Local 'Star Wars' art tribute show returns with blockbuster sequel

CINCINNATI – Sometimes the sequel is better than the original.

That is what organizers promise when “May the Fourth Be With You — Episode II: An Art Tribute Show of a Galaxy Far, Far Away” returns Thursday to the Brew House, at 1047 E. McMillan St. in Walnut Hills.

“It should be really cool this year,” said Christina Wald, a local illustrator who organized the event.

For non-science fiction fans, May 4 became the unofficial “Star Wars” holiday years ago as a play on "May the Force be with you," a popular phrase introduced in the first "Star Wars" movie.

Wald, who organized the inaugural “May the Fourth Be With You” show last year with WCPO employee and editorial cartoonist Kevin Necessary, said more than 50 pieces of art will be displayed during the show. The "Star Wars"-themed art includes paintings, sketches, hand-made puppets and crochet work. Necessary also helped to organize this year's event.

“The work itself is fantastic,” said Cincinnati area illustrator and graphic designer Tim Fuller, who helped organize this year's event. “I was blown away when I saw most of it for the first time.”

RELATED: Celebrate May the Fourth with 'Star Wars'-themed paper droid

Fuller painted the poster advertising the second annual show. 

He also submitted a piece of what he called "thrift store art."

“For a very long time, I wanted to do what I call thrift store painting,” he said. “I was lucky enough to find a couple interesting-looking paintings a few months ago. One was a snow scene. It looked like the guy was painting along with Bob Ross. So, I painted the Imperial probe droid on Hoth floating through this scene.”

Most of the art on display, including Fuller’s work, will be for sale at the celebration and remain on display at the Brew House throughout the month. Partial proceeds from food, drink and art sales during the evening will benefit the Force For Change charity, a "Star Wars"-themed nonprofit that collects money to fund solutions for global problems.

Some artists, including Wald, will create new works during the event. There also will be a new interactive component to the evening: ComedySportz Cincinnati, a part of OTRimprov, will host a “Whose Line Is It Anyway”-style quiz show game starting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

The full OTRimprov group will return to the Brew House on May 25, the 40th anniversary date of the first “Star Wars” movie theatrical release, to perform a Shakespearean reading of most of the movies in the franchise.

“There’s actual books that came out,” said Dave Powell, a member of OTRimprov. “We’re doing the greatest hits of it. The prequels that aren’t that great as movies themselves actually make great Shakespearean readings.”

Fuller said he is looking forward to seeing both the improv and the turnout for Thursday’s event.

“I would say get there early,” he said. “Last year, I think we got the last booth. We were kind of trapped in there. The turnout should be great.”

'May the Fourth Be With You — Episode II: An Art Tribute Show of a Galaxy Far, Far Away'

When: 5-11 p.m. Thursday (Doors open at 4 p.m.)
Where: Brew House, 1047 E. McMillan St., Walnut Hills.
Participating artists: Wald, Fuller, Necessary, Amy Bogard, Daryll Collins, Chris Reiff, Jonathan Queen, Paul Jurczak, Tom Miller, Jamie Filer, Anthony “Tank” Mansfield, Vanessa Sorensen, Chad Taylor, Allison Craig, Josh Lusby, Sarah Lalley, Misha Knierim, Benjamin Hutchison, Sarah Rocheleau, Justin Stewart, Danny Duford, Dylan Speeg, Rob Warnick, David Michael Beck, Julie Hill, Sara Leah Miller and Jason Snell.
Information: Visit the event Facebook page.

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