Totality: The Art of Light and Time, at Pinwheel

Steven Mastroianni, Eclipse, unique photogram, silver gelatin print (cameraless photograph).

April 8, 2024, will bring a darkening of the skies with the first total solar eclipse Cleveland has seen since June 16, 1806—long before Cleveland as a city existed. In honor of this celestial event, Pinwheel Gallery is celebrating with a show built of light and time, The Cleveland Eclipse Exhibit, which will run from April 5 through May 3. The lightworkers included in the exhibit are local artists Steven Mastroianni and Mary Defer.

Cleveland-based artist and photographer Steven Mastroianni describes his work for this exhibit:

Photograms, or camera-less photography, is the earliest form of photography; the process records light and shadows directly on photosensitive materials without the use of a camera. For these pieces, I’m conceiving of a way to create the image of an eclipse directly onto photographic paper. The process itself is a sort of eclipse, where the light source is revealed or blocked by objects and stencils to render a form on the paper. The end results are unique, imaginary “eclipses” conceived, built, and developed in the darkroom.

Mary Defer, photographer and artist living and working in Lakewood, describes her series:

In this series, I create lumens (camera-less, ephemeral images made using darkroom paper and sunlight) that depict Moses Cleaveland trees: living beings that were around during the last total solar eclipse here in 1806. On April 8, I will create lumens on-site at Pinwheel Gallery—these ever-shifting images will be displayed alongside a selection of unchanging reproduction lumens for the duration of the show.

The show will open 5 to 9 pm Friday, April 5, with a reception. Steven’s completed photograms will be displayed at the reception, but only a limited number of Mary’s lumen prints will be: instead, the visitors will be asked to imagine the complete exhibit.

Mary Defer, Eclipse Lumen (5), original lumen print.

On April 8, the gallery event will begin at noon. In addition to seeing the lumens created in person and seeing the work already completed, there will be eclipse-themed activities for adults and for kids. Unlike the actual eclipse, the gallery event will be visible even if it is cloudy.

At the closing reception on Friday, May 3, attendees will be able to see the completed set of reproduction lumens captured during and in the hours following the eclipse, and contrast that with the incomplete set displayed at the opening.

Please contact Pinwheel Gallery with any questions.

2019 Broadview Road
Cleveland, OH 44109


The Cleveland Eclipse Exhibit, April 5–May 3. Opening reception 5-9pm Friday, April 5

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