Where It’s At: Cincinnati

Affectionately referred to as "The Queen City," Cincinnati has many arts jewels in its crown. Called "a town of best kept secrets" by Travel + Leisure, a "city that rocks" by Esquire and one of America’s most livable cities by Partners for Livable Communities, Cincinnati is increasingly establishing itself as a creative town. Numerous arts organizations, museums and events have something to do with that.

Italianate architecture adds to the charm in the neighborhood just north of downtown, Over-the-Rhine, the heart of the local arts, so to speak. There reside the renowned Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Ballet Company, in addition to various small businesses, theater groups and art galleries along and around Main Street, and the historical Findlay Market—which is also where the Opening Day Parade route starts each year for the Cincinnati Reds.

A don’t-miss gallery hop includes the monthly Final Friday Gallery Walk at the Pendleton Art Center (with eight floors of artists’ studios), Enjoy the Arts, Krafthaus, Publico, 1305 Gallery, Sassafras Gallery, InkTank, Art Academy of Cincinnati, University Galleries on Sycamore (a University of Cincinnati gallery) and many more.

Then there are the stellar art museums, which each have a particular exhibition of note this month. The Cincinnati Art Museum (CAM), nearing an expansion, and the new, Zaha Hadid-designed Contemporary Arts Center (CAC), which The New York Times called the "most important building to be completed since the end of The Cold War," team up to host "Sol LeWitt x2": 100 works from 1960 to the present by American artist Sol LeWitt’s fellow artists, on view at the CAM February 16-May 11, and "Sol LeWitt: Structure and Line," featuring the work of the artist over the course of his career at the CAC February 22-May 4. The Taft Museum of Art, known as "one of the finest small art museums in America" despite its recent $22.8 million renovation and expansion, features "From Winslow Homer to Edward Hopper: American Watercolor Masterpieces from the Brooklyn Museum," February 22-May 11.

Travel on the Web: http://cincinnatiarts.com, www.cincinnatiartmuseum.org, www.contemporaryartscenter.org, www.irhine.com.

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