Wave Pool's 'Invisible Labor' Exhibit Seeks to Spotlight the Unseen

'Invisible Labor' marks Wave Pool's last exhibit opening of 2018.

click to enlarge The Contemporary Arts Center preparatory crew. - Natalie Jenkins
Natalie Jenkins
The Contemporary Arts Center preparatory crew.

Wave Pool Gallery’s upcoming Invisible Labor exhibit gets meta. The premise is as follows: Behind the art that hangs along walls of museums and galleries is the work of people that are often in the shadows of recognition. Art handlers and exhibit preparatory crews are vital — and often artists themselves — to the process of work being seen.

And yet it’s their work that is often goes unrecognized. Rarely do they get visible recognition for their work via name credits or otherwise.

But Wave Pool’s exhibit — which opens November 17 — seeks to hand them the spotlight. Curated by Maria Seda-Reeder — an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati's College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning — the show “aims to make visible the labor and practice of building, installing and creating art exhibitions,” according to a press release. (Full stop: Reeder has been a contributing writer to CityBeat.) 

The Cov’s Carnegie Performing Arts Center, Cincinnati Art Museum, the Contemporary Arts Center, Taft Museum, 21c Museum Hotel and the Weston Art Gallery are all showcasing their installation crews and fabricators who allow the work of more well-known artists to be seen.

In conjunction with the exhibit, Wave Pool is also releasing a 2019 wall calendar featuring the faces of local preparatory crews and art handlers, all taken by local photographer Natalie Jenkins. If you want to snag one, the gallery will have ‘em for sale for a few months.

Funding for Invisible Labors were provided through an ArtSTART award from the Ohio Arts Council.

The opening reception unfolds at Wave Pool (2940 Colerain Ave., Camp Washington) this Saturday, Nov. 17 from 6 to 9 p.m. Admission the event is free. More info: wavepoolgallery.org