Monday, February 22, 2010

Obey and 20th Century Cincy


This weekend was tremendous and Monday is really doing its best to try and come off strong. Friday night found us downtown attempting to go to long-time Charley Harper Art Studio supporter, the Contemporary Art Center, for the Shepard Fairey opening. The thing is, as we get older, we don't quite find ourselves needing to make "the scene" and not to mention, it takes a bit longer to get out the door. By the time we got to downtown Cincinnati there was a line all the way around the block. So, rather than stand around in the chill, we walked up the street and enjoyed a steamed bagel sandwich at Gilpins Bagel & Deli. Excellent sandwich, mediocre service. Never made it into the CAC. It looked like fun. Lots of young people dancing and enjoying the time. Most of our readers are probably familiar with Fairey's Obama poster with the words "HOPE". Well, this young whippersnapper has been making all sorts of artwork for quite sometime borrowing from Russian Constructivism and the visage on the late great pro-wrestler, Andre the Giant. "Andre the Giant Has a Posse". You can see some of his latest graphic mural work adorning select walls throughout Cincinnati, currently. Our only real criticism - put them up higher so the younger kids have room to practice on a blank wall instead of a on top a nice mural. That's all.
We finished that evening off listening to delightful young musical group from Columbus called Saint Seneca. Not sure what to call the sound, some of it was overly dramatic coffee-house angst, but most of it was upbeat, driven acoustic spiritualistic folk. Kudos to the young folks over at the Bike Haus for allowing opening us up to good energy.

Now its Monday, and we have the upcoming 15th Annual 20th Century Cincinnati show this weekend that we are preparing for as well as our show at Castor and Pollux in Brighton, UK.
"20th Century Cincinnati is the Queen City's annual retrospective of the forward looking design trends introduced between the First World War and the Computer Age. Quiet evolutions and clamorous revolutions in the arts, architecture, furnishings, decor and fashion worlds..... Art Deco, Streamline, Futuristic, Mid-Century Modern and Op/Pop.....the century's classic forms - many from the century's signature designers - all will fill the floor when 20th Century Cincinnati returns to the Sharonville Convention Center on the weekend of February 27-28, 2010." Stop by and say hi.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

What a Smile!

If you don't know Eleanor Grosch, maybe you should. She's a Philadelphia based designer who works in our favorite fashion - MINIMALISM!!! YAYYYY!!! But seriously, Eleanor is a big fan of the Harpers, and bless her heart, she sent the studio some of her personal prints last year. We think she does fabulous stuff over there at Push Me Pull You Design. We think her Keds shoes are perfect for wearing around our own studio. 7 and a half, Eleanor!! Just kidding. What about men's? She's got great slip-ons for wearing around the house. Size 10, also, Eleanor! We recommend taking the time to peruse her portfolio gallery and the about section of her website. She'll be speaking at How Design Conference 2010 in Denver, CO. Maybe we'll see you there. Ps. Thank you, Eleanor, for your kind words about Edie. It means a lot.

We did promise you a bit about the Ladybug Coalition. Back in 1996 Ranger Rick magazine ran a great piece on Charley and his ladybug artwork. Those little red critturs were a personal favorite of his. "Enchanted", as he put it. So much so, that it became the Harper family symbol! Want to know more? Stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Bored? Snowed in with nothing to do but watch TV and twiddle your thumbs? Baked 5 loaves of bread, made 3 pots of soup, and 2 lasagnas, and have no intention of setting foot in the kitchen for 2 weeks? Need something new, yet familiar and comforting in your life? Something to engage the whole room? Eye-hand coordination practice? Memory upkeep? Invite others to brave the elements to share in the love that came out the oven? Well, Pomegranate Publishing how's come through with a whole new group of Harper products and boy, do they look swell!!

There are jigsaw puzzles of the some of Charley's National Parks posters. A really cute pocket journal with Limp on Limb on it. Some very nicely designed invitation cards with Darwin's Finches. And even Ladybugs Mating was turned into a notepad. Everything can be viewed in the "Other Items" section of

Snowed In or Snowy Owl?

Ahhh... more snow. Could it get much better? Almost everything was closed down today after Cincinnati received a few inches of wintry blanketing. Almost. The Charley Harper Art Studio was active. Brett was snowed in, but Rena was able to plow through to make sure the cat's were ok and ongoing business was not falling behind. What a trooper! Next time you see her, tell her how much you appreciate all the hard work she puts in to make sure the Harper legacy is sprinkled upon the world like the soft downy feathers falling from the breast of a great horned owl hunting mice.
What started as big fluffy flakes are now fine crystals blown about by a Jack Frost gale. Wonderful weather to curl up in a warm nest rather than trying to forage beneath the firs for nuts and seeds. Or in the case of all the wildlife around the studio, taking turns at the fully stocked feeders. Its a great day for going out and identifying and following animal tracks. A great place to go find out about backyard wildlife and how to help them through these months would be Wild Bird Centers of America. You may even see some of the artwork of Charley and Edie Harper while you are in there!
Remember, once you start, those cute little creatures will need your continued dedication to help them through the year!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Winter's End?

The groundhog both saw and didn't see its shadow the other day. There are flowers poking up out of the bed of leaves on the ground and we're looking at a possible snow storm tomorrow. So close to spring, maybe winter will go out with a bang. Funny how we like to talk about the weather when we're not sure what to say. The loss of Edie is still running deep here. Pushing forward and putting the studio's energy to new products and business is helping. Little things make a difference, too. All the support and condolenses, chocolate, and believe or not, a good gyro.
We went up to Athena Foods on Winton Rd yesterday, after hearing that they now made gyros and WOW!! Just the smells alone were like walking into a little slice of paradise. And the meat - great flavor and not greasy. Little things... little things. ITs always nice to go someplace and talk with someone who has a true love of food.

The studio's new product line from Pomegranite Communications will be online at after Monday. Pomegranite's design team seemed to have a lot of fun coming up with the new stuff. Check out the Darwin's Finches invitation cards and the Limp on a Limb journal notebook. There also seems to be a leaning towards a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle series based on the National Parks posters Charley produced. Glacier Bay and the Rocky Mountains will be available next week on our site. Stay tuned.

Coming soon....The "Ladybug Coalition"