Photography exhibit from Rock and Roll Hall of Fame comes to South Shore Arts

2012-11-25T00:00:00Z 2012-12-03T09:32:05Z Photography exhibit from Rock and Roll Hall of Fame comes to South Shore ArtsBy Carrie Rodovich Times Correspondent
November 25, 2012 12:00 am  • 

For Cleveland-based photographer Janet Macoska, a 1989 photo she took of Sir Paul McCartney brings her career full circle.

Her love of The Beatles inspired her to become a rock and roll photojournalist.

Years later, she auditioned to become a tour photographer for Paul McCartney. Although she didn’t get that job, she was chosen as one of a dozen photographers who was given credentials to shoot a mini-concert and press conference to announce the launch of his world tour.

That 1989 photograph was eventually selected for the National Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection in London.

“It is the only in-concert performance photograph of Sir Paul in their collection,” she said. “It represents me coming full circle in my career, from fan, to professional, to legacy.”

Forty-six of Macoska’s photographs are included in the exhibit “It’s Only Rock and Roll, But I Like It,” on display in the South Shore Arts gallery in the Center for Visual & Performing Arts in Munster. The other 43 photographs in the exhibit are by photographer Anastasia Pantsios.

The exhibit is on loan from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, through Feb. 3. The gallery is free and open every day.

On Monday, Nov. 26, Macoska will be giving a free lecture and tour of the exhibit at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. in the gallery. On Tuesday, Nov. 27, there will be a VIP reception featuring Macoska from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. A limited number of tickets are still available. Tickets, which cost $25, can be reserved by Monday by calling 836-1839 ext. 100.

Each year, South Shore Arts tries to bring a blockbuster exhibit to the gallery, said Tricia Hernandez, the director of marketing and development for South Shore Arts. Previous exhibits have included the works of Peanuts creator Charles Schultz, artist Norman Rockwell, and a retrospective about Negro League Baseball.

“It allows people to come in and learn more and see more, and do it as a free experience,” she said. “We chose this exhibit because it has a great interest. The photography is excellent, and these classic rock and roll icons are famous in their own right.”

Gallery manager Mary McClelland said the exhibit spans five decades of musicians, ranging from a 1969 photograph of Grace Slick performing with Jefferson Airplane in Grant Park in Chicago to a 2006 photograph of Gwen Stefani.

Other musicians featured in the exhibit include David Bowie, Madonna, Lou Reed, Freddy Mercury, Michael Jackson and Courtney Love.

McClelland said the photos capture the artists for who they are.

“There are awesome photos of David Bowie that really capture his personality,” she said. “He’s an extremely artistic-looking person, and the photos capture him as a beautiful piece of sculpture.”

McClelland said the exhibit is an education in rock and roll. The photographers each wrote captions for their photos, explaining the background of the photo and the time it was taken.

“It’s the School of Rock, right here,” she said. “If you like music at all, you will think this is cool.”

Macoska said rock and roll is the soundtrack to people’s lives, and the rock photographers have provided the visuals for that soundtrack.

“We chronicle the history of rock and roll, which is a very important genre of music and is so important to our culture,” she said. “Still photography is how we preserve the important events and icons for future generations. I've been privileged to photograph in some of the greatest eras of rock and roll, and preserve images of iconic artists like Led Zeppelin and David Bowie in their prime.”

Macoska hopes her photographs will help people appreciate rock and roll’s greatest artists and remember the concerts they have attended and loved themselves.

“[I hope they have] an appreciation of my ability to capture those special moments, a 60th of a second moment, of rock and roll's greatest artists,” she said. “For me, it was understanding the music, the artists, the flow of a show, the lighting, and navigating all those factors (plus perhaps an unruly audience) to capture the essence of the performer. If they come out of the exhibition with a smile on their face, then I've done my job.”

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

In This Issue