Last month, local artist Michael Loderstedt opened Photocentric – a new contemporary photography gallery in the Waterloo Arts District of Cleveland that aims to display important new works by regional, national and international photographers.
On Jan. 3, the gallery will host a reception for exhibition “Hopeful” during the monthly Walk All Over Waterloo art walk. Loderstedt discussed with Canvas the gallery’s inspiration, mission, current works displayed and plans for the first year.
Tell me a little about your own history and artwork. How did it lead to your decision to open Photocentric?
I’ve been a working and exhibiting artist for over 35 years. I also was a longtime faculty member of the School of Art at Kent State University, teaching printmaking and photography. I retired from teaching in 2017, and about a year ago decided to open an art gallery devoted to presenting contemporary photography. This decision was made partly because I needed another job, and mostly because I felt a photography gallery was badly needed in Cleveland.
What does Photocentric aim to offer that’s lacking in Northeast Ohio?
Photocentric’s mission will be to present high caliber work by regional and national photographic artists. We will also offer professional services such as gallery framing, black and white film processing and scanning, and film camera rentals.
Any goals for the first year?
Our goal is to be able to meet gallery expenses and to build and support the photographic community and collector base. We’re also planning to build a darkroom on premises, as well as a full-service framing workshop.
Are there any works currently featured in the gallery you are especially excited about? What and why?
There are so many, it’s like a parent being asked about a favorite child. Nancy McEntee’s portraits of her daughter Elizabeth are outstanding, as are Lori Kella’s newest tableaux work creating a minimalist creek environment. I also really enjoy Garie Waltzer’s photographs of urban Vietnam, Bruce Checefsky’s garden scans and Bob Aufuldish’s macro photographs of mid-century travel magazine images.
What kind of programming do you hope to create?
We hope to host events in the gallery such as artist talks, panel discussions on topics related to photographic practice, even video screenings eventually. We’ll also be open for the monthly first Friday Walk All Over Waterloo events.
The reception for “Hopeful” is from 5 to 9 p.m. Jan. 3 at Photocentric, 15515 Waterloo Road. Weekly hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Hours for Walk All Over Waterloo first Fridays are 5 to 9 p.m.
“Hopeful” is on view through Jan. 18.