Wednesday, February 27, 2013

PGH Photo Fair Speaker Series #4: The Bidwells

Please join us for our next PGH Photo Fair Speaker Series installment as we welcome Northeast Ohio-based art collectors and philanthropists, Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell, founders of the Bidwell Foundation and Cleveland’s new events and exhibitions space, the Transformer Station. After exploring the photography world from the perspective of the auction house and the gallery, the third and fourth installments of the PGH Photo Fair Speakers Series explore a new area by putting collectors in the spotlight.

The talk will be held at The Andy Warhol Museum on Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Doors open at 6:00pm with a cash bar followed by our talk at 7pm. This event is free and open to the public.

In this talk, the Bidwells discuss the pleasures and pitfalls of collecting, how they established their “ground rules” (to guide their collecting and to keep from getting overwhelmed) and why they chose to focus on contemporary art. For Fred, one of the special rewards of collecting living artists is the relationships that can develop. Besides the satisfaction of supporting creativity, he notes, “artists tend to be interesting people.”

Fred and Laura Bidwell will also introduce to Pittsburgh their latest project: the Transformer Station. This public-private partnership with the Cleveland Museum of Art, unique in the United States, is designed to bring original contemporary arts exhibitions, events and programming from around the world to the west side of Cleveland.

The Bidwells were first inspired to collect photo-based art after visiting a friend and passionate collector, whose home had been transformed into a remarkable floor-to-ceiling exhibition. Gradually, as their collection grew in size and significance, Bidwell Projects was formed. Today, the Bidwell Foundation supports numerous artists and arts institutions concentrating in Northeast Ohio. They have worked closely with Akron Museum of Art, University of Akron, Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, SPACES Gallery, Inter-Museum Conservation Association and the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Just as a refresher about the genesis of all this: PGH Photo Fair, through the auspices of Fugitive Vision, LLC, is sponsoring six talks on photography at a variety of venues in Pittsburgh on the 2nd Wednesday of every month leading up to the fair this Spring. The series aims to augment the already rich art and photography scene in Pittsburgh with speakers who will focus on the state of the art, collecting, and connoisseurship.

For more info about PGH Photo Fair, please click here.
For more info on PGH Photo Fair speaker series, please click here.  

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Written with the help of Alexandra Oliver

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