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Robert O'Neal: Open to All

Presented by Contemporary Arts Center at Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati OH

Robert O'Neal: Open to All

Robert O'Neal, Jazz Queen, 1998. Acrylic on canvas, 37 x 29 x 1.5 inches. Courtesy of the Robert O'Neal Multicultural Arts Center.

Representing the rich histories of Cincinnati’s Black communities.

As a life-long resident of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, Robert O’Neal (b. 1940, Covington, KY; d. 2018, Cincinnati, OH) was a fixture of the region’s local arts community. Throughout his over fifty-year career, O’Neal created works that represent the joys, struggles, and rich histories of Cincinnati’s Black neighborhoods. His practice merged art and activism, advocating for civil rights through socially engaged art and grassroots organizing that supported Black artists, fought for disability rights, and advocated for the unhoused. He has left a long-lasting impression on the community, earning him the unofficial title of “Over-the-Rhine Mayor.” As the first major survey on the artist, Robert O’Neal: Open to All highlights his vast body of work. Featuring paintings, drawings, prints, and photographs that he produced between the 1960s-2010s, along with a collection of archival materials, this long overdue retrospective examines O’Neal’s critical contributions to the city of Cincinnati.

This exhibition is generously supported by DaSci Consulting Group, Morse and Betty Johnson Family Foundation, Barbara Myers, Emily Hanako Momohara and Shawn Newman, and The Warrington Family: Warrington Foundation (Fran and Dan Bailey), Jens Rosenkrantz & Kay Hurley, and Drew Gores & George Warrington. CAC receives Annual Exhibition Support from Gale and Dave Beckett, Helen and Brian Heekin, Belflex and Jason McCaw, Barbara Myers, Barbara Weston Sasser and Carol Weston Roberts, Ronnie and John Shore, and generous contributors to the CAC Exhibition Fund. General operating support for the CAC is provided by The P&G Fund, The Johnson Foundation, ArtsWave, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Ohio Arts Council.

Curated by:

Stephanie Kang, Independent Curator and Assistant Professor of Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, Denver.


Admission to the CAC is free of charge.

Contact: (513) 345-8400

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Additional time info:

Gallery Hours
Monday - Tuesday: Galleries are closed; Lobby and Shop open 10AM - 2:30PM
Wednesday - Friday : 10am - 7pm
Saturday - Sunday: 10am - 4pm



* Event durations (if noted) are approximate. Please check with the presenting organization or venue to confirm start times and duration.


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44 E 6Th St , Cincinnati , OH 45202

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