Artists Archives honors First Responders, celebrates Founders


When our routine is shattered by emergency, we dial 911 and trust that someone will answer the call.  That help is on the way.  Whether we see those who arrive simply as heroes or as something more complicated, one fact remains:  they are human.  Underneath the exterior of austere authority, they are like us- spouses, siblings, friends, children, parents.

Herbert Ascherman Jr.’s collection of photographic portraits, First Responders:  As We See Them, As They Are documents the apparent “multiple lives” of regional Police and Fire personnel.  In these images Ascherman, a fourth generation Clevelander and internationally recognized portraitist, explores the dualistic nature of emergency responders, depicting them first as they appear in uniform, then in the casual clothing familiar to their friends and family.

Working in partnership with Silver and Gold of Cleveland, the Fraternal Order of Police’s public support organization, Ascherman has captured his humanizing diptychs on film with his 8 x 10 large format field camera. Printing his portraits in enlarged silver gelatin, the diptychs form a complete picture of his collaborators: revealing both the private citizen and public figure with a single glance.

In keeping with Silver and Gold’s mission statement, Ascherman sincerely hopes his portraits “will help foster public support and goodwill for Northeast Ohio Safety Forces in the communities in which they serve.”  Opening reception is Thursday, September 15th at the Artists Archives of the Western Reserve.


In celebration of the Archives 20th anniversary we end the year with the 20th Anniversary Founder’s Exhibition a group show featuring the art of David Davis and the 8 founding members:  Shirley Aley Campbell, David A. Haberman, William Martin Jean, Robert Jergens, Patricia Zinsmeister Parker, Phyllis Seltzer, Phyllis Lester Sloane and Randall Tiedman.  Each artist will contribute 2-3 original works representative of their unique creative legacy and incalculable energetic contribution to the organization.


As part of the 20th Anniversary Founder’s Exhibition, we will also be premiering our Oral Histories Project which consists of short documentaries created by Akron independent film maker Ted Sikora and noted Cleveland photographer Chuck Mintz.  These histories, each running approximately 4 minutes, artfully document the lives and careers of 11 Archived Artists (including 3 Founding Members), detailing their personal aesthetic development and approach to art creation, influences of teachers and mentors, exhibition history, and relationships with other notable artists.  The films will be screened at the Founder’s 20th Anniversary Exhibition’s opening reception on Saturday, November 19th from 1 till 3 PM. The archives would like to thank the voters of Cuyahoga County for providing funding for this project through a Cuyahoga Arts and Culture Grant.


Artists Archives of the Western Reserve

1834 E. 123rd St.

Cleveland Ohio 44106



The New Now: September 6 – October 6, Tri-C Gallery East. Opening Reception 6 – 8:30 pm September 6

First Responders:  As We See Them, As They Are: September 15 – November 5, Opening reception Thursday, Sept. 15

Twentieth Anniversary Founder’s Exhibition: November 10 – December 17

Oral Histories Project: Screening 1 – 3 pm Saturday, November 19.