Photo by Jacob Drabik

The Lens

The Lens is the FotoFocus editorial platform, highlighting our programming and featuring in-depth conversations on photography and the moving image drawn from perspectives and insights in our community, throughout our region, and around the globe.


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Q&A with Cincinnati Photographer Tina Gutierrez 

Posted on May 3, 2022

Costume has long been used as a form of expression and communication. A series that could only be made in the time of Covid-19, Tina Gutierrez’s project titled Covid-19, Coronavirus Wearable Art Response Project allows participants to share their feelings toward the pandemic through clothing, costume, or other wearable art.

Kennedy Heights Arts Center (KHAC) will present a solo exhibition of photographs by Cincinnati photographer Tina Gutierrez titled Covid-19, Coronavirus Wearable Art Response Project. The exhibition will run from May 7 to July 2, 2022 with a free Opening... Continue


2021, A Reluctantly Not-Miserable Retrospective

Posted on December 15, 2021

2021 was ... technically a year. Sure, it feels like January became October with a tiny blip of optimism for, like, two weeks in June. But as we look back, we see a whole lot of good stuff that took place throughout the amorphous stretch of time formerly known as a calendar year.

So, here we present: Five things we did that got us through 2021.

We heard from brilliant curators, artists, thinkers, and more. Continue

Dust to Dust

Posted on December 9, 2021

Tunnelitis, an exhibition of photographs by Raymond Thompson, Jr., at Studeō PAR- uncovers an obfuscated history.

"Overall, it’s kind of a quiet show, if that makes sense," says Jonathan Sears, executive director of PAR-Projects. "There’s a lot of dust in the air — from the pieces. It’s almost cloud-like."

The pieces he's referencing are the photographs by Raymond Thompson, Jr., that make up Studeō PAR-'s current exhibition, Tunnelitis, an examination of the Hawks Nest mining crisis.... Continue


Truth Be Told

Posted on December 1, 2021

Wright State University shows Truth and Ruin, a large-scale photography exhibition exposing the landscape of systemic racism alongside portraits representing and promoting Black joy and agency.

It was the summer of 2020 when Ben Montague, Wright State’s curator of The Robert and Elaine Stein Galleries, was seeking an artist to mount a photography exhibition. That June had seen many millions of protesters around the country demonstrating in response to the murder of George Floyd the month prior. Says Montague: “For our campus, I wanted to have something to facilitate... Continue


Making a Scene: “Return to the Velvet Rope” Takes Us Inside Club Clau, OTR’s Early-Aughts Hot Spot

Posted on September 30, 2021

Lesser known in the annals of Cincinnati history is that, fresh into the Y2K era, OTR was briefly home to a celebrity-circuit nightclub: Club Clau. The comings and goings were documented by the club's art director with a cheap black-and-white camera, and a selection of images are now on display at The Annex Gallery.

It was 2003 and Over-the-Rhine was having a moment, thanks to the newly minted Club Clau nightclub. “We were open for nine weeks, and on the front page... Continue