Lost without You

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On August 28, 2015 (with an opening reception 6 to 10 pm), Thunder-Sky, Inc. presents “The Goodwill Biennial.” The show closes October 15, 2015. Ohio Valley Goodwill’s team in Cincinnati have been setting aside handmade art donated to the organization for the past year, in order to facilitate this project. Thunder-Sky, Inc. curators, as well as Matt Distel from the Carnegie (Covington, Kentucky) and Melanie Derrick from 1305 Gallery in Over the Rhine, are jurying an exhibit of these donated paintings, sculptures, drawings and other objects that have a distant connection with the present, and a distinct and dreamy sense of the past.  “The whole purpose of working with Goodwill is to treat the works we come across with respect and dignity, in order to find some kind of meaning/redemption in them that goes beyond kitsch and into another realm,” Thunder-Sky, Inc. Co-founder Keith Banner says. “Plus titling the whole project after sometimes pretentious and sometimes contentious contemporary biennial art surveys is kind of a lark – poking fun at the art-world, while also paying homage to artists who have been lost, consigned to donation bins.”  Raymond Thunder-Sky himself is another reason Thunder-Sky, Inc. is partnering with Ohio Valley Goodwill in Cincinnati. Thunder-Sky worked at Goodwill’s employment and training center for several years before he died, and often featured Goodwill in his drawings.


Time Machine

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Amazing opening June 26, 2015, an amazing show.  “History Channel:  New Art from Old Art” is up through middle of August.

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History Making Event

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June 26, 2015, “History Channel:  New Art from Old Art” opens with a reception 6 to 10 pm at Thunder-Sky, Inc.  Lots of different artists riffing on lots of old and famous artists and art.  Check it out.


Emily Brandehoff


Scott Carney


Marc Lambert


Antonio Adams

“Have a Bandit Day”

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Eventide in Podunk

“Eventide in Podunk,” Steve Paddack


“Not Done,” Avril Thurman


“Have a Bandit Day,” Avril Thurman


“Hay Helado,” Avril Thurman

The Vocabulary of Carpet

“The Vocabulary of Carpet,” Steve Paddack

Holiday in Times Beach

“Holiday in Times Beach,” Steve Paddack

Thunder-Sky, Inc. presents “Any Given Day: New Works by Steve Paddack and Avril Thurman,” opening with a reception 6 to 10 pm April 24, 2015. The exhibit closes June 12, 2015. “Any Given Day” features vibrant, unnerving works by Indianapolis-based Paddack and Cincinnati-based Thurman. Through a surreptitious system of images and codes that blossom into visual and sometimes disturbing poetry, both Paddack and Thurman find strangeness in the everyday, and an everyday-ness in the strange. A graduate of the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis, Paddack has been a working artist for over 30 years, and his paintings have both a steely grandeur and a dreamy irreverence. Thurman, a graduate of the Art Academy in Cincinnati, transforms words and objects into potent symbols that are both hard to interpret and yet make complete sense. Join us to celebrate “Any Given Day” Friday April 24, 2015.

“Any Given Day” Opens April 24, 2015

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“Not Done,” by Avril Thurman.


Eventide in Podunk

“Eventide in Podunk,” Steve Paddack

“Any Given Day:  New Works by Steve Paddack and Avril Thurman” opens April 24, 2015.  It’s one of those shows you have to see to believe, or maybe it’s the other way around.  Thurman loves word-play but also luxuriates in the fonts and style of each phrase and word.  Paddack luxuriates in mood; each painting seems to be a still from an ongoing epic motion picture concerning what you lose when you stop remembering.

MAKESHIFT: New Show Opens February 28, 2015

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“Makeshift:  New Works by Vincent Gray, Dale Jackson, Patricia Murphy, and Ricky Walker” is one of those shows I totally look forward to at Thunder-Sky, Inc. because I don’t think it could happen anywhere else in town — maybe the universe.  We totally strive to find ways to reconfigure the way art galleries are supposed to be, and the way art shows are supposed to look, so here it is, a show made up of wonderfully disparate visions and focal points, a wide range of demographics, styles, approaches, and we want to take all of that and make a weird little symphony out of it, without losing the wide-ranging weirdness and the particular visions of each artist.  Dale makes art from words; he uses what he hears as a sort of wall-paper to block out meaning and yet also decorate with it.  His word-pictures have a finality and drama and humor no other art does.  He seems focused on language without wanting to know what language is doing, and by doing that he gets rid of the need to talk.  Vince uses pointillism, a style from late 19th Century France, to depict all kinds of vignettes, moments, iconography that both breaks away from that approach and absorbs.  His paintings are funky and also finessed.  Patricia, a graduate of the art academy and a poet as well, uses space and form in ways that revise the way we are supposed to look at things; her sculptures and other works feel both timeless and fragile.  This is Ricky’s first show (one of his works is pictured above).  He draws on 81/2 X 11 pieces of copy-paper, with crayon, the same thing over and over, boxy and urgent, but also somehow soothing, ever-present.  Why the title “Makeshift”?  The sound of it more than the meaning:  art is about making, and shifting the way things are made.  Check all this out last Saturday in February.


Thunder-Sky, Inc. 2015: Mission Creep

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In 2015, Thunder-Sky, Inc. keeps creeping along, with exhibits that hone in on what it means to be outside of the regular world and loving it. Raymond Thunder-Sky’s mission was to be a part of the city on his own terms, and he did so while also finding inspiration, and triumph, on its periphery. The 2015 shows we’ve pulled together celebrate that sense of ongoing exploration and workmanlike dedication to being exactly who you are, without reservation or apology. January 9, 2015 opening reception 6 to 10 pm, closing February 13, 2015:  “Behavior Caused by Joy:  Michael Weber.”  Thunder-Sky, Inc. Artist-in-Residence and Cincinnati Contemporary Art Center Gallery Attendant Michael Weber has his first one-man show, featuring his beautifully colored abstract works, many inspired by his trip to Japan.  February 28, 2015, opening reception 6 to 10 pm, closing April 10, 2015:  “Makeshift:  New Works by Vincent Gray, Dale Jackson, Patricia Murphy, and Ricky Walker.”  Three different kinds of artists take patterns of language, image and text and reinvent what they are supposed to mean.  April 24, 2015, opening reception 6 to 10 pm, closing June 12, 2015: “Any Given Day:  New Works by Steve Paddock and Avril Thurmon.”  Indianapolis-based Paddock, and Cincinnati-based Thurmon, work through a surreptitious system of images and codes that somehow culminate into visual and sometimes disturbing poetry. June 26, 2015, opening reception 6 to 10 pm, closing August 14, 2015:  “History Channel:  New Art from Old Art.”  Insideout Studio in Hamilton, Ohio (along with a few other artists from the area) take on art history, and reimagine/reinterpret masterpieces on their own terms.August 28, 2015, opening reception 6 to 10 pm, closing October 16, 2015:  “The Goodwill Biennial.” A group of local curators plucks through art that has been given away, to produce a show of orphaned paintings, sculptures, etc. finding a new home at Thunder-Sky, Inc.  October 30, 2015, opening reception 6 to 10 pm, closing December 18, 2015:  “Used Lumber Sale:  Under-Sky Sneaks Upstairs.”  Every Saturday a bunch of artists show up to make stuff in the basement of the gallery.  It’s called “Under-Sky,” and this show is about selling some of the work.  First come, first serve.  Great prices.   You buy it you take it.

“Clownville” Opens October 24, 2014 at Thunder-Sky, Inc.

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Do you remember Raymond Thunder-Sky?




Raymond Thunder-Sky used to walk around Cincinnati’s downtown and other venues with a toolbox filled with markers and paper, dressed in a clown-construction-worker uniform. He drew demolition and construction sites. Thunder-Sky, Inc. is a non-profit art gallery in Northside that archives the 2200+ drawings Raymond left behind. It’s located at 4573 Hamilton Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45223, a couple doors down from The Comet.  Phone: (513) 426-0477. You can check out the digital archive of all of Raymond’s drawings at www.raymondthundersky.org. 


“The New Clownville Amusement Park,” Thunder-Sky, Inc.’s last exhibit of 2014, celebrates the fifth anniversary of the gallery, as well as the tenth anniversary of Raymond Thunder-Sky passing. “The New Clownville Amusement Park” features Raymond-inspired works by a variety of artists, as well as an exclusive showing of some of Raymond’s most out-there drawings. It opens October 24,2014 with a reception 6 to 10 pm. The show closes December 15, 2014.


“Outcasts” Work It Out

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Thunder-Sky, Inc. presents “Outcasts from Hollywood (the Greatest Celebrity Art Show Event): Antonio Adams and Emily Brandehoff.” The show opens August 22, 2014 and closes October 10, 2014.  “How Deep Is Your Love,” a Thunder-Sky, Inc. fundraiser happening in the basement gallery opens and closes on the same dates.  

Adams and Brandehoff often work side by side on Saturdays in the basement at Thunder-Sky, Inc. For “Outcasts from Hollywood,” they have created both separate suites of work as well as collaborations that investigate/celebrate/satirize the poetry and absurdity of celebrity culture and its aftermath.

Adams is a well-known and respect artist, as well as Artist-in-Residence, at Thunder-Sky, Inc. He has shown his work in New York City, Chicago, London, England, and Los Angeles, among other places. Brandehoff considers herself an “artist with a day job” whose sensitive yet very sarcastic works often depict the ironies and excesses of pop culture.

Adams is building a self-directed mythology in much of his work, which is here exemplified by his penultimate painting, “Outcast from Hollywood (2013/14),” a sequel to 2012’s penultimate work, “Unrealized and Unforeseen” from his 2012 one-person show here at Thunder-Sky. In “Outcast from Hollywood,” he depicts a very staged (in more ways than one) tableau featuring himself in his usual Art Master garb, this time partnered with Brandehoff. They both seem to be presenting some commandments kind of like a show business duo channeling Moses coming down from the mountain. Their audience is made up of a variety of first- and second- and third-rate celebrities, many of whom are crying and gnashing their teeth in a variety of ways. It’s a Technicolor a poster for a great Biblical epic in the Cecil B. Demille school, and yet it’s also a beautiful farce informed by tabloids and websites. Adams is a preeminent social satirist, and also somehow the best kind of super-fan: his love for celebrity foibles and the surrealism of famous lives gives his art a phantasmagorical sheen, but also a strangely sentimental intent. He simply loves the stupidity of it all.

Brandehoff loves farce as well, but hers is a little darker and a little less about mythology and more about deconstructing the myths set up for us by social and regular old media. In her deceptively simple, highly designed paintings and drawings on wood, she finds the perfect pop-culture moments to transform into cartoons about disintegration, loss and foolishness. Her penultimate piece turns out to be “Can I Kiss You Please? (2014),” a skillfully executed drawing of Philip Seymour Hoffman as Scotty in Boogie Nights, a sort of Mad Magazine poem to unrequited love and lives.

In the center of the gallery is a suite of collaborative paintings by both, titled “Michael Jackson Thriller 1, 2, 3, and 4,” which depicts a merging of two similar yet completely aesthetically divergent universes, with Adams filling in the gap with a nonsense narrative that seems to make more sense than real life.

And please check out Under-Sky, if you have a chance. “How Deep Is Your Love,” a fundraiser for our little non-profit gallery, is a cash-and-carry goldmine.

Keith Banner, Thunder-Sky, Inc.


4573 Hamilton Avenue Cincinnati, Ohio 45223
Hours: Saturday/Sunday 1 to 4 pm, or by appointment.

(513) 426-0477 | info@raymondthundersky.org

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