Artists and book-lovers have a new 'Gathering Space' in Camp Washington

Tea and pastries, workshops and installations, too

CINCINNATI -- "Gathering Space," the latest art installation coming to Wave Pool, will transform the Camp Washington gallery into a used-book shop -- a cozy place to sit, read, work and visit with your neighbors.

"The goal is really to get people in the door," said director Calcagno Cullen. "We want to break down some of the barriers that exist whenever an art gallery moves into a community. The idea of an art space can be intimidating. There are people here, our neighbors, who live near us and haven't ever been inside. We want to change that."

Andrew McKinley will create "Gathering Space" based on Adobe Books, the used bookshop he founded in San Francisco 30 years ago. The bookshop became a gathering space for artists, and the community that grew up around it rallied to save it and turn it into a co-op business several years ago. McKinley remains the main book buyer for the shop.

"Lots of artists, musicians and poets were able to hang out and produce work at the store, with the store," McKinley said. "I'd hoped that interesting people would be its customers, but I didn't realize the extent of the movement that would happen."

Cullen, who lived in San Francisco and helped transition Adobe into a co-op before opening Wave Pool three years ago, invited McKinley to Cincinnati to try to re-create the gathering space.

"What Andrew does, what he created at Adobe, really bridges this space between living room and personal business," Cullen said. "I've always found that intriguing, and it's been an inspiration for what we do at Wave Pool."

McKinley will spend a week roaming Cincinnati's thrift stores and estate sales to outfit the pop-up book shop, which will be open from Aug. 26 through Sept. 30 at Wave Pool. He planned to pick up books at the Friends of the Library sale and the Cincinnati Art Museum.

"Gathering Space" also will include tea and pastries from the refugees and immigrants who work with Heartfelt Tidbits, an art-making station from Indigo Hippo, the pay-as-you-can art-supply thrift store in Over-the-Rhine. There also will be giant beanbag sculptures by PLOP, and Chase Public and other local artists will contribute events and installations throughout the month.

Although McKinley has never lived in Cincinnati, he said he feels a connection to the city because of the Cincinnati natives he's met through the years -- many of whom ended up working at Adobe -- and the region's support of art and artists.

He particularly praised Camp Washington and its embrace of Wave Pool, its interesting architecture and diverse community.

"It's impressive to see this neighborhood and how it's nurturing the art scene in Cincinnati," McKinley said. "It's certainly an incubator of something."

Wave Pool is located at 2940 Colerain Ave., and the gallery is open noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

Gathering Space events

Opening reception: 6-9 p.m. Aug. 26

There will be tea, pastries, books, friends and the chance to participate in "Listening Loop," an interactive performance by Mary Clare Reitz.

Poetry and Pie: 7-10 p.m. Aug. 31

Exactly as it says: There will be pie and poetry. Do you need anything else?

The Sleep Show: 11 p.m.-9 a.m. beginning Sept. 16

Presented by Chase Public, this is a concert focused on comfort, meditation and sleep. Come with your pillow and sleeping bag and let the music, played continuously through the night, shape your dreams.

Creative Dive: 7-9 p.m. Sept. 20

Indigo Hippo will lead an art-making workshop asking participants, "What challenges have you experienced lately and how might creativity be applied?"

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