Hamilton's 50th Current Art Exhibition Offers a Monumental Art & Light Experience

131 pieces of local art will be projected 40-feet-high onto the side of the Fitton Center in Hamilton.

click to enlarge A rendering of Brian Beck's "Taco Cat" mural projection for the Fitton Center’s 50th Hamilton Current Art Exhibition. - PHOTO: FITTON CENTER FOR THE CREATIVE ARTS
Photo: Fitton Center for the Creative Arts
A rendering of Brian Beck's "Taco Cat" mural projection for the Fitton Center’s 50th Hamilton Current Art Exhibition.

Hamilton, Ohio's Fitton Center is getting a literal glow up from May 28 through June 4.

To celebrate and display the winners of the 50th-annual Hamilton Current regional art competition, the Fitton Center is projecting 131 pieces of original art from 72 different local artists onto the outside of their building.

"Like many projects this past year, necessity has been the mother of invention," Ian Mackenzie-Thurley, Fitton Center executive director, tells CityBeat. "With our main galleries closed for over year, and when planning began there was no date for re-opening, we wanted to ensure that we were able to present the 50th-anniversary Hamilton Current exhibition in a meaningful and impactful way. The Fitton Center is covered in large white ceramic tiles, and we had been wanting to find a way to utilize digital projection for a while now. This seemed the perfect opportunity."      

click to enlarge "Regression" by Rick Lingo - PHOTO: FITTON CENTER
Photo: Fitton Center
"Regression" by Rick Lingo

The works, which will span up to 40 feet in size, will be on view facing the Monument Avenue pergola and will be projected one after the other, with a title card and info.

While one could consider this event similar to a micro-level BLINK art and light festival, Mackenzie-Thurley says the concept really is about "taking the experience from the inside of the Fitton Center’s gallery walls to the outside."

"It’s a fully curated art exhibition with strong recognition of the artists, as well as their work," he says. "As far as we are aware, this is the first time anything of this style has been done in the City of Hamilton."

As part of the opening night celebration — 8 p.m.-midnight May 28 — local band The Wonderlands will be performing live. A DORA bar will be available (downtown Hamilton is a DORA district, which means you can wander with an alcoholic beverage in hand).

After the opening, the works will be projected from 8 p.m.-midnight each night through June 4. 

The event is free and open to the public. 

As part of the juried show, 21 of the 131 artworks were also selected to be displayed in the Fitton Center's foyer gallery, the Monument Gallery. These winning selections, three of which garnered cash prizes and 18 of which received honorable mention, will be on view through July 9.

"This juried exhibition allows regional artists working in any medium and at any stage of their artistic development to share art with the community," says Cathy Mayhugh, Fitton Center director of exhibitions. "The exciting range of style and content in the show makes it a favorite for viewers and art collectors."

The Fitton Center is located at 101 S. Monument Ave., Hamilton. For more information and to view gallery hours, visit fittoncenter.org.

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