Bio: Arielle Bobb-Willis
Born and raised in New York City, with pit stops in South Carolina and New Orleans, photographer Arielle Bobb-Willis has been using the camera for nearly a decade as a tool of empowerment. Battling with depression from an early age, Bobb-Willis found solace behind the lens and has developed a visual language that speaks to the complexities of life: the beautiful, the strange, belonging, isolation, and connection. Interested in removing the barriers of gender in her work, Bobb-Willis is a part of the new generation that understands how problematic strict categories of race, class, and gender can be. Inspired by masters like Jacob Lawrence and Benny Andrews, Bobb-Willis applies a ‘painterly’ touch to her photography by documenting people in compromising and disjointed positions as way to highlight these complexities. Toting the line between fashion and contemporary art, her use of bright vivid colors is therapeutic and speaks to a desire to claim power and joy in moments of sadness, confusion or confinement. Her photographs are all captured in urban and rural cities, from the South to North, East toWest. Bobb-Willis travels throughout the US as a way of finding ‘home’ in any grassy knoll, or city sidewalk, reminding us to stay connected and grounded during life’s transitional moments.
As a black woman in the photography world Bobb-Willis refuses to let society’s boundaries rewrite her story or determine her future. Working in between the world of fashion and contemporary art, Bobb-Willis believes the representation of women photographers of all colors--within brands, publications, and galleries alike--is what inspires generations to value diversity and continue to fight for equality. Without female photographers in the male dominated photo industry, the narratives of how women see themselves and the world become misrepresented. We can be completely different people but still share the same passion, morals, and drive to live a life that is their own. Creating work that expresses the tension we all face between ourselves and the world we live in has been seen throughout Bobb-Willis’ work. Through her own internal struggle with depression and anxiety, Arielle’s work expresses the push-pull effect that one goes through when in battle with themselves and their environment.
The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle by Lillian Faderman promotes this similar logic; the tension between the LBGTQIA+ community and the society that wants to disown and reject their way of life. The book not only speaks about the critical moments and figures who fought through the Gay Revolution but also points out the oppressed groups that were expressing the demand for equality in their lives while simultaneously fighting for gay liberation in others. It goes to show that supporting each other even through our own struggles is not easy, but will never go unnoticed. Arielle’s work explores how the relationships that we have throughout life need support, empathy, and acceptance to build something powerful, lasting, and can push society and even how you view yourself forward. By physically showing the mental support needed throughout the fight for equality, Arielle’s photo represents the need for each other, strength, and perseverance.
This exhibit is part of a temporary on-board installation.
The Bubble Process
Bio: The Bubble Process
The Bubble Process is a two-man design and illustration firm built on this foundation: good food, good music, good time. In 2006 we, (Sean Higgins and Nicholas Rezabek), decided to make our dream job since no one else had made it for us, so here we are doing exactly what we love. The two of us met in 1999 at Kent State University and have been best buds ever since. We live apart, (Cleveland, OH and Brooklyn, NY) but come together via the World Wide Web (virtually inseparable – pun intended!), passing files, ideas, notes and jokes with digital ease and style. We happily accept samples of beer, pizza, music and burritos.
Inspiration: Heaven by Rowan Ricardo Phillips
NATURE: “This is what it sounds like when I’m thinking”. This is a large crown island ascending from one of our portals, with fire from hell sent gracing the edges of the work. This concept is now simplified to represent one consistent theme of a crown castle made of gold. It will be accompanied by additional portals that reflect other thoughts and inspirations of ours and will extend beyond the primary wall.
Bio: Mike Perry
Mike Perry is an artist, animator, creative director, brand consultant, poet, and designer. His work encompasses paintings, drawings, sculptures, art installations, books, murals, all of which are made to conjure that feeling of soul-soaring you have when you stare into distant galaxies on a dark night, when you go on long journeys into the imagination, when you laugh and can’t stop laughing. Key to Mike’s working method is the recognition that art and objects, go through many iterations—discoveries, coverings, uncoverings—until they’re finished; people do the same until they are fully revealed. He likes to cultivate collectives of celebration, exhibition, and revelation.
Inspiration: Olio by Tyehimba Jess
For the Ford Road Garage project we have collectively cultivated the provided inspirational materials which include the text “Blind Tom Plays On…,” accompanying illustrations, and “Rosa the Beautiful” into something we believe will ring true with positivity throughout the surrounding community. This blend of influence, the overall artistic freedom provided by LAND, and the physical space itself has come together to make the perfect environment for the creative options we are outlining in this proposal. We hope to express this excitement with the vibrancy and enthusiasm that has been affiliated with Mike Perry’s continuing universal themes.
Bio: Peter Larson
Peter Larson is a 27 year old photographer based in Cleveland. He attended Ohio University, graduating with a Bachelor in Visual Communication (Commercial Photography). He worked as a photographer and photo editor before starting Peter Larson Photo in June 2010. His Labradoodle’s name is Otto.
Inspiration: Guided by Fred Bidwell (INTER|URBAN Curator)
After working with Fred Bidwell and analyzing the motifs within the Anisfield-Wolf organization, Larson created a photography installation with human forms symbolizing columns. Placed in the Tower City RTA Station, life size photographs of Clevelanders seem like they are literally holding up the ceiling of the station. These artistic “teamwork” between a group of individuals - young, old, black, white, Hispanic - illustrates the idea of a community working towards a common goal, no matter how great the burden may be.
Keliy Anderson-Staley was raised off the grid in Maine, studied photography in New York City and currently lives and teaches photography at the University of Houston in Texas. She holds a BA from Hampshire College in Massachusetts and an MFA in photography from Hunter College in New York. Anderson-Staley’s images are in the permanent collections of the Library of Congress, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Portland Museum of Art (Maine), and Museum of Fine Arts-Houston. She was the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, a Puffin Grant, a fellowship from the Howard Foundation, the Carol Crow Fellowship from the Houston Center for Photography and the Clarence John Laughlin Award from the New Orleans Photo Alliance. Her work was published in a solo issue of Light Work’s Contact Sheet and has been shown at the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian, Portland Museum of Art, Akron Art Museum, Bronx Museum of Art, Southeast Museum of Photography and the California Museum of Photography, as well as at a number of galleries around the country. Anderson-Staley has been making wet plate collodion tintypes and ambrotypes for eleven years.
Inspiration: Guided by Fred Bidwell (INTER|URBAN Curator)
Through diligent direction from Fred Bidwell, Keliy Anderson-Staley created “50 Faces of Cleveland,” a series of tintype portraits showcasing 50 people from around the city. The idea for the project was based around the celebration of diversity exhibited through the the Anisfield Wolf Book Awards. Staley’s installation captures a true essence of Cleveland’s diversity through individual expression and creates a powerful piece that engrains the city’s culture and people.