Sunday, April 29, 2012

Rookwood Tiles, Carew Tower

As a small child, I looked forward to any downtown shopping trip that included a walk through the arcade of the Carew Tower, Cincinnati's Art Deco landmark. It was a chance to gawk at the tall panels of Rookwood tiles that rise up and over each end of the arcade. I knew nothing about design history and had never heard the term Art Deco. But the colorful geometric magnificence of the ceramic flowers and leaves held me in their thrall. Those hexagonal blooms and chevron-sectioned leaves still crop up in my artwork. The seeds of early design influences may be sown long before we are aware of them. If we are lucky, they will continue to inspire us for a lifetime.