Exhibit interprets Toledo’s landscapeWritten by Matt Liasse | | email@example.com
University of Toledo student Aubrey Kirkendall found her calling in a cemetery.
Kirkendall put together a collection of photos for her “Special Topics: Light and Landscape” advanced photography class at UT. Later, the professor of the class, Seder Burns, entered Kirkendall, along with eight other students’ work, to be part of an exhibition at the Parkwood Gallery in Toledo. The gallery displays the art, including some of Burns’ own, in the exhibition, “The Glass City Landscape: the Urban Landscape of Toledo.”
“With the progression of the course, students were producing great work,” Burns said.
Kirkendall originally wanted to do her project on pollution. While visiting the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station, she took a picture of a cemetery. The picture shows a collection of gravestones with smoke from the plant in the background.
When Kirkendall showed Burns the photo, he encouraged her to continue looking for cemeteries with such backgrounds. Kirkendall then went to nine or 10 different graveyards.
“[I was looking] for harmful structures we come in contact with daily,” Kirkendall said. “I wanted to juxtapose the cemeteries with harmful structures in the background. Some are ironic.”
For the class, Burns assigned his students to work with a landscape theme for their projects. He said the theme was open to interpretation.
The students created a variety of work, Burns said. Burns contacted the Parkwood Gallery about creating an exhibition because he had worked with them in the past. After that, Burns and the students had just a couple days to write proposals for the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo, a nonprofit organization that served as the selection committee.
Burns’ students were selected in the competitive process.
“I was very pleased; it’s a testament to the students’ work,” Burns said. “For most of them, this is their first show, so they are particularly excited.”
Student Katy Payne is excited her work is displayed in the gallery. She is wishing to debunk the idea that Toledo is run down with her photos.
“I got pretty sick of that view,” Payne said. “I kind of wanted to show life here [in Toledo].”
Her project consists of 20 images of restaurants taken at night.
“Toledo is known for its incredible amount of eating establishments,” Payne said.
Payne took pictures of different restaurants in Toledo including Rally’s and Waffle House. Payne said the photos show people interacting in the restaurants bright with neon lights.
“It’s a different light to see Toledo in,” Payne said. “People brought life to the landscapes.”
Their work is on display at the gallery until Feb. 25. There will be a reception on Feb. 4 from 6 to 8 p.m. where all the artists will be in attendance.