MERLE ROSEN says her artwork and her teaching are a spiritual practice. Through various artistic media, she hopes to connect with her "internal dialogue." Rosen teaches to help others do the same. A quote from Picasso describes her own work: "Painting is like keeping a diary."
Her diary includes more than 30 years as an artist and teacher. A UC fine arts graduate, she taught there for 20 years. She built the ceramics program at the Art Consortium and runs a gallery, Blackbird Studio, which regularly exhibits her paintings, works of paper and other mixed media.
Rosen has a love/hate relationship with the local art scene and the Big Pig Gig. (Her pig, SOWND INVESTOR, was sponsored by Ohio National Financial Services.) "Cincinnati supports the performing arts, as opposed to the visual arts," she says. "When people donate money to the Fine Arts Fund, they are donating to major institutions."
Rosen wishes more people would participate in local art shows, exhibits and studios the way they participated in the Gig. "In terms of if I feel supported locally, it's hit or miss," she says. "I would like people to come out and view the visual arts in the same way they have come out to view the pigs."