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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.


A Public Art Project Becomes a Study in Solidarity

Posted on September 16, 2020

Photographer Nikita Gross collaborated with ArtWorks apprentices to create Heart and Soul, a city-wide outdoor portrait exhibition.

Before the pandemic throttled art shows all over the city, photographer Nikita Gross was poised to exhibit what was, for her, a characteristic project: Through a relationship with ArtWorks, Gross would present oversized photographs of womxn affixed to alley walls around the city. The show was meant to portray womxn—and the female persona—as larger-than-life and, says Gross, to “reclaim public space on behalf of the feminine.”

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As Everything Goes Virtual, One Professor/Curator Doubles Down on the Physicality of Art With Photo Books

Posted on September 1, 2020

Northern Kentucky University's Bound and Determined is exactly that about getting photo books in the hands of students—and, when it's safe again, the public.

"What you see on the screen is nothing compared to what you see in person ," says Rachael Banks, Assistant Professor of Photography at Northern Kentucky University—and the curator of what was going to be a public-facing FotoFocus Biennial exhibition this fall. Specifically, the transformation of a small NKU gallery into a cozy, bookshop-like reading space, which she would fill with a selection of... Continue


Two Local Institutions Expand Programming into the Audio-Video World

Posted on August 25, 2020

Going virtual does not have to mean stills on a screen, as Behringer-Crawford Museum and Lloyd Library & Museum prove with their moves to new multimedia experiences.

As the pandemic proceeds apace and options for in-person exhibitions remain narrow, many local arts institutions have expanded programming into the digital space. Two local museums provide a useful model for how to navigate this brave new world.

Behringer-Crawford Museum Doubles Down on a Planned Artist Feature

The... Continue


The Pandemic Delayed a Hank Willis Thomas Exhibition. His Work Is Now More Timely Than Ever.

Posted on July 29, 2020

Twenty years of work from the renowned photographer, sculptor, and multimedia artist opens at Cincinnati Art Museum September 4, with a distinctly 2020 reimagining of interactive public programming.

An exhibition featuring 20 years of Hank Willis Thomas’s work was scheduled to open at Cincinnati Art Museum in July. All Things Being Equal… was morphed and postponed by Covid-19, but it was electrified by this summer’s protests against systemic racism.

Thomas’s work demands a viewer’s reinterpretation of pop culture, particularly sports and marketing, in the direction of... Continue


i.imagine Helps High Schoolers Find Their Artistic Voice Through Photography

Posted on July 22, 2020

The local nonprofit exhibits Fusion at the Purple People Bridge July 19–August 14, bringing student perspectives to the community.

Cameras have never been more accessible to young people, and yet it still takes practice and encouragement to learn the technical skills required to make good photographs and to develop as young artists. That’s why i.imagine, a nonprofit based out of Union, Kentucky, has focused its efforts on making professional-grade cameras available to high school students, and guiding them toward an exploration in finding a distinctive approach to their image... Continue