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.


Slice of Life: A Grocery Store Deli Serves as a Fount of High-Art Photography

Posted on October 14, 2020

At University of Dayton’s Radial Gallery, Nebraska photographer Ella Weber finds meaning in monotony behind a Midwestern deli counter.

Ham. Honestly, it’s not for everyone. But for Nebraska-based artist Ella Weber, it has been an unlikely vehicle for artistic expression. In her ongoing tenure as a deli clerk at a large grocery store chain, Weber has created photographs about that sometimes surreal experience. In her exhibition This Feels Nice, showing at University of Dayton’s Radial Gallery with The Blue House Arts... Continue


FotoFocus at 10: A Video Road Trip with Past Participants

By Kevin Moore, FotoFocus Artistic Director and Curator

Posted on October 8, 2020

Thirteen esteemed artists and curators who have contributed to a decade of FotoFocus programming join from their homes around the world to reflect on where they've been, where they're headed, and the fundamental need for creativity and humanity in times of crisis.

FotoFocus is 10 years old. What started as an organization to promote photography through public exhibitions and lectures in and around Cincinnati soon evolved from funding a Visiting Artist and Lecture Series to producing a Biennial and Symposium for photography and lens-based art. Since 2010, FotoFocus... Continue


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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A Long Intermission: Searching for Cinematic Moments During Covid-19

By C. Jacqueline Wood, FotoFocus Film Curator at Large

Posted on September 9, 2020

Whether it's an increase in binge-watching or awareness of daily sights and sounds, the pandemic lockdown has permanently changed the way we, individually and collectively, relate to film—in ways we are still discovering.

While theater marquee lights remain dim—displaying words of wisdom rather than movie showtimes—many of us continue to experience meaningful cinematic moments outside of the traditional theater-going experience. The current pandemic has produced sweeping changes in how we consume media, altering what we watch and how we watch it. But at its core, film is a meditative... Continue


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