MILLER

Jessie Partlon
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Sara Leah Miller is a felt artist and illustrator from Cincinnati, Ohio. She studied visual arts at Greenville University in Illinois. Her work can be found at Wooden Hill, Core Clay Gallery, and PUT IT ON THE PIZZA Vintage and Handmade.

Researching Jessie M. Partlon's work and activism took me far beyond the boundaries of Cincinnati Post's readership. Her prolific assignments took her across the U.S. covering prison reform, women's rights, advocacy for steel workers and coal miners, the fight against crime. She covered high profile cases including the murder of Stanford White. Jessie gathered 250,000 signatures to save the life of an Italian immigrant woman sentenced to death for killing a man who assaulted her. She fought against injustice over a hundred years ago with her mighty pen. And yet we have nothing but a newsprint illustration by which to remember her face.

 
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KATE ROWEKAMP

Venus Ramey
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Kate Rowekamp is a printmaker, illustrator, and animator from Covington, Kentucky. Rowekamp earned her MFA in 2-Dimensional studio with a concentration in printmaking from Miami University in 2015. As an undergraduate she attended Thomas More College where she earned her BA in studio art and an AA in Art History in 2012. Rowekamp currently lives in Hamilton, Ohio with her husband and two cats, Buckaroo Banzai and Kyouko.

As I approached Venus Ramey's portrait, I felt it important to honor her diverse career pursuits. In addition to being crowned Miss America, she was a political activist and tobacco farmer. Substituting the Miss America crown for a diadem similar to the one worn by the Statue of Liberty symbolizes Ramey's eventual disenchantment with her role as Miss America, and shift toward political activism, advocating for causes like women’s rights.Tobacco leaves frame the bottom of her portrait to communicate Ramey's work as a farmer. As Ramey was the first Miss America captured with color photography, I was inspired to pull from the more minimal palette of early 40's color photography.

 

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