A local green advocate/educator presents his curated collection of everyday goods representing the conscience intersection of aesthetics, craft and engineering.
What is art? This question has long challenged philosophers and artists. Art in the invariable march of history is given significance and meaning through emotional reaction, through connection and through intention with the audience. Art is therefore relational. One must relate to the artist, the piece and the story behind it. This is what has sustained art throughout the ages.
Local green educator and conscience materials advocate Chuck Lohre adds to the discussion by presenting “Coveted Sustainability: An Art Show” at his Over-the-Rhine office. Not only will Lohre showcase beautiful objects that represent sustainability, but in the process, will artfully contribute to the sustainable movement here in Cincinnati by combining his passion for all things green with his love of art, engineering, materials and aesthetics.
To spark discussions on whether “beautiful art can be sustainable” Lohre curated a small capsule of commonly used items that range from functionality of a GoSun Solar Stove to the beautiful aesthetics of a handmade wooden tandem bicycle to the exquisiteness of intricately hand-woven baskets from Ghana, Africa.
Lohre has long been inspired by famous architects, Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius, to name a few. It was his love of art and design that drew him into the world of architecture and his appreciation of craft and consciousness that drew him to sustainability. Lohre recognizes the need to give to future generations through an environmentally friendly lifestyle, but he also wants to create a balance between beauty, functionality, engineering and environmentalism, an art in and of itself.
“So much of what we create, consume and use has an impact, on us, on the environment and the people who create it. I wanted to showcase our ability to still have all the aesthetic luxuries we are accustomed to, and yet to do so responsibly. That is why I created ‘Coveted Sustainability,’” says Lohre. “I think the items I found are ‘covetable’ for a variety of reasons ranging from their aesthetic and engineering genius to their eco-friendly function.” They’re also all examples of legacy design, Lohre continues, “Most of the items are built to last and can be handed down to future generations.”
Showcasing these items isn’t simply about presenting their aesthetic appeal, Lohre contends. Instead, spotlighting the goods is meant to spark a conversation about what they accomplish, how we relate to them and to the people who created them; most important, it is about the stories the items create in the process and finding true meaning in sustainability as we discover their inner beauty:
- A handmade, wooden tandem bicycle made by Jay Kinsinger of Mt. Carmel, Ohio, and the best-of-show winner from 2014 North American Bike Show, displays the functionality of beautiful walnut wood. To prove it is just as functional as the latest carbon fiber bicycles, Jay and his son rode the bike across the country recently creating beautiful memories embodies in its form and its presence is a true tour de force.
- Hand-woven baskets from Ghana made by local women. Funds from the sale of these baskets go back to help empower them and improve their livelihoods and their families.
- GoSun Solar Stove is a locally made lightweight portable stove that has been four years in the making thanks to the efforts of Patrick Sherwin. This stove offers low-income households and those living in developing nations an energy efficient and sanitary method to harness the sun’s energy to cook food.
- Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLED) from Phillips Lighting Company will be making one of its first U.S. appearances at the show. OLED makes rollable computer screens possible and will revolutionize portable displays.
These are just a few of the many items on display at the Green Cincinnati offices in Over-the-Rhine. Showcasing these green gems in the greenest office in the city makes Coveted Sustainability a show that no greenie, artist or advocate of either, will want to miss!
NOTE TO EDITORS: Opening Reception July 25, 2014, 6 to 10 p.m.; Aug. 1, 2014 for LumenoCity (our second floor office has a view of Music Hall) 6 to 11 p.m. and closing Reception August 29, 2014; 6 to 10 p.m. Otherwise by appointment from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. M-F.