Coburn Gallery to Host ‘What is a Hero?’ Photography Exhibition
The Coburn Gallery at Ashland University to Host ‘What is a Hero?’ Photography Exhibition
The Coburn Gallery at Ashland University will host a photography exhibition titled “What is a Hero?” from Sept. 10 to Oct. 25. The exhibition, which will feature both war veteran and caregiver portraits as well as other topics, will be held in conjunction with the College of Arts and Sciences fall symposium “Against Indifference.”
Four photographers -- Honey Lazar, Steve Cagan and Herbert Ascherman Jr. from the Cleveland area and Steve Stone from Utah -- have been invited to share their vision of what is a hero. The exhibition will host an opening reception on Thursday, Sept. 10, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public.
To accompany this exhibition, a visiting artist lecture will be presented by Ascherman on Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. in Ronk Lecture Hall in the Dwight Schar College of Education on the Ashland University campus. The artist talk is free and open to the public. Ascherman has been creating fine art portraiture for more than 30 years, specializing in stunning black and white and the resurgent art of platinum photography. Internationally recognized for his photographs of people in creative, commercial and social settings, his work has been exhibited and commercially published throughout the U.S. and in Europe, Japan and India.
Lazar chose the hero topic of Caregivers. “Caregivers are important to us all. They hold the hands of our disabled, challenged and elderly. They assist those we love with tenderness, compassion and dignity. They cook, clean and laugh with people of all ages and varying degrees of need. They do so many of the things we cannot for those we love, and I salute their courage, wisdom and patience through these portraits. They are my heroes,” he said.
Cagan’s photographs are a “representation of the daily struggles of people whom I see as among the great heroes in our world—the people who in their daily lives and in their communities resist the pressures that work against justice, peace and a life of dignity.” “In this case, I am looking at the struggle of the communities of the Colombian department of El Chocó. In recent years I have come to see the central thrust of my work as a documentation and celebration of that daily struggle, expressed in work, family, community organization, culture and ritual,” he said.
Ascherman was inspired by the seminal TV series "Band of Brothers" and how lead character Captain Richard D. Winters quoted Mike Ranney (another soldier) on how Ranney answered a question his grandson once asked him: “I treasure my remark to my grandson who asked, ‘Grandpa, were you a hero in the war?’ Grandpa said, "No... But I served in a company of heroes". Ascherman has presented the portraits and stories of 13 vets who returned home from Europe, the South Pacific, Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq and many places in between. “All are Heroes in the sense that they served their country and survived. All have my appreciation for doing so,” he said.
Stone referenced the quote from Jack Kerouac: "The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live..." in discussing his exhibit. “In my life of running airport to airport and project to project, names and faces fade quickly from my memory. What remains are photographs and impressions,” he said. “In the images selected, you'll see the ones who've left a mark. Some are close personal friends, some were commissioned images, and some were chance encounters on the road. Many of the images included were gathered off-the-clock while chasing my own passions, but I've opted to include a few from commissioned projects as well. Regardless of the relationship or circumstance, however, these are the people who stand out and fight the good fight.”
The Coburn Gallery is open from 12 noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon to 4 p.m. and closed during University breaks.