Best Of 2020

Best Naturalist Skateboard Deck: Charley Harper

Modernist wildlife artist Charley Harper — an Art Academy of Cincinnati graduate who created iconic works for Ford Times, The Golden Book of Biology, the National Park Service and plenty of local organizations — is a Cincinnati favorite. Find murals he crafted himself, like the colorful and geometric ceramic tile wall of animals in the John Weld Peck Federal Building or the uncovered-in-2015 abstract “Space Walk” at the Duke Energy Convention Center, or those made in homage to him — like ArtWorks’ “Homecoming (Blue Birds)” — spread throughout the city. And if you want to wear his art or use it on everyday objects like mugs or tea towels, you can find Harper goods at shops like MiCA 12/v, the Cincinnati Art Museum or Fabulous Frames & Art. The latter specializes in all things Harper, including Edie Harper (Charley’s wife and also an artist) and Brett Harper (their son and artist). Fabulous Frames has a special portal online,, featuring art for collectors and a dizzying array of products. If you just want more Harper in your home, they carry everything from quilting bundles to puzzles, earrings, art tiles, ornaments, onesies and very cool skateboard decks. A collaboration with Habitat Skateboards, the decks feature works including Harper’s poster for “The Desert” made for the National Park Service in the 1980s, his “Squid and Whale” and several of his iconic red cardinals. The illustrations are printed on the decks, which are made of American-sourced 7-ply maple, according to the site. Fabulous Frames & Art, multiple locations including 17 W. Fourth St., Downtown,,