Loderstedt, Michael

Michael Loderstedt (b 1958)

It is that the narrow passageway where the Cuyahoga River meets Lake Erie is a passageway of hope. Wrapping three walls of a gallery in the Cleveland Museum of Art with a black-and-white panorama of the harbor and shore photographed from the water, he lets us see the city as many land dwellers never do. In the center of the gallery, a full-size sailboat lists to one side on the floor/water. It provides a point of safety for viewers who have yet to discover their sea legs. The boat, meanwhile, suggests both the exhilarating freedom of the open water and the vessel's function as haven from hostile elements. From a social point of view, the artist notes, we are all in the same boat. There is a deeper context and social message conveyed through a series of texts on the hull and an image of a hand grasping a rope screened on the sail. Together the images provide a suggestion for how to keep society sailing smoothly. This is a distinguished artist whose work usually combines more than one media. Loderstedt's work has been included in two seminal exhibits at the Cleveland Museum of Art, the 1996 invitational exhibit "Urban Evidence" and the 1999 "Cleveland Collects" exhibit. Other notable works include a 20'x20' multi media work (with Craig Lucas) at the PROGRESSIVE insurance building in Tampa Fla. He has taught at Kent State University since 1988. He is a 1999 recipient of an Ohio Arts Council Artists Fellowship Award.