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Art Professors Each Receive $20,000 Arts Fellowship

Posted Jan. 10, 2011

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

A sample of Loderstedt's work

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. A panel, made up of seven-members from outside of Ohio, reviewed the applications and selected the recipients. Panelists took into consideration the quality of the submissions, as well as the artists' plans for using the money to develop their art, do research or draw up a business plan.

Loderstedt, whose work incorporates photography, printmaking, artist books and installation, submitted cut and folded screenprints - many based on architectural photographic sources from Hellerau, Germany - from a work he was commissioned to create in 2009. Additionally, he included a 1950s-era paper ocean liner, complete with German text detailing the Loderstedt family immigrant history. Loderstedt's work can be found in local public and corporate collections including the Cleveland Museum of Art, Progressive Insurance, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and the Akron Art Museum and 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 says. "This award will allow me to pursue my career on a broader, more international basis."

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

O'Keeffe, a native of Ireland, teaches sculpture 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 says. "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 10th 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," says 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