Saturday, September 29, 2007

"Envisioning Cleveland" Exhibit Opens at CSU

What do local photographers think of Cleveland? How is the city perceived through their lens? Are their images viewed as art, social commentary or both?

These are some concepts that were explored in the September 27, 2007 introductory speech by Professor Helen Ligget for Envisioning Cleveland , a new urban photography exhibit. It has just opened in the Levin College for Urban Studies near Playhouse square.

Professor Ligget works in the related fields of urban and planning theory at Cleveland State University, as well as visual culture and photography.

This is the first exhibit I’ve been involved with in years and four of my works are hanging in the show. Enlargements of these can be seen in my prior blog article about the College's competition.

Professor Helen Ligget

It was very gratifying to enjoy the support of friends and family who attended the opening . But my foremost appreciation is to my wife Jeanne who helped make the final selections, and then assisted me in framing the works. She also accompanied my mother Ida Pearl to the gallery.

Jeanne Pearl

Joining her was my brother Arnie and his girlfriend Lori Berenson.

Also in attendance were Joe Polevoi, my long time friend from the Ohio Bell days, and his wife Marcia of Coventry’s “High Tide-Rock Bottom” fame.

[Joe & Marcia Polevoi on Oct. 1, 2005 the day before the store closed]

Close friend and coworker Mark Long joined us to view my work as well as the other entries.

Mark is a notable Cleveland artist in his own right, being an accomplished musician and writer of several compositions.

Mark Long

Our furthest visitors on opening night were Lisa Beachler and her husband Jim who drove up from Warren, Ohio just to see the opening. Lisa and I are members of the “ Photography-on-the-Net” forum where members share tips on photography, critique work and mentor each other in technique and composition. Not only is she a fellow wedding photographer, but Lisa actively photographs Warren sports teams.

Lisa and Jim Beachler

Other good friends Frank and Marybeth Skala were also in attendance for the event. Frank and I have known each other since our early Ohio Bell days back in the mid ‘70’s.

Louise & Brian Bowman

In a postscript to the opening day reception, long time Florida friends Louise and Brian Bowman came up from St. Augustine. at the end of October for visit. Cheap air fare and an excuse to see old friends was all the reason they needed for a visit to Cleveland. We go all the way back to 1969.

The exhibit will continue on through December of this year.

About 175 submissions had initially been made, with the committee selecting 40 works from 26 local artists.

All of the submissions can still be seen at the Levin College online gallery. At its completion, plans are being considered to move the collection of work to other venues in the city for public viewing.

Stuart Pearl

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Pearl to Exhibit In "Envisioning Cleveland" Show

"Crooked River Pyramids" © Stuart Pearl 2007

It's been years since I’ve submitted photographs to exhibitions and competitions. Raising a family and working at my regular job has occupied much of my time. But recent photographic projects have paid off.

Last week I was notified that four of my submissions to the “Envisioning Cleveland” photo competition had been accepted. Some of my recent “Flats” images will be displayed alongside works of other photographers in the atrium gallery of the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban affairs at Cleveland State University.

The Envisioning Cleveland exhibit will open with a public reception on Thursday September 27, 2007 from 5:30 – 7:30. The Levin College of Urban Affairs is located at 1717 Euclid Avenue. The building is on the northeast corner of Euclid and E. 17th Street.

A total of 175 photographs were submitted online to the Envisioning Cleveland competition. The judges chose 40 works representing 26 local photographers. These selections will be displayed in the Levin College gallery.

"The Brothers Grim" © Stuart Pearl 2007

My selected work features scenes of downtown Cleveland and the nearby industrial Flats. All images were shot within the past six months as I tried to capture the sun's early morning and late afternoon impact on the urban landscape. Everything was shot with a digital SLR, processed through photoshop and then output to an Epson R1800 printer.

The picture shown at the top of this article , “Crooked River Pyramids” was shot before 8 A.M. shortly after it had stopped raining. The downpour had created fascinating reflections both on the river and among the gravel yards. It felt like I was looking down on a Tonka Truck playground of bridges, trucks and boats.

“The Brothers Grim” was shot in the same area as Crooked River Pyramids and the title refers to spray painted grafitti on the concrete. It had been an overcast morning and I was waiting for the sun to break through to illuminate the bridge pylon. Timing is everything; patience can be boring.

© Stuart Pearl 2007

“Afternoon Fog Over the Inner Harbor “ was one of those Cleveland weather anomalies that we experienced this past May. It was also featured in an earlier article. Taken from a hill next to the Great Lakes Science Center, I was experimenting with a circular polarizing filter and a new ultra wide angle lens I’d just purchased.

“New Geometry against an Old Theme” was shot just a block from where I work downtown. Again, the low angle morning light generated perfect contrast and shadow across the RTA Train Station.

If you are in the city that day we hope you can make the opening of the show. While the web makes it possible to share art across the world in seconds, it is not the same as viewing a matted and framed 15"x10" photographic print in a properly lit gallery setting.

© Stuart Pearl Photography