• A new exhibit that's a mini-retrospective of the work of Jim Bowsher — a collector, storyteller, folklorist and creator of an unusual art environment in Wapakoneta, Ohio, opens with a 6-10 p.m. reception tonight (Friday, June 15) at Thunder-Sky, Inc., 4523 Hamilton Ave. in Northside. Jim Bowsher and the Temple of Tolerance consists of photographs, artifacts, videos, clippings and other Bowsher-related work. He will be at the reception. Tomorrow at 7 p.m., Bowsher will tell stories at Chase Public, 2868 Colerain Ave. More info here.
• Another notable event on this weekend's Arts & Culture calendar is the beginning of Cincinnati Opera's 2018 season — and also the return of the Opera to the renovated and restored Music Hall. The season begins with one of the most popular of all operas, Verdi's La Traviata, the story of the courtesan Violetta in 1850s Paris and her lover, Alfredo. After a first performance last night (see photo, above), it will be presented at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday, June 16) and again on Wednesday and June 22. Tickets/more info: cincinnatiopera.org.
• A potentially powerful and groundbreaking exhibit with an opening reception tonight (Friday, June 15) is The Persistence of Vision: Early and Late Works by Artists with Macular Degeneration, at the The Philip M. Meyers, Jr. Memorial Gallery on UC Main Street at the University of Cincinnati. Curated by A’Dora Phillips and Brian Schumacher of the Vision and Art Project, with gallery director Aaron Cowan, it features over 50 works by eight artists affected by the disease that causes vision loss. Before and after works by Lennart Anderson (1928–2015), Serge Hollerbach (1923-), Dahlov Ipcar (1917–2017), David Levine (1926–2009), Robert Andrew Parker (1927-), Thomas Sgouros (1927–2012), Hedda Sterne (1910–2011) and William Thon (1906–2000) are included. The artists adapted their practices, often drawing on memory, to continue work and forge new insights, a press release says. After tonight’s 6-8 p.m. reception, the show is up through July 29. More info here:
• Longtime Cincinnati curator Linda Schwartz has put together a multi-artist show of Contemporary art at an unusual spot — a large open-spaced room off the huge lobby of the new Summit A Dolce Hotel, 5345 Medpace Way in Madisonville. The hotel itself displays art throughout its public spaces, and this room could make a useful gallery space for guest curators. Schwartz’s Alternate Projects is offfering an excellent, sophisticated show, Beyond Things, featuring work by such artists as Amanda Curreri, Tracy Featherstone, Llewelynn Fletcher, Terence Hammonds, Lydia Rosenberg, Rebecca Steele and Jordan Tate. It’s also an excellent chance to see a cyclorama with projected imagery constructed by Vincent Sansalone and Whitney Hamaker of the architectural collective DPMT7. My favorite piece was Fletcher’s “Standing Sound Costume: Lion,” a basswood-carved sculpture of an abstracted lion that also is a sound chamber. It took me awhile to realize that — I kept hearing an eerie, wind-like noise that made me wonder if a door was open and a distant storm was moving in. The exhibit is up through Sept. 30. More info: alternateprojects.net.
• And finally, if you're looking for a relaxing way to take in some arts and culture along with crafts, food and a walk through a splash ground, the June installment of City Flea at Washington Park occurs tomorrow (Saturday, June 16) from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. More information at thecityflea.com.
Send information about upcoming weekend Arts & Culture events to [email protected]