Pictured, from left (see below for more information on each):
Materials: Digital C-print, scanned 4x5 film, printed on Willow Glass.
Location at Summa Health: Dr. Gary B. and Pamela S. Williams Tower on the Akron Campus (141 N. Forge St.), blue neighborhood; 12 patient rooms on the 2nd floor, 12 patient rooms on the 4th floor and 12 patient rooms on the 6th floor.
Cuyahoga River, Autumn Sunrise
Wayne Mazorow works with a large-format, 4x5 view film camera to create his images, which he intends as contemporary iterations of traditional landscape views like those found in paintings of earlier centuries. He has focused his photography on the most pristine and untouched areas in Northeast Ohio and limits manipulation of the image after it has been “captured.” The photos were taken on film (first date listed) and then digitized: During this process, the artist can gently adjust overall tonality to one end or the other of the RGB spectrum in order to enhance the mood of the image, although only an experienced photographer knows how to avoid overdoing it.
Mazorow’s three digitized photos are among those specially selected for patient rooms in the new patient tower, and not just for their meditative content. In this environment, where hygiene is critical, our curator chose original works which the architect had printed on Willow Glass, a super-thin, super-hard glass which can be thoroughly cleaned without degrading the image. An artist adapted the digital files to the scale and proportional requirements of the patient room location at Summa Health (second date listed); the printing process was completed by a commercial printer.
Mazorow grew up in Lorain and has lived in the eastern Cleveland suburbs since graduating from Miami University with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry. He is a self-taught photographer and has specialized in images of Northeast Ohio shot with a 35-mm and, since 1998, the 4x5 large-format cameras. His work has spanned the transition from film-based photography to digital.
The redbud tree — with its intensely purple-pink blossoms hugging its twigs and branches — is one of spring’s earliest bloomers. The artist here has captured the intensity of color and the way in which redbuds really do light up the woodlands (and many of our own yards and gardens) in late March and early April, as even the bark of the redbuds and adjacent trees reflect that purple-pink hue. A little bit of sunlight filters into the tops of the trees, further warming this spring vista and creating a mood of optimism.
Like the Red Bud Bedford photograph, this image is also about spring, but here the joyful light green of March, April and May paints all the forms of trees, ferns, moss, lichens, and shrubs in lightly varied shades. Nature’s full force seems exemplified in the slender maple tree that curls up out of the rock face on the left: when it reaches verticality, it resolutely shoots up, its living form a green contrast to the blue-grays of the tumbled rocks behind it. The profusion of detail in Mazorow’s photographs invites continual scanning, but even so, the overall effect here is restful.
The mid-spring bloom of yellow flags in the wetlands of Northeast Ohio is emphatically documented here in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Ohio’s lone national park). An invasive species in Ohio, the yellow flag is related to the domesticated iris and can fill low-lying areas and wetlands, as it does here. Mazorow is dedicated to reminding us of the importance of our native wetlands habitats and in this photo, he subtly emphasizes this importance by waiting to photograph this profusion of yellow and green until exactly the moment when the spring sky was filled with radiating cirrus clouds. The clouds seem to mark this minor annual miracle of growth.
Cuyahoga River, Autumn Sunrise, no.3/25 2009 and 2021
Materials: digital print on acrylic, 40" x 50"
Location at Summa: Juve Family Behavioral Health Pavilion
About the art and artist:
A bend in the Crooked River, morning's first light filling the mist that rises from the water's surface, back-lighting trunks, branches, and leaves. We notice their astonishingly crisp outlines, and then, that they are mirrored, but smudgy and muffled, in the glassy pool below ...
Wayne Mazorow tells us that, almost 30 years ago, he was inspired by the work of western photographer Robert Glenn Ketchum to seek out backlit autumn foliage along a river or creek. He says that he waited a long time to be ready for the moment in this photo, which he took in 2009 with what we today might think of as "old technology", the large-format, analogue 4 x 5 camera that requires film to produce negatives for printing (he still uses that camera, 'though he now also has a digital one). The beauty of those bulky oldsters is that they register the image in very high resolution, and, when their negatives are scanned and then printed using contemporary digital processes, as Mazorow has here, the result is an extraordinary degree of detail - just look at the river-rounded stones! Then we gaze up and can almost see the rustling sound of the leaves! This photograph offers us the possibility of sensing nature in ways that we might, on site, have missed.
Digital photography has made it easy for all of us to think that we've become competent portraitists or landscapists or documentarians. And that's good, if that makes us more observant and thoughtful. So, we can appreciate that it takes long experience, a well-educated eye, and knowing patience to wait for a particular moment and then to know how to turn it into something that takes our breath away. That's how we know we're seeing the work, the thoughts, of an artist.
Where you can see more of this artist’s work:
Mazorow has exhibited widely throughout Ohio in both solo and group shows, where he has won many awards, and has had his photos published as illustrations in books, articles, and magazines and in popular calendars, such as for the Audubon Society. His photos are held in the collections of University Hospitals, the Cleveland Clinic, and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History; you can readily see a range of his current work on his website.