Art Hopper Reviews The Unicorn

Oscillating Memories: The Unicorn @ The Transformer Station
November 20, 2013 by Rose Bouthillier
The Unicorn. 2013. Curated by Reto Thüring. Installation view. The Transformer Station Photo © The Cleveland Museum of Art.

The past constantly fades. Attempts to fix it in any way result in something else entirely, a skewed construct influenced by the languages, values and desires of the present.

The Unicorn, curated by Reto Thüring, takes as its premise “the difficulty, perhaps even the impossibility, of producing the past,” and features an international selection of artists: Neïl Beloufa, Martin Soto Climent, Shana Lutkner and a collaborative work by Daniel Gustav Cramer & Haris Epaminonda. The exhibition’s title is inspired by German writer Martin Walser’s novel Das Einhorn (The Unicorn, 1966), in which the protagonist, tasked with writing a novel about love, turns to his own personal history, only to realize that his experiences cannot be accurately recollected or repeated. “Our memory is a scale for losses only. A stock exchange daily accumulating losses,” he writes. The unicorn, as a mythic creature, also represents the seepage of fiction into reality, something constantly searched for but never found. While notes of nostalgia and failure permeate the exhibition, there is also a great deal of play, theatrics and discovery; loss invites new propositions. Read More...

Transformer Station Tops Cleveland Gallery List

From TheCultureTrip.Com

Cleveland’s Best Art Galleries: Ten Cultural Venues in America’s Comeback City
Best known as the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, Ohio also boasts an unusually appealing array of art spaces to rival any other in the country. From old railway stations to medical facilities, and from occupied warehouses to revitalised museums, Cleveland’s art scene is booming.
Transformer Station
The historic Transformer Station was built in 1924 as a substation of the Cleveland Railway Company. A recent refurbishment of the building by Process Creative Studio preserves the classic brick structure while echoing its rectangular form with a contemporary, minimalist addition. The expanded space is the home of the Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell Foundation, established as a platform for emerging and mid-career artists. The Bidwell Foundation has partnered with the Cleveland Museum of Art, offering the space to the museum for six months each year as a venue for significant new projects. In autumn 2013 the Cleveland Museum of Art made its Transformation Station debut withUnicorn. The exhibition presents the work of five contemporary artists engaged in explorations into the reconstruction of the past.

CMA Concerts Schedule Announced

Cleveland Museum of Art announces schedule for a new contemporary music concert series at Transformer StationCMA-Concerts
Click here for details and tickets

New York Post on Cleveland's Revival

Transformer Station and Rising Star Coffee featured as part of another “up-and-coming” neighborhood in Ohio City
….Walk north about 10 minutes to another up-and-coming part of Ohio City, thanks to the Transformer Station, a 1924 railway substation recently converted into an airy 3,500-square-foot contemporary art gallery. Across the street, fuel up with some java at Rising Star Coffee, set in an old firehouse. This small-batch roaster favors the pour-over method — be patient, it’s worth it. Read More...

Real Time Opera presents "PARADOX"

World premiere performance at Transformer Station August 18, 2013

CIFF Film Feast Announced at TS

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FILM (and other ARTS) FEASTS is a fundraiser to help support the
Cleveland International Film Festival.

Friday, November 15, 2013 / 7:00 p.m.
$50 per guest / limit 50 guests
Hosts: Lauren Rich Fine and Gary Giller

Spend an evening with us at one of Ohio City’s most recent anchor destinations and a 2013 Ohio AIA Design Award recipient: The Transformer Station. Thanks to collectors Fred and Laura Bidwell, this 1924 building renovation and addition, described as “architecturally stunning and gorgeous” by Plain Dealer critic Steven Litt, is now home to a new space for contemporary art in Cleveland. In a unique public/private museum collaboration, the Cleveland Museum of Art is borrowing the space for six months of every year to present their first exhibitions ever on the West Side.

Join us as Fred and Laura Bidwell and architect John C. Williams of Process Creative Studios – the Ohio City based architectural firm responsible for the project – discuss the process of combining this landmark historic building renovation with a contemporary minimalist addition. We’ll learn how the vision of this one-of-a-kind venue developed and what its future holds. And we’ll get to tour the first Cleveland Museum of Art exhibit to be held in the space – THE UNICORN.

Join us for this evening of art gazing and conversation; make your reservation today! To make your reservation and to learn more about the complete Film (and other ARTS) Feasts series, visit or call 216.623.FILM, ext. 14.

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CMA debut Exhibition, The Unicorn

Cleveland Museum of Art’s Debut Exhibition at Transformer Station, The Unicorn, Opens September 7

Exhibition showcases five internationally-renowned contemporary artists’ recent works
CLEVELAND (August XX, 2013) – The Cleveland Museum of Art presents The Unicorn, its debut exhibition at Transformer Station, a new contemporary art venue owned by the Bidwell Foundation on Cleveland’s west side. The Unicorn refers to the book of the same title by Martin Walser, an author whose work often questions how humans continually reshape the past. The works in this group exhibition of five internationally-renowned contemporary artists share the processes and practices involved in the construction and reconstruction of the past. The exhibition will be on view at Transformer Station beginning September 7 through November 30, 2013. Read More...

Huffington Post Reviews "Silver Meadows"

Silver Meadows Revisited
Larissa Archer, Huffington Post

Todd Hido infuses inanimate objects with more humanity than he finds and reveals in the living women he photographs. What if he looked at a woman and considered that she might be nearly as interesting and complex as a broken chair?


New York Magazine Travel

See Cutting Edge Contemporary Art in Cleveland
by Edna Ishayik for New York Magazine

Edna Ishayik on where to stay, what to eat, what to see, and an oddball day in Cleveland. Here’s what she has to say about Transformer Station:

See what’s on display at the Transformer Station (free admission), a new contemporary-art space that opened in February. Formerly an electricity-converter building, the structure now houses selections from the photography collection of Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell, two former advertising executives, as well as temporary exhibitions curated by the Cleveland Museum of Art. The original brickwork and chains contrast with a new addition made of dark-gray polished concrete, providing an industrial-chic setting for shows like "Excerpts From Silver Meadows," a dark, jarring photo essay by Todd Hido (through August 23).

Click here for the whole article

Fresh Water Cleveland on "Hingetown"

got to get down to hingetown: introducing ohio city's next hot block

Lee Chilcote, Fresh Water Cleveland 7/25/2013

Over the next few months, a handful of next-gen businesses will begin to open in the Striebinger Block, a prominent building at the intersection of Detroit and W. 29th. Billed as the Hingetown development, the project will act as the hinge between existing Cleveland assets like Ohio City, Gordon Square, and downtown.


Bellwether Film Series Announced

Bellwether Summer Film Series

On 5 consecutive Wednesday nights during the month of July, film screenings will be held on the side lawn of the Transformer Station following the CMA Ohio City Stages event. The films will be selected by five artists featured in MoCA Cleveland's upcoming exhibition—Julia Christensen, Kevin Beasley, Lenka Clayton, Jerry Birchfield and Jacob Ciocci. 

Screenings will begin at 9:30 p.m., rain or shine. Bring a blanket or equivalent.

Read more for each evening’s line-up.

Concert Series Announced

Cleveland Museum of Art Ohio City Stages Presented by Charter One

Ohio City will be the place to be on Wednesday nights this July as the Cleveland Museum of Art launches a new free summer series: CMA Ohio City Stages, presented by Charter One. Taking place on the block surrounding Transformer Station (West 29th Street), the museum will bring acclaimed global musical artists to a neighborhood stage.

Bellwether, a project of the museum’s Contemporary Arts Society, will show films selected by contemporary artists on the Transformer Station lawn beginning at 9:30 p.m. Food and beverage will also be available for purchase at the block parties.

June Events at Transformer Station

ChamberFest Cleveland performs in the galleries on June 21.
Spaces Corners brings their fine art photobook shop to the galleries on June 22

Plain Dealer Reviews "Silver Meadows"


By Steven Litt, The Plain Dealer
May 26, 2013

Excerpts from Silver Meadows

Smashed cars, sexually ravenous women and lonely houses: Todd Hido photos at Transformer Station paint a pulp view of growing up in Kent


"Silver Meadows" book is now on sale

Published on the occasion of the show of the same name premiering at the Transformer Station today, Excerpts from Silver Meadows is Todd Hido’s most ambitious book to date. This over-sized edition features over 120 color plates and several double gate-fold spreads reflecting the dazzling variety of images in the exhibition. Copies are available for $75.00 and a limited number of signed copies are available for $85.00 at the Transformer Station or online here.


"Silver Meadows" Opening Activities Announced

Todd Composite
The public opening of “Excerpts from Silver Meadows” will be at 7:00 pm on Friday, May 24. Admission is free. The artist will be present and available to sign copies of his new monograph which has been published on the occasion of this show as well as an exclusive poster set available exclusively from the Transformer Station.

The Transformer Station will resume its regular visiting hours on Saturday, May 25 for the duration of the “Excerpts from Silver Meadows” show which will run through August 23. Todd Hido will be in the gallery on Saturday and will give a public gallery talk at 3:00 pm about the exhibition, book and his creative process. Hido will also be available to sign copies of his book and poster set on Saturday. Galleries will be open from noon to 5:00 pm and admission is free.

Exclusive Poster Set Announced

Poster 7 (4)
The Transformer Station is pleased to present a unique and exclusive edition of eight posters produced by Todd Hido on the occasion of the opening of his show “Excerpts from Silver Meadows” and in support of the Transformer Station. Designed and produced for this show and available only from the Transformer Station, this set includes eight posters modeled on classic movie lobby cards and featuring iconic images from the show. The poster set will be available for sale for $25 on-line and at the Transformer Station on May 24 at the public opening for “Excerpts from Silver Meadows” Click here to see the whole set.

Todd Hido on "Excerpts from Silver Meadows"

Photographer Todd Hido talks about his latest body of work, premiering in its entirety for the first time at the Transformer Station and in a new monograph published on the occasion of this show by Nazraeli Press. Inspired by the artist's upbringing in suburban Ohio, film, fiction and current events,
"Excerpts From Silver Meadows" weaves dark landscapes, highly charged portraits and appropriated images into a complex narrative. Hido discusses his use of many different cameras and film formats, the importance of understanding his images through their sequencing in his books and how his work lives somewhere between film and literature.

Produced by the Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell Foundation
Filmed and edited by Laura Ruth Bidwell

Save the date! May 23, 2013

Cocktails and dinner with Todd Hido to celebrate the opening of Excerpts from Silver Meadows at the Transformer Station
Reserve your place at an exclusive preview of the first museum show of the latest work of internationally renowned photographer Todd Hido and the launch of his lavish new monograph.  Excerpts from Silver Meadows is cinematic in scope; a darkly dramatic glimpse into a world that reflects both the alienation and dislocation in contemporary society and the inspiration of noir film and literature.  

Todd Hido will be signing his new catalog published by Nazraeli Press on the occasion of this show with major support by the Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell Foundation.

This event will benefit the Transformer Station's mission to remain free to the public and inspire creativity and innovation through the arts. Tickets to the event will be $175 and $250 per person and guests will become charter members of the Transformer Station's membership program.

Tickets at the $175 level will include cocktails and dinner and basic membership at the "Sparks" level to support the Transformer Station.
Tickets at the $250 level will include cocktails and dinner and membership at the "Generators" level to support the Transformer Station.  
Reserve your place now at this exclusive opening event by sending an email to or call 216-938-5429.  

ARTExpo 2013 at Transformer Station

The Northern Ohio Art Dealers Association will hold its ARTExpo 2013 the weekend of May 10, 11 and 12 at the Transformer Station, 1460 West 29th St., Cleveland.

Ten of Ohio’s foremost art dealers* will exhibit some of the best works from their galleries, including a cross section of historic, regional, international, modern and contemporary, paintings, drawings, original prints, photography, fiber art and sculpture. All works will be available for purchase and will appeal to a broad range of tastes from established collectors to those purchasing a work of art for the first time.

All of the participating galleries and dealers have placed art with major museums, private and corporate collections and most offer extensive knowledge of all aspects of collecting art and including conservation, framing, appraisals and installation for both private and corporate clients.

ARTExpo 2013 offers a unique opportunity for patrons to view, consider and purchase fine works of art from among Ohio’s most respected dealers. This is the only expo of its kind in the region and the only place where such a diversified offering can be found all in one place at one time.

Asked about the choice of the Transformer Station as the venue for NOADA ARTExpo 2013, Bill Tregoning, Expo 2013 Chairman and owner of Tregoning & Company responded, "The choice was an easy one. It is the newest and perhaps the most intriguing fine arts venue in Northern Ohio. It will provide both our exhibitors and patrons unique opportunities to view, consider and purchase works of fine art from some of the nation's most reputable dealers, located in Northern Ohio. I think our patrons will be delighted with the quality, value and diversity of the artworks that will be presented here."

ARTExpo 2013 will open with a gala preview party on Friday, May 10 from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served as patrons view and have the first opportunity to purchase artworks exhibited by Ohio’s finest art dealers. The Expo will continue on Saturday, May 11 from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Sunday, May 12 from Noon to 5:00 PM.

Tickets for the Gala Preview are $50 per person and admission to the ARTExpo 2013 for the Saturday and Sunday hours are $10 per person. Advance tickets will be available from all of the participating dealers, and at the door.

*As of this date, the participating dealers are 1point 618 Gallery, Bonfoey Gallery, William Busta Gallery, Thomas French Fine Art, Harris Stanton Gallery, Kenneth Paul Lesko Gallery, Shaheen Modern & Contemporary Art, Carl Solway Gallery, Tregoning & Company, and Verne Gallery.

For additional information, please contact Steve Louzos, NOADA Director of Advertising and Communications

"Light of Day" on

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“Light of Day” is featured by in “Critics Picks” a select review of shows worldwide. The review is written by Kris Paulsen, Assistant Professor of Film, Video and New Media in the History of Art Department and Film Studies Program at The Ohio State University.

“Light of Day”
TRANSFORMER STATION 1460 West 29 Street February 1–May 4
Hiroshi Sugimoto, Lightning Fields, 128, 2009, gelatin silver print, 58 3/4 x 47”.
“Light of Day” offers the first presentation of Transformer Station founders Fred and Laura Bidwell’s photography collection and also marks the debut of this new space for contemporary art. The show’s title, however, points beyond these ceremonial unveilings to a meditation on the role of analog photography (“the pencil of nature”) in the digital age. While the former automatically and objectively allowed the sun’s light to draw an image of the empirical world, digital technology now allows man and machine to overwrite what nature dictates. Analog photography may have been pushed into the shadows, but “Light of Day” shows it coming back into view under the guise of the supernatural, the surreal, and the psychedelic.
Examples of post-photographic, sunless artifice—such as
Hans Op de Beeck’s detail-less images of architectural simulacra and Beate Gütschow’s cut-and-paste pastoral landscapes—highlight the presence of both the artist and the machine in the new era of photography. Yet despite the presence of new techniques and technology in “Light of Day,” it is analog photography that emerges as uncanny and unfamiliar. Take, for instance, Abelardo Morell’s Camera Obscura Image of the Philadelphia Museum of Art East Entrance in Gallery with a de Chirico Painting, 2005, which employs a basic scientific principle behind photographic realism—that a pinhole of sunlight will project an upside-down image into a dark space—and renders it surreal: The facade of the Philadelphia Museum of Art is here inverted and overlaid upon de Chirico’s The Soothsayer’s Recompense, 1913, exposing analog photography as more dreamlike than any digital simulation.
Analog photography can be electrified without going digital:
Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Lightning Fields, 128, 2009, captures with fine detail an image of light itself: In the pitch blackness of a dark room, he applied a bolt of electricity directly to a sheet of film to record the branching structure of unharnessed energy. The digital and analog photographs in “Light of Day” picture the struggles and collaborations between humanity, nature, and machine, a drama well suited for this former electrical substation turned crucible of contemporary art.
Kris Paulsen

Transfomer Station and CIFF37

The Transformer Station is a proud partner of the 37th Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) presented by Dollar Bank, which will take place April 3 - 14, 2013 at Tower City Cinemas. Tickets go on sale to the general public tomorrow, March 22, 2013 and by telephone at 1.877.304.FILM.

Use our coupon code "TRANSF" to receive 2 dollars off ticket price of ANY film!

As part of the Cleveland International Film Festival (April 3 - 14, 2013), Transformer Station is partnered with the film Breaking the Frame.
Breaking The Frame (2012, 100 minutes) is a feature–length documentary portrait of the New York artist Carolee Schneemann by Canadian filmmaker Marielle Nitoslawska. A pioneer of performance and body art as well as avant-garde cinema, Schneemann has been breaking the frames of the art world for five decades, challenging assumptions of feminism, gender, sexuality, and identity.

Want to win FREE tickets to see Breaking the Frame?

“Like” us on Facebook or subscribe to our
mailing list to be entered for a chance to win 2 tickets! Winners will be contacted by March 31st.

Coming Soon

Gallery talks by Matt Siber and Adam Magyar announced
imagesadam magyar LW 1M c2
Noted photographers Matt Siber (left) and Adam Magyar will be coming to the Transformer Station to talk about their work in the galleries at the Transformer Station.

On March 28 Matt Siber will present his thought-provoking work on the role of commercial messaging and branding in our landscape and unveil the first full-size installation of Billboard Vinyl from his ongoing project Idol Structures. This massive 24’ installation will make a dramatic statement in the Transformer Station’s Main Gallery.

On April 12, Adam Magyar will present Kontinuum: Looking at the human quest through unconventional photographic devices, his on-going study of time, space and the human condition in the urban environment as seen through high-tech industrial cameras. Three dramatic large-scale digital scans of speeding subway trains from New York, Paris and Tokyo are on view in the gallery as part of the current show, Light of Day, Photographs from the Collection of Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell.

Beer, Wine and refreshments will be served with donations accepted for the benefit of the Transformer Station. Admission is free.

For more information on these special events, click here.

Joe Cronauer at WKYC talks with the Bidwells about the Transformer Station

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Steve Litt reviews the Transformer Station opening shows

The Bidwell + Cleveland Museum of Art Transformer Station gallery in Ohio City launches with "Light of Day" and Vaughn Wascovich photos

Light of Day

Bridging Cleveland

Steve Litt, The Plain Dealer

Fred and Laura Bidwell mean business.

By now, it's widely known that the Peninsula-based art collectors and philanthropists have renovated and expanded a 1924 streetcar transformer station in Ohio City on Cleveland's West Side as an architecturally stunning contemporary art gallery.

Their goal is to organize two shows a year based primarily on their growing, nationally respected collection of contemporary photography, which numbers about 700 objects.

Better yet, they have agreed to share the new space with the Cleveland Museum of Art for six months every year, and then eventually to donate the structure to the museum, along with half of their collection. (The other half will go to the Akron Art Museum.)

The urban-development implications of the project are considerable. Valued at $2.5 million to $3 million, the renovation of the Transformer Station has spurred investment in an area developer Graham Veysey calls "Hingetown," where rickety wood-frame houses cluster alongside aging industrial and commercial buildings between Ohio City and the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood.

This is all great, but two weeks after it opened, it's also clear that the Bidwell project has raised a fascinating artistic question — and that's what really counts over the long haul.

Who will aim higher in quality, edginess and sheer aesthetic brilliance, the museum curators or the Bidwells?
On the basis of the opening pair of exhibitions, produced by the Bidwells, the museum is by no means guaranteed to dominate this artistic tennis match. It will have to work hard to keep up, which is great for art lovers and anyone who cares about Cleveland.
The result of the two opening shows indicates that this will be an artistic conversation held at the highest level.
Fred and Laura Bidwell.
Lisa DeJong, The Plain Dealer

 The Bidwells' acumen as collectors is well-known in Akron, where the couple has long supported the Akron Art Museum. They exhibited 57 works from their collection in the highly regarded 2008 exhibition "A Shared Vision," and also backed the memorable 2010 exhibition onAndrew Moore's definitive photographs of crumbling, abandoned factories and schools in Detroit. They sponsored the catalog from that exhibition, which became a best seller.
In Cleveland, where Fred Bidwell also serves on the board of the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Bidwells sponsored the catalog to the museum's 2011 exhibition of Brian Ulrich's compelling photographs of shopping and consumerism entitled "Is This Place Great or What."
At the Transformer Station, the Bidwells' opening shows demonstrate a desire for breadth and depth that builds on their earlier projects in Akron and Cleveland.

One show, "Light of Day," offers a broad sample from the Bidwells' extensive collection. The other focuses on new works commissioned for the opening by the Bidwells from Youngstown native Vaughn Wascovich, who teaches photography at Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Richard Learoyd's "Phie Nude Front," 2011, flouts typical notions of feminine beauty in an image of luminous vulnerability.
(c) Richard Learoyd, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

 With more than two dozen large images, "Light of Day" combines works by young, up-and-coming talents with respected figures such as Chuck Close, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Adam Fuss.

A variety of approaches are investigated. Beate Gutschow of Germany presents a bucolic scene of picnickers by a riverside that turns out to be a digital confection inspired by 17th-century European landscapists such as Claude Lorrain. The entrancing image keeps you guessing about what's real and what's invented — and how (or whether) it matters.

New Yorker Penelope Umbrico harvested 108 images of sunsets posted by amateur photographers on the website Flickr and grouped them together in a collage that comments on the universal fascination with the sun and how easy it is to "sample" and repurpose content gleaned from the Web.
A 2005 image by Cuban native Abelardo Morell in which the photographer turned a gallery in the Philadelphia Museum of Art into a giant camera obscura is transfixing.

Inside the Vaughn Wascovich show at the Transformer Station.
Lisa DeJong, The Plain Dealer

 Morell darkened the room and then allowed light to penetrate from a single point that projected a ghostly, upside-down image of the museum's neoclassical facade over a surreal scene of a city square by Italian Metaphysical painter Giorgio de Chirico. Morell's lengthy exposure strangely makes the image look as if it were made in full daylight.

Other works in the show test the notion of what a photograph might be. Sugimoto of Japan creates an image of a lightning bolt, not with a camera and lens, but by sending high levels of electricity through a large sheet of film.

The overall thrust of "Light of Day" is to emphasize an almost giddy sense of opportunity and possibility within the realm of photography. It's a good start for the Bidwells, and a good first look at their collection.

The Wascovich exhibition, entitled "Bridging Cleveland," focuses on images the artist made by using a large pinhole camera fitted with paper negatives to create portraits of the bridges over the Cuyahoga River in the Flats.

The bridge motif has been done to death in Cleveland, but Wascovich makes it fresh through a process in which he splashed his large-scale prints in the darkroom with chemicals that created splatter patterns that evoke natural processes of rust and decay.

Wascovich's wide-angle images turn the bridges into shapes that curve and swoop, echoing the crooked path of the river over which they soar.
They're present-day equivalents of the ancient Roman ruins chronicled in the 18th-century etchings of Giovanni Battista Piranesi.

This is a familiar and predictable perspective on Cleveland, although Wascovich achieves it with a sense of grandeur and swagger that makes his works feel like the last word on the subject.

Don't try this at home: Hiroshi Sugimoto's image of lightning shows the results of sending electricity through photographic film.
Hiroshi Sugimoto

 The Transformer Station itself, as renovated and enlarged by Cleveland architect John Williams, is gorgeous.
The building features two galleries with 3,000 square feet of space and ceilings ranging from 20 to 22 feet high. The rooms are beautifully proportioned and well-lighted with high, clerestory windows. And inside the original portion of the building, chains and a hook dangle from a 15-ton crane high overhead, lending it a gritty, muscular industrial feel — and a sense that the Transformer Station is a fundamental expression of Cleveland's industrial heritage.

Fred Bidwell, 60, a former art history major at Oberlin College and a retired advertising executive, once dreamed of becoming a fine-art photographer himself. But he realized his talents lay in marketing products for companies such as Kimberly-Clark.
Laura Bidwell, 58, a graphic designer and filmmaker, earned a degree in painting at the University of Akron before joining Malone Advertising in the 1978, where she met her husband-to-be.

For both of the Bidwells, the Transformer Station project represents a new type of activist philanthropy. They're using their wealth to engage in a creative project that benefits the community, rather than turning over their venture to third parties.
The project is similar to that of the collection formed by collectors Donald and Mera Rubell and displayed in a 45,000-square-foot warehouse in Miami, formerly a Drug Enforcement Agency warehouse.

The Rubell family museum is now one of the city's cultural anchors, and, according to the Washington Post, it has set the Wynwood neighborhood "ablaze with color, with murals, art galleries, cafes and top-shelf eateries luring hipsters and big spenders alike."
In Cleveland, the Bidwells plan to continue adding to their collection and to operate the Transformer Station for 15 to 20 years, at which point they'll hand it over to the Cleveland Museum of Art. As the opening volley in this venture, the Bidwells' two exhibitions show that their project is not an empty folly or an exercise in vanity.

It throws down a gauntlet — to the viewer, and to the Cleveland museum — one that quietly asks: How serious are you? How much energy are you willing to put into the Transformer Station, and what might be the result? That's a great question — and one for the entire city to answer.

Transformer Station Preview Party Photos

Photographs by Mark Schwartz with apologies to Larry Fink. Click here for the gallery.

WVIZ: Applause talks with Fred and Laura Bidwell about the Transformer Station


Cool Cleveland: A sneak peak at the Transformer Station

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Introducing the Cleveland Image Festival

Transformer Station is proud to partner with more than a dozen other visual arts organizations to develop this transformational proposal to unite Cleveland around a month-long celebration of the photographic image in 2014. Cuyahoga Arts and Culture has named Cleveland Image Festival as a finalist in their Creative Culture Grants program. The next step is a public vote. Starting February 1, go to to vote for the Cleveland Image Festival as your first choice!CAC_FinalLogo_TaglineSmall

Vaughn Wascovich talks about "Bridging Cleveland"


"Bridging Cleveland" Installation

Crane Gallery (2)Crane Gallery 2

"Light of Day" hanging is almost complete

Gallery Hanging

Michael Loderstedt supervises a limited edition print at Zygote Press

Michael Loderstedt collaborated with Vaughn Wascovich to create a photo-intaglio print in a limited edition to mark the premier showing of “Bridging Cleveland”. Michael created the intaglio plate based on one of the images for the show by Wascovich and is printing this week at Zygote Press with Christi Birchfield. Click “Read More” to see all the photos.

Zygote Print

Installation Week Begins

Taylor Hoffman and Danielle Meeker supervise the delivery of the art for “Light of Day” Read More...

Vaughn Wascovich unpacks the first of the Bridging Cleveland images.

Vaughn With Art

Transformer Station Announces Hours for its Opening Weekend

Exhibitions open to the public for extended hours Feb. 1- 3
Transformer at Night Web

CLEVELAND (January 11, 2013) – Transformer Station, Cleveland’s newest art museum owned and operated by the Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell Foundation, announces a weekend open house from noon to 9:00 p.m., Feb. 1 and 2 and noon to 5:00 p.m. on Feb. 3. Visitors will have the opportunity to tour the recently renovated space and be the first to view two premiere exhibitions of contemporary photography and photo-based art. Admission to the Transformer Station is free.
During the weekend open house, gallery tours will be held throughout the day and evening. Rising Star Coffee Roasters, a coffee shop located directly across the street in the Ohio City Firehouse, will remain open during Transformer Station’s inaugural weekend hours. Touch Supper Club will park their food truck outside the museum Friday and Saturday evening and visitors will be encouraged to explore the exciting Ohio City restaurant and bar scene. Read More...

Ready to move in!

Crane Gallery (1)