George and Martin

There was a memorial service in Los Angeles ten days ago for my Uncle George. I saw him last a year ago at his 90th birthday party. I used that occasion to do a shoot for my Precious Objects project and was pleased that he participated. George brought the family crest designed by his father. Both George and my friend Martin (who brought his vintage metronome) were born into upper middle class families in Germany within a month of each other. Both managed to escape The Holocaust. Martin is very much still with us and doing quite well. While their demeanor was very similar and they both stair stepped through multiple countries to get here, their lives were very different. Both had loving and dedicated families George went from being a POW in Canada to Southern California where his optometry practice thrived. He was an early advocate and provider of contact lenses. Needless to say, he was financially successful. Martin was already studying cello when he left Germany and ended his career with the Cleveland Orchestra. Perhaps not as lucrative a vocation as George's but certainly at the top of his profession. Martin and his family did not identify as Jews; George's did. I know in this short piece I have not begun to tell either story but one of the gifts I received in Precious Objects is a glimpse at these small wonders. Good-bye Uncle George.


"Every Place" at the Ohio Historical Society

While we are late getting the word out, I am very excited about this. They have a difficult building with concrete walls. To install this, they built a frame of 2x4's which completely go along with the spirit of the project. There is an opening reception from 1-3 PM on Saturday November 19. I will be there and would love to see folks. There will be a short gallery talk. While you can see the exhibit here at www.every-place.com , it is more fun to come on down and lift a shade.

I have other work coming to an end in the next week. "Theater" at 1point618 Gallery will be coming down. The group show at Trinity Cathedral ends on 11/20 as does "Where in the World" at the Minneapolis Photo Center.


Sometimes it is just about friends

Attended the reception last night for "Moving Beyond Violence & Despair / Toward Hope & Restoration: Cleveland Photographers Respond" curated by James Wyman at Trinity Cathedral here in Cleveland.  Five talented women and me.

My running joke is the last time I felt like this was in the Latin Club.

What made this night special was not just the handsome images and the first class presentation, but how much fun it was to be with these artists and the friends, theirs and mine, that were there. Usually openings are pretty stressful. Not this one.

Both of these composites done by Jeanette Palsa.

Thanks for everyone



I returned home from the opening of Audio/Visual at powerHouse Arena in Brooklyn to find a package from David Brommer. David had done a Kickstarter project, Battlefield Cant which I had supported and here were my goodies. In David's words -

'The heroic deeds of the landings at Normandy are well known and have been recently popularized in pop culture by movies such as “Saving Private Ryan” and the HBO series “Band of Brothers” (my personal heroes are Easy Company of the 101st aka the Band of Brothers). While these movies tell the grand story of WW2 very well I have a keen interest in what remains of these sacred locations, both in images and words. In April of 2011 I began the project “Battlefield Cant” and visited the Normandy D-Day landing beaches and battlefields photographing with my trusty, yet heavy, Deardorff 8x10 view camera. Being deeply affected by reading the accounts and visualizing the battlefields, I was motivated to start a collection of quotations from American veterans who fought in these locations.

The battlefields are the forge, and the words are the fire that together form the framework for Battlefield Cant, simply put,

“Battlefield Cant” consists of photographs from the European battlefields of WW2 and prose from the soldiers who fought there.'

In thinking about some of my current work, the idea of respect has become a theme.  In fact, in the Precious Objects portraits, being respectful for me has replaced being photographic as important. I do not intend them to be great portraits but I do want them to be respectful.

When I opened the package from David, "respect" is what I saw. While neither he nor I would describe ourselves as shy, tied to convention or even always easy to be around, the work is the work. Very glad to have this print.  You can see David's work at http://davidgeorgebrommer.tumblr.com/


Cleveland Museum of Art - Friends of Photography

Some of you may know that I am on the board of the Friends of Photography.  Recently I received a copy of a letter that the new curator of photography at the musuem, Barbara Tannenbaum, has been sending to prospective members.  I thought I would share it because a) the museum is a treasure, b) it continues to show its commitment to both historic and contemporary photography, c) the "Friends" is a great opportunity to learn and a fine group of people and d) Barbara threatened to put a beating on me if I did not. OK, "d)" is complete BS but a-c are for real.  Bye the way, you do not have to live in Cleveland to join. You do need to be a member of the Museum.

"I am writing to encourage you to become a member of The Cleveland Museum of Art Friends of Photography (FOP) group.  The first FOP program of the year occurs in less than two weeks.  As an FOP member, you get to meet collectors, dealers and visiting artists (all very welcoming folk), visit local collections (and see interesting homes), and have the opportunity to collect or just peruse work by emerging and famous artists at dealer show-and-tells.
Any CMA member can join the Friends of Photography, but you do need to belong to the museum to join FOP.  Individual FOP membership is $100, a couple membership in FOP is $150 per year.  Students can join for $75 per year.  There’s no time like the present to join!  FOP is offering a special pro-ration on the membership rate, which goes by the calendar year.  You can attend all four fall programs for just $50!
The first event is a preview tour by Brian Ulrich of his solo show at the CMA on Wednesday evening, August 24, followed by a dinner (optional; sorry, sold out) at L'Albatros with the artist.  This fall’s other events are:  a talk/Q&A with South African photographer Roger Ballen (http://www.rogerballen.com/) on Tuesday, September 13 at a collector’s home in Shaker Heights; a show-and-tell with dealer Lee Marks followed by a lecture by Jen Davis at the Akron Art Museum and pizza at my house in Akron on Wednesday, October 12; and a show-and-tell by Pace/MacGill Gallery on Friday, November 18, at a collector’s home in Cleveland.  To learn more about the organization, check out the new FOP web site at http://fop-cma.org/.
Most importantly, when you join FOP you help support and show your enthusiasm for photography at The Cleveland Museum of Art!  To join, contact Meghan Olis at molis@clevelandart.org or 216-707-2266."