Last summer, 12 Cincinnati artists and writers — who were, for the most part, relative strangers — came together to play Dungeons & Dragons.
The notion might sound like the basis of a reality show or a spin-off of Freaks and Geeks but its end result is an art show, which will open at Chase Public tonight (Jan. 11) at 6 p.m. Dubbed Ral Buldhar after the fantasy city their characters lived in, the show includes illustrations, poetry, textile-based art, paintings and more.
Scott Holzman — a co-owner of Chase Public — organized both the game and the exhibit. The crew, split into two groups of six, met weekly for three months to roll the dice and explore a world of fantasy. In the following months, they each created art chronicling their shared experience.
"I don’t think anybody, other than me, knew more than one other person that they were playing with," he says. "In my head, it was an exciting opportunity to see what it was like to play Dungeons & Dragons — which is pretty fun, it turns out — and see the kind of experience artists have when they spend a lot of intimate time with strangers in assumed personalities."
He points out that the group came to know each other through their character personas; he's interested in seeing how that element will carry into the resulting creative work.
As for its opening, he says "lots of people (will come) together to meet in real-life tonight for something that is usually only talked about in small groups of four or five at the D&D table."
And yes: There will be light refreshments and snacks. (Apparently, there will be red-and-blue dragon-shaped cookies. Very cool.)
The game masters were Jeb Brack and Alexa Justice; the players included Aiesha Little, Anissa Pulcheon, Christina Wald, Gabrielle Lanza, Geoffrey Woolf, Jay B. Kalagayan, John Sebastian, L.D. Nehls, Marcus Donaldson and Holzman.
Along with being opening open from 6-10 p.m. tonight, Chase Public (2868 Colerain Ave., Camp Washington) will also be open from 1-4 p.m. tomorrow. Though Holzman isn't sure of when the exhibit will leave, he estimates that it will remain on view for about a month. For more info, click here.
If you want to check out even more art, MurderBird Gallery — a new next-door arrival — will open from 6-9 p.m. with work by Daniel Baker and Zachary Sheets.