Category Archives: Art

Love the Cov – 2016 Calendar Series

I started the @LoveTheCov Instagram account a few years ago as a means of sharing my photography and passion for the city of Covington, where I live. With nearly 200 photos and more than 1,000 followers, I never thought this little account would have a devoted following (at last check there were 6,364 photos tagged with #LoveTheCov).

For a while, I’ve wanted to make something that would allow people to share and enjoy their love of this town- without further ado, I present the 2016 Love the Cov Calendar Series.

Available in Poster or Desk/Wall versions.
Available in Poster or Desk/Wall versions.

First up is the 2016 Calendar Poster, which lets you get a quick 12-month view; it’s printed on premium matte paper and available in 13″x19″ and 9.5″x13″ sizes.

Second is the one I’m most excited about- desk or wall calendars created using premium materials. The first version consists of 1/4″ dark-stained oak bonded to chocolate brown genuine leather. Both the oak and leather will age beautifully throughout the year, and beyond. The metal bulldog clip will keep the months in order. Bonus- after the year is over, you have a pretty awesome rustic photo frame.

The second version of the desk/wall calendar was built using beechwood remnants from a tobacco barn in nearby Aurora, Indiana. I’ve chosen to leave this wood unfinished and keep the markings intact- just as there is a story in our photos, there is a story in this wood.

I’m even more excited to announce that 10% of every purchase will go towards supporting projects listed by Covington schools on as of December 1, 2015. This is a great way to give back to the youth of our community.

Visit the Calendar Shop now to make your purchase and support Covington students!

Folk School Coffee Parlor

I was recently asked by The River City News to run their Instagram account for the first half of April; while my @lovethecov account focuses exclusively on Covington, I took the request as a challenge to branch out to the other river cities of Newport, Bellevue, Dayton, and Ludlow.

My last city was Ludlow, a quiet town that I honestly hadn’t spent much time in, aside from the strangely popular Ludlow Bromley Yacht Club. However, RCN had done a good job of highlighting recent progress in the town: a new craft distillery, a craft brewery under construction, and a couple of coffee shops, to name a few.

I drove through Ludlow earlier this week, not quite sure what to expect. Once I saw the sign outside of Folk School Coffee Parlor, I knew I had to stop in.

I met Matt, one of the owners- he had just wrapped a community organization meeting, which wasn’t at all surprising to learn after talking to him for 15 minutes. He and his wife were drawn to Ludlow from Cincinnati’s west side (people do get out, after all) thanks to BLDG founder Mike Amann, and decided to make a go of a community-driven coffee shop with live music and classes as often as possible.

The space itself is very mellow, the coffee from Deeper Roots fantastic as always. There’s even an outdoor space out back for more lively performances during the warmer part of the year.

There’s a good chance I’ll be stopping by in Ludlow more often in the future.

Northside’s Urban Artifact

I first met Scott Hand and Dominic Marino, the guys behind Urban Artifact, 2 years ago, when I was working on Make Cincy Yours. At the time, they were pursuing redeveloping the old Jackson Brewery/Metal Blast Building in North OTR into a destination that would house a brewery and performing arts venue. Unfortunately, the team had to abandon the project due to the incredible and expensive complexities behind rehabbing a 150+ year old building. There is a happy ending to this story, though- beer and music are only a couple of weeks away.

Despite the challenges they faced at the Jackson Brewery site, Scott and Dominic didn’t give up on their dream- instead, they lucked into a new site, with just as much history: the St. Pius X church in Cincinnati’s eccentric Northside neighborhood. The team abandoned the Grayscale name (they’ll maintain the name for their music distribution company) in favor of something more dynamic and representative of their endeavor: Urban Artifact.

The former St. Pius X church in Northside, most recently home to Queen City Cookies, and now the new home of Urban Artifact .
The former St. Pius X church at 1662 Blue Rock Street in Northside, most recently home to Queen City Cookies, and now the new home of Urban Artifact .

I had a chance to visit the new digs recently. After walking through with Scott and meeting the brewing team, I am confident that Urban Artifact’s unique mix of space, beer, and music will do wonders.

The Space
Urban Artifact can be split into three distinct areas: the brewery, stage & taproom, and event space. Brewing operations are housed in a building behind the church, where Queen City Cookies also worked out of. Funny story: the day the fermenters arrived, the team had to hurry to remove part of the dropped ceiling so they could be stood upright.

The lower level of the church will be home to the taproom and an intimate performing space. When I walked through, both areas were still being worked on, but the vision is clear: grab a beer, hang out in the taproom, or listen to any number of local artists the team has booked.

As excited as I am for the brewery and the taproom, the event space is what I’m looking forward to the most. While the entirety of Urban Artifact can be praised as a great example of adaptive reuse, turning the main worship space of St. Pius X into a space for parties, fundraisers, and larger concerts is one of those moves that just makes sense.

The Beer
Urban Artifact is planning on having as many as ten(!) beers on tap on opening: several small-batch, experimental brews, and three flagship beers:

Urban Artifact's flagship beers (from
Urban Artifact’s flagship beers (from

Since I will be the first to say that I know nothing about beers, I’ll simply redirect you to Urban Artifact’s page, where you can learn more, as well as this article from Queen City Drinks, who did a great interview with the team.

The Music
Both Dominic and Scott have strong connections to music; Dominic is an award-winning trombonist and teaches at CCM. Scott is an architect specializing in performing arts venues. The pair couldn’t be better suited to creating a music-driven brewery. They’ll plan on having live music every night, with the opportunity for artists to record their performances and distribute via Scott and Dominic’s Grayscale digital distribution brand. Learn more here.

Needless to say, I’m pretty excited about what looks to be an incredible addition to the Cincinnati craft beer scene. Urban Artifact may be slightly off the beaten path, but the combination of beer, music, and space will be more than worth it.


Urban Artifact’s Website
Urban Artifact on Facebook
Grayscale Cincinnati
The Northsider


Last year, BLDG, one of Covington’s most notable creative agencies, put on an event titled 199C. On the Friday evening before the Reds’ first home game of the season, downtown Covington’s Pike Street shut down between Madison and Washington Avenues. Within a matter of minutes, Short Pike became Wiffle Ball Alley. BLDG’s interior space had become a gallery full of art dedicated to the game of baseball, with plenty of favor for the Reds. And hundreds of people, primarily Covington residents and artists from both sides of the river, flooded the street and gallery. And that was just Year 1.

This year, BLDG one upped themselves. 199C, also known as the color red in the Pantone palette, was billed as the “All-Star Edition” as a reference to Cincinnati hosting this year’s MLB All-Star Game. Artists from all over the country contributed works to what BLDG calls the region’s only Opening Day art show. I call it a great idea, and an awesome event for an up and coming area like Covington’s Pike Street.

Goebel Goats

I’ll be writing more in depth about the changes coming to Covington’s Goebel Park, but I did want to highlight the recent efforts to bring a special addition to the park- goats.

Long a staple of rural America and funny YouTube videos, goats are experiencing a new-found presence in urban centers. Their ability to eat almost anything has led to enterprising farmers and upstarts bringing them to cities and towns, where land overgrown by weeds and invasive plants has taken away from an otherwise useful park, space, or attractive hillside.

Goebel Park is no different; its west-facing hillside has been overwhelmed by weeds and other plants. Instead of tasking humans with attacking the fairly steep incline, Gus Wolf, local farmer and co-leader of the Covington Urban Agricultural project Grow the Cov, is planning on bringing as many as 13 goats to the hills of Goebel Park sometime this spring.

To mark the occasion and raise awareness, the Make Goebel Great group held a painting party a couple weekends ago. Kids from around the neighborhood gathered to paint wooden cutouts of goats, which will then be placed along the hills in the park.

Soon enough, folks traveling north on I-75 are going to be seeing a gang of goats tackling Goebel park and helping beautify the area for its patrons.

The Madison Theater, Facelifted

I’ve seen more than my fair share of shows at the Madison Theater, and loved every one. When news came out that the space next door was being turned into a smaller music venue for local and beginning acts, I got excited. Madison Live is on the way, and will feature a rooftop deck as well. A new paint job, completed earlier this week, really brightens up this part of the neighborhood. Chalk this up as another step in the right direction for Madison Avenue and Covington’s Central Business District.