New work: Portrait of an artist.

In 2015, we began publishing Last Word in Edible Ohio Valley magazine, the very back editorial page of the magazine featuring a Q&A with notable Ohio Valley people. It’s one of my favorite elements of each issue, and one of my favorite things to write. I love these interviews and the opportunity they afford me to meet interesting people and ask them interesting questions.

Our first Last Word subject was Jim Tarbell, who many people call “Mr. Cincinnati” for his roll-up-your sleeves investment in the city. I’ve spoken with arts figures including Cameron Kitchin of the Cincinnati Art Museum and Victoria Morgan of the Cincinnati Ballet. Former Councilwoman Yvette Simpson. Musicians Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist of Over-the-Rhine.

My conversation late last summer with 93-year-old wildlife artist John Ruthven may have been my favorite. Read this, and you might imagine why I fell so in love with this talented man (photographer Michael Wilson told me he did, too), who’s considered the “Modern Audubon.” When I visited his home studio, he had four works in progress, and was looking forward to a duck hunt with friends the following week.

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