Art exhibit uses abandoned, destroyed buildings to highlight Cincinnati, Beirut similarities

Art exhibit uses abandoned, destroyed buildings to highlight Cincinnati, Beirut similarities
Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 4:05 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - The Pendleton Art Center is showcasing an exhibit featuring artists from Cincinnati and Beirut, Lebanon to show the similarities between the two cities.

The All Falls Down exhibit is open at the Annex Gallery at the Pendleton Art Center through the end of October.

Visitors can see photographs from several Cincinnati neighborhoods depicting abandoned or destroyed buildings and homes.

On the other side of the gallery, there are similar photos from Beirut showing buildings that were destroyed by war or other reasons.

“When I saw the pictures by both of these artists, I really felt a very strong commonality with them,” says Curator Saad Ghosn, “And I felt that this phenomenon of abandoned houses going away, architecture being destroyed, historical heritage disappearing that was a universal phenomenon.”

Ghosn knows the Lebanese artist, Gregory Buchakjian, through a family friend, and has known the Cincinnati artist, William Howes, for many years.

Howes’ photos were taken mostly in Avondale, Walnut Hills, and Hyde Park. Many of the buildings were abandoned or neglected.

“There really is beauty in decay and as you really look at these pictures, everyone has something special to it,” Ghosn continues. “I would not like to stop at the beauty of the image but that the image will take us to the history behind it that really a photograph should really connect you to the past even though it reflects the moment, but we should not stop in the moment.”

The exhibit is organized by SOS ART and supported by Jens Rosenkrantz, the Annex Gallery, Fotofocus and The Puffin Foundation.

“The idea that if we don’t do anything, everything will end up falling down,” explains Ghosn. “Not only these houses, if we let economic speculation, greed, war, environmental catastrophe take over, not only is the building going to fall down but all of our life and you are going to fall down as well. So, it was a call to action.”

The gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday from 12 p.m. until 5 p.m. through Oct. 29.

On Oct. 28, the gallery will stay open until 9 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

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