Kent artists featured in museum

Cassie Smith

Kent State alumnus and two professors have work featured at Cleveland Museum of Art

Two professors and an alumnus have work on display in the Cleveland Museum of Art’s exhibition “DIY: Photographers and Books.”

Michael Loderstedt, a print professor, Lori Kella, an assistant professor for the School of Art, and Kent alumnus Bob Aufuldish are three artists who submitted their photo books to Barbara Tannenbaum, the curator of photography at the museum.

“In terms of jurying the books, what I looked at was the quality of the photography, the quality of the structure of the book and the way the form and the content worked together,” Tannenbaum said.

Tannenbaum was familiar with Loderstedt’s work and after explaining to him the premise of the exhibition, she asked if he would consider entering his work, Loderstedt said.

He is the sole featured artist. This means in addition to having two photo books in the exhibition, his photographs are displayed on the wall.

“I was thrilled,” he said. “It’s a big deal. To have a museum exhibition for an artist anytime, anywhere is really big. It’s huge.”

Loderstedt has two sets of work in the exhibition. “Groveland Utopia” is a collection of photos from his neighborhood street, and “New York: The Taxona Photographs” is a collection of photos from frequent trips to New York City.

“Photography’s special in that it can capture elements that are very fleeting, like transient weather conditions and lighting that’s very special — things that don’t exist for very long,” Loderstedt said.

Loderstedt said it is very rare for regional artists to be featured at the museum.

Kella also has a book titled “Wilderness” in the exhibition. Loderstedt told her about the exhibition, so Kella filled out an application online and submitted a photo book.

“I build little tableaux models that I photograph and that’s the bulk of my work,” Kella said. “So for the book, I just tried to put those landscape pictures in an order that sort of took you through a grand landscape into sort of more detailed vignettes of personal narratives.”

Aufuldish, a graphic designer from the San Francisco area, was looking through a magazine one day when he saw an insert with an advertisement for the Cleveland Museum of Art with a call for entries for the DIY exhibition. He submitted work and they picked two of his books, ‘NotCedarCityUtah’ and ‘Dafen,’ Aufuldish said.

Aufuldish took photos for his book, “NotCedarCityUtah,” while on a short business trip to Cedar City, Utah. When he was able to get a break from working, he took pictures of the town.

“It’s an attempt at getting a sense of what that place is like, while acknowledging that I wasn’t in the place long enough to really know what it was like,” Aufuldish said. “That’s why it’s called ‘NotCedarCityUtah.’”

The exhibit is comprised of photo books created by the artists and constructed by digital machines. This technology is fairly new and allows artists to inexpensively self-publish their photographs, Loderstedt said.

The exhibit, which is open until December 30, is the first to focus on this type of publishing.

Contact Cassie Smith at [email protected].