In late 18th-century England, spinning machines that could rapidly produce vast amounts of yarn, powered by water wheels, were introduced to the manufacturing world. The advent of these spinners, along with power looms, led to large factories being built around the textile industry, with huge steam engines soon replacing water wheels, all of which became part of the Industrial Revolution.
Today, the term "industrial" has evolved to describe an aesthetic element: industrial crafts and jewelry, industrial music, and even industrial chic home design. Now the Kadoya Gallery is giving it a new platform in a juried photography exhibit opening Friday.
industrial is the brainchild of curator Kellie Cason O'Connor, who wanted to pay homage to Pueblo's steelworking roots. "We have the steel mill here," O'Connor, 42, says by phone. "I really wanted to put something together that reflected that.
"It's a very broad topic. There are industrial buildings and art and music. We just put one word out there so artists can be artists and interpret it themselves."
Out of 154 entries, only 25 pieces from 19 artists were chosen to be exhibited by O'Connor and fellow juror Jason Landry. Entries came from across the country and as far away as Ireland and Japan. Though only a handful will be displayed, the remainder of the entries will be featured in a catalog and Kadoya's online gallery.
Landry, 41, is not just O'Connor's friend, but an authority on art photography. He's a published author and owner of the Panopticon Gallery in Boston, which counts among its clients the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Museum of Modern Art; and the Smithsonian.
Landry shares his perspective on photography as an artform by offering a quote from contemporary great Chuck Close: "Photography is the easiest medium with which to be merely competent. Almost anybody can be competent. It's the hardest medium in which to have some sort of personal vision and to have a signature style."
And as if Landry's résumé isn't credible enough, he is also the son of a steelworker. "I have a personal connection with the word 'industrial'; it makes me think of steel," he says. "And when I think of steel, I think of strength."
O'Connor hopes that this exhibit will catapult Kadoya toward expanding its real estate, adding a gallery specifically dedicated to photography, yet at this moment no space has been secured.