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People and Other Non-Entities: Storytelling with Jim Bowsher

  • Chase Public 2868 Colerain Avenue Cincinnati, OH, 45225 United States (map)

From interviewing members of the Ku Klux Klan at age 12 to scouring the wreckage of James Earl Ray’s childhood home, Jim Bowsher’s insatiable curiosity and unmitigated passion for history have shaped and informed his life for more than half a century. His home in Wapakoneta, Ohio, is a living museum of eclectic objects that each carry a story – sometimes personal, sometimes historically significant, always fascinating. But his master work is undoubtedly The Temple of Tolerance. 

For nearly two decades Jim acquired, moved and precisely placed innumerable rocks, many massive, along with other ornamental features like the jail cell door that once held Dillinger, to construct the Temple as a refuge for young people battered by dysfunctional family dynamics or other destructive relationships. Completed in 1999, this is no mere rock garden in a neighbor’s backyard. It has the look and feel of a modest Greek ruin, all the more enchanting for being located in a small town in rural Ohio. 

The Temple of Tolerance is the physical manifestation of Jim’s belief that all people are born with a natural capacity for goodness. A captivating storyteller, Jim brings to life the characters he’s encountered along the way – he is fond of saying, “there are no ‘ordinary’ people, only extraordinary individuals.” And he means it.

Presented in partnership with the exhibition “Jim Bowsher and the Temple of Tolerance” at Thunder-Sky Gallery, 4573 Hamilton Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio 45223
Opening June 15, 2018, 6–10pm; exhibition closes August 3.
Curated by Scott Bruno • Photography by Merrilee Luke-Ebbeler


Chase Public
2868 Colerain Ave
Cincinnati OH 45225

Saturday, June 16th
Doors 7:00
Storytelling 7:30

Free, Donations encouraged.

BYOB, Respectfully.  Disrespectful B will be shunned with great contempt.