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These large-scale panoramic images of landmark Cleveland bridges were commissioned by Bidwell Projects for the inaugural exhibition of the Transformer Station. These works recall both the grandeur of 19th century American landscapes and the action painting of abstract expressionism. Wascovich used handmade pinhole panoramic cameras to capture the images and then manipulated the large-format paper negatives using a variety of media and techniques as they developed in the darkroom. Bridging Cleveland intends to evoke the historic majesty of the physical infrastructure of Cleveland and suggest the importance of spans yet to be crossed in the city's future.

 

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These images are made using a large-format pinhole camera, each of which holds one 8x20” paper negative. Exposures are four minutes on a bright, sunny day, and impossible under clouds. Wascovich can only estimate his composition of the subject, and the image isn’t complete until he processes the negative in a conventional wet darkroom, in a most unconventional way. Once the negative is processed, he scans the image, inverts it and processes it in Photoshop. Other than adjusting for contrast, no enhancements are made to the original file.

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Vaughn Wascovich is an Associate Professor at Texas A&M University/ Commerce. He received his MFA at Columbia College and has more than twenty years experience as a commercial photographer as well as more than a dozen years teaching photography at the university level. He has participated in more than one hundred juried, group and solo exhibitions, has been a Visiting Scholar with the Harvard School of Public Health from 2004-2012. Wascovich has won numerous awards in peer-reviewed exhibitions, was awarded the Gary B. Fritz Imagemaker Award for research at the National Conference of the Society of Photographic Educators (SPE) in 2009, in 2010 Professor Wascovich was awarded the Provost Award for Research and Creative Activity from Texas A&M University/Commerce. In 2013, The Texas A&M/Commerce Faculty Senate awarded Professor Wascovich the H.M. Lafferty Distinguished Faculty Award for Scholarship and Creative Activity.

 

The Making of "Bridging Cleveland" video

 

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