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Kent State Art Professors Each Receive $20,000 Arts Fellowship

Posted Dec. 21, 2010

The Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC) of Cuyahoga County has awarded two Kent State University professors of art each with a $20,000 Creative Workforce Fellowship (CWF). Michael Loderstedt, MFA '85, Kent State School of Art professor of fine art and printmaking, and Paul O'Keeffe, professor of fine art and sculpture, were two of 20 local artists to receive the award.

The fellowship, which drew 310 applications this year, was designed to add financial investment for eligible Cuyahoga County artists. Each artist was required to submit images of 15 works as part of the application process, and winners were chosen by a seven-member panel from outside of Ohio that reviewed the applications. Panelists took into consideration the quality as well as the artists' plans for using the money to develop their art, do research or draw up a business plan.

Michael Loderstedt's Schiffgeschicte Inverse Loderstedt, whose work incorporates photography, printmaking, artist books and installation, submitted cut and folded screenprints, many largely based on architectural photographic sources from Hellerau, Germany, for which he was commissioned in 2009 to create. Additionally, he included a 1950's era paper ocean liner complete with German text detailing the Loderstedt family immigrant history. Loderstedt's work can be found in such local public collections at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Progressive Insurance, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation and the Akron Art Museum, while internationally at the Kupferstich-Kabinett in Dresden, Germany.

"Needless to say, I'm thrilled to be honored in this way, and delighted that my work has received such high recognition," Loderstedt said. "This award will allow me to pursue my career on a broader, more international basis."

Loderstedt and wife/artist Lori Kella, who coincidentally was awarded the CWF in 2009, live in Cleveland with their seven-year-old son.

Paul O'Keeffe's The Space BetweenO'Keeffe, a native of Ireland, is a professor of art at Kent State. His sculptures are generally large pieces where bright color, form and materials of steel, fabric and plastic are used in such a way as to defy the viewers' desire to make meaning of the work. His application submission included work from the past five years, including works from a solo exhibition currently on show at the William Busta Gallery in Cleveland, running through January 2011.

"It's always nice to be recognized by a panel of one's peers," O'Keeffe said. "Much of my work is large and expensive to produce, so this award will enable me to buy some needed equipment and materials."

O'Keeffe was recently awarded his tenth Individual Excellence Award of $5,000 from the Ohio Arts Council. In addition, he is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship and a Ford Foundation Grant. He lives with his wife, Natasha Levinson, and daughter in Cleveland Heights.

"We are very proud to hear that not one, but two of our School of Art faculty are being recognized for their exceptional work," said John R. Crawford, dean of Kent State's College of the Arts. "Michael Loderstedt and Paul O'Keeffe are most deserving of these awards, as they are internationally-acclaimed artists."

CPAC is a nonprofit arts and culture service agency dedicated to Northeast Ohio's success by preserving and advancing its arts and culture sector. CPAC works to prove and promote our cultural assets' extraordinary contributions to our economy, education and quality of life. CPAC helps arts and culture prosper by fostering best practices in business development, sound cultural policy and in-depth research. For more information on CPAC, visit

For more information on the School of Art at Kent State, visit

For more information on these artists, contact Michael Loderstedt at 216-481-8357 or or Paul O'Keeffe at 216-470-8478 or

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Media Contacts:
Effie Tsengas,, 330-672-8398
Emily Vincent,, 330-672-8595