A few days ago I received a call from a friend who had lost my number but who ran into another friend who did have my number, which came as a great relief to Friend #1 because he wanted desperately for me to make it over to the place where a number of old jazz records were being sold.
I was happy about it myself.
This wasn’t the first time that I bought records from a storage unit, but it was the first time that I bought records from an art gallery that was located where you would normally house a storage unit.
And what an art gallery it was: large canvases filled with bright colors and bold brushstrokes. That much they had in common, but stylistically these painting were all over the map. What impressed me and surprised me was the fact that the vast majority of these paintings were done by the same artist.
That artist is Carmen Bowen Bush. After buying some records I snapped pictures of Carmen and her work and talked to her about painting. It turns out she never thought about becoming an artist until she took a trip to Europe while she was an adult.
That surprised me as well, because art seemed to come so naturally to her that I wouldn’t have been surprised if she had been painting since childhood.
Carmen has plans to move to California, but before she does that she wants to sell some of the thousands of things she has accumulated (she has long had a talent for finding interesting things), and she is doing so from her art studio in a storage unit Northside. She has tools, books, framed prints, books, furniture, musical instruments, records, CDs, and all kinds of other stuff. If you’re interested in shopping for cool old things, I highly recommend contacting her. You can call her at 513.205.8673 to set up an appointment.
I also recommend visiting Carmen’s website – http://carmenarts.com/ – to learn more about her and see more of her work. Her work appears quite often in art shows around Cincinnati, and in fact that’s the reason my friend ran into her: they both participated in the Northside Arts in the Park show. While I visited with her, Carmen told me about her friendship with the late Fr. James W Hasse, SJ, a close friend of hers who was also an artist.
Carmen showed some of his paintings and told me about his life and their friendship.If you visit her, I recommend asking to see some of his work, as it’s unique and powerful. I will leave you with a link to his paintings: