Must See: Lori Kella in Scale3 at Cleveland Print Room


Lori Kella is so much more than a photographer. There is a bit of magic in the images currently on view at the Cleveland Print Room. “Seven Summits” is her visual interpretation of the highest mountain peaks on each of the seven continents.

If you’re not familiar with Kella’s work, she’s known for creating elaborate dioramas, including tiny trees, fake snow, and other paper constructions – then these stage sets are photographed to create the final image. This show’s very specific theme allows an exploration into the way some of these famous peaks have been represented through photography.

In the Shadow of Puncak Jaya, 2016, Archival Pigment Print

If you look carefully, you may recognize the iconic peaks of Everest or Kilimanjaro – but even more interesting is her take on the less familiar peaks, such as Puncak Jaya in Indonesia (Australia, above, which she made from clay, then photographed), or Aconcagua in the Andes (South America, below, made from paper, then photographed).

Aconcagua, 2016, Archival Pigment Print

As Kella explains in her statement:

“My approach to creating the photographs was one of observation, practice, and repetition.  I culled numerous photos and maps form the impressive, yet pedestrian visual archives of the Internet, and carefully tried to piece together a paper model of each monolith.  I studied the lines and contours of eacb mountain and practiced folding each shape out of paper.  Once folded, I could draw and paint in the shadows on each surface and photograph these approximations.  I related the act of continually tracing each structure to the multiple attempts made by those wishing to summit all seven peaks.”

Facing Kilimanjaro, 2016, Archival Pigment Print

“[These photographs] are metaphors for triumph and failure, for they embody the essence of art making and the continual desire to achieve greatness, while knowing it is an impossible task.  One will never reach the summit, but perhaps that is not the only reason for trying.”


Scale3 also includes two excellent video pieces by Jacob Koestler and Toby Kauffman-Buhler.  The show closes on September 23.  For more information, including opening times, please visit

The opinions expressed on CAN Blog are those of the individual writers. Art is somewhat subjective. Well, somewhat. But yes, everybody's a critic.