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Art Cleveland Decor Furniture Interior Studio Tour

Interview + Studio Tour with Suzuran Photography

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The second you step into Cleveland-based photographer Suzanne Price’s studio, you get an overwhelming feeling of wonder, and you just know that this is where the magic is made. Suzuran, a name that refers to the Japanese term for Lily of the Valley, (and also sounds like an amalgamation of Suzanne + Dan, the two lovebirds that run the joint) is not only a photography studio, its an experience.

The breadth of her work increases by the minute, and I can’t help but admire Suzanne’s signature style throughout each genre. Whether she’s exploring another country, documenting a road trip, shooting a fashion pictorial, or collaborating with her husband on a wedding, her photos feel ethereal and soft, but at the same time, incredibly poignant. You can’t help but wonder about the secrets and surprises each subject is holding. Every photo is like a scene in a very good dream that you feel like you need to know the meaning of immediately.

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Suzanne took this horse portrait during her travels in Iceland

Describe the path you took to get to what you’re doing now: Well, I have a BFA in photography and after graduating I really wanted to start my own photography business, but I didn’t yet have the confidence. So I went to back to school and earned a degree in Art Education. I was really passionate about it, and moved to Japan to teach Art and English to preschool, an experience that completely changed my life. It was in Japan that I truly developed my photographic voice and honed my craft. I moved back to Cleveland from Japan just as the market was crashing, and it was really tough to find a teaching job, let alone any other job, so I decided to embrace my destiny and start making photos full time.

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Photos taken by Suzanne Price

How would you describe your aesthetic? It’s emotive, moody, narrative, and empathetic, if that makes sense!

Which photographers and artists inspire you?  While I respect the work of many photographers who primarily shoot weddings, I don’t draw much inspiration from wedding photography itself. I love film – especially the catalog of Francois Truffaut, The Sprit of the Beehive by Victor Erice, and anime film Pricess Kaguya by Isao Takahata.

Do you aspire to create work on a level of a particular artist, or do you have other personal goals that you base the arc of your work on? I try as much as possible to photograph moments that can be imagined as film stills; you can daydream about what may have happened before and after. Photographer wise, I love the work of Shomei Tomatsu, Deborah Turbeville, and many, many more.

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What’s the most challenging thing about owning your own business?  The most challenging aspect of owning my own business is the BUSINESS end of things! Taxes, accounting, tons of email, etc. I’m a pretty right brained person, and rigid mathy tasks don’t come naturally to me. I don’t have many regrets in life, but it would have been nice to at least minor in business. I think that understanding that framework can give you a leg up if you are a creative. I asked for a lot of advice and in a few cases reinvented the wheel.

What’s the most rewarding thing? The most rewarding thing is interacting with a huge variety of humans and bringing them joy! I’m naturally introverted and can be PAINFULLY shy in groups. My camera has always been a safety net/buffer in social situations; it helps me to interact on a level that wouldn’t normally be possible. I’m incredibly thankful for that.

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Coral and volcanic rocks from travels. She uses them as a meditation.

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Painting by Douglas Max Utter

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Blue wicker chair from Heck’s Revival

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There are so many choices when it comes to wedding photographers, why do you think people are drawn to Suzuran? I think it’s because we’re a kind pair who aren’t afraid to be a little quirky in our creativity. We aren’t afraid of a little imperfection – in fact, a little blur here and a silly face there in perfect spontaneity can often tell a story much better than a staged, stiff portrait. We really value natural moments and strive to help our clients stay present. There is so much beauty in that honesty.

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Viewmaster was a gift from a wedding client – contains her fave photos 

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Suzanne also weaves, draws, and paints. Many of the items in her studio are her own works of art.

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I want to thank Suzanne for this interview and her brilliant work. I recommend following her on Instagram– it’s one of my favorite feeds.

Architecture Cleveland

Abandoned Spaces in CLE

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By Johnny Joo

Cleveland is rebuilding itself at a rapid pace and I love witnessing the direction it’s heading. Buildings are being turned into new apartments, restaurants, artist studios and store fronts. The difference here verses Pittsburgh is it’s not focused all on condos. I like that I read more about new restaurants, breweries and stores opening rather than another huge condo complex. Maybe I have seen more of it in Pittsburgh since I lived near East Liberty and it left me feeling a little bitter.

That being said, there are still abandoned buildings that exist and are easy to find here. I like exploring and appreciate the spaces that were once a factory, a station or a school. Take a look:

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Geauga lake

Geauge Lake

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Cleveland Clinic, 2014 by Thom Sheridan

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Abandoned observatory by Scott

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By Kaylah of the Dainty Squid

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Not sure where this in in Cleveland. It looks like it has good bones. By Scott

Cleveland Furniture

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All photos are from Moderncre8ve

Last summer while I was walking around the Cleveland Flea, Moderncre8ve’s stand caught my eye. Impressed with their furniture, I stopped by three times to take peek and grabbed a card.

Based in Cleveland, Ohio, the shop is run by owner Robert William and co-owner Chad Brockett. Their pieces are handmade, modern and have an interesting style to them. The wood and metal are sourced locally. You can tell they pay attention to details and put a lot of love into every thing they create. As a minimalist and a designer, I really appreciate how they photograph and style their work. Take a look for yourself:

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desk lamp pin.legs pink shop shop.table sides stamp table tables tops wood

If you’re interested in learning more about this shop, there’s an feature on Etsy.

Architecture Cleveland

Slow Down, Explore, and Enjoy!

Cocoa / Milk / Sugar. My favorite picture I've taken in Cleveland so far.

When I moved to Cleveland, I felt like I needed to quickly jump in and know everything right away. I get lost often, I don’t have many pals yet, and I haven’t found my go-to spots. After rethinking it, I stopped being hard on myself. I’m used to running into friends in Pittsburgh and having plans on the weekends.

My friend Chris, made this hand lettered print you see above. She posted it on Instagram, then was kind enough to mail me an awesome package of her goodies from Germany. Side note: We met in 2006 on MySpace, kept in touch all these years but still haven’t met each other in person! 

Her piece made me think about the new year, slowing down a bit and just be excited about the possibilities. I think we get caught up in the fast pace of life and making huge resolutions that we forget by March.

Now one of my goals is to slow down and take time for myself. I want to appreciate the things that this city has. I have a hard time pausing and taking it easy without feeling bad. It’s something I’m actively trying to change.

I have started to take drives on the weekends, sometimes bike when the weather is nice and walk my dog on streets I’ve never been before. I’m a fan of making lists, so I purchased this passion planner. You can create different types of goals, lists, it has lots of space to write down your thoughts and what your focus is for that week.

In the meantime, here are things I’ve capture in the last few days:

I love how they painted angles on this house!

I love how they painted angles on this house!

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This building and the angles of the fire escape caught my eye

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Entry way to the antique store, Sweet Lorain. There’s a lot to look at here. For Cleveland, it’s a bit overpriced and stuffy but I would recommend people to check it out.

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I came across this house while I was driving around. It looked as if it needed some updates but look at those windows!

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Lake Erie frozen

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Building doorways usually have names here. Meet Lucille

Building doorways usually have names here. Meet Lucille

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From my front porch

From my front porch

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Cleveland Art Museum has a couple Warhol pieces. Marilyn x 100 (detail), 1962. Andy Warhol

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Peter B Lewis Building by Frank Gehry. This was hard to photograph because of it’s location.

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Just a garage door that caught my eye

Cleveland Neighborhoods Vintage

Sunday Finds / January ’16

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Cleveland Ohio area finds

Happy 2016! I’ve been reading up on different ways to organize my home and different ways to purge things. I still believe if you can find a great piece for your house that you’ve been searching for, it’s worth finding a space for it. Here’s a few good finds that I rounded up for you. One part is from Cleveland and the other is Pittsburgh.

Mid Century John Widdicomb Credenza – $675 (Columbiana, OH)
Retro Typewriter With Stand And a Gooseneck Lamp – $85 (North Canton)
Heywood Wakefield MCM End Table and Coffee Table – $225 (Cleveland)
Blaupunkt Mid-Century Stereo Console – $50
Two Mid-Century Vinyl Arm Chairs – $50 (Avon)
Vintage Retro Recreational Furniture – $75 (Bedford)
Vintage Mid-century Modern Globe Cartocraft – $75 (Parma)

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Pittsburgh area finds

George Nelson Style Table – $75 (Pittsburgh north)
Vintage Kitchen Canister Set – $15 (Pgh north)
Vintage Industrial 60 Drawer Steel Parts Cabinet on Legs – $1600 (Pittsburgh)
Set of 9 Vintage File Storage Drawers – $265 (Pittsburgh)
Fiberglass Chair – $275 (Pittsburgh)

Art Cleveland Exhibit

Akron Art Museum

Love this building! In 2007 the firm Coop Himmelb(l)au integrated approximately 21,000 square feet of the 1899 building with a new 63,300 square foot building

Akron is not a far drive from Cleveland so we planned on venturing to the area to see the NEO Geo exhibit at the Akron Art Museum. The building itself is a piece of art made up of sharp angles, cement and glass. It was expanded in 2007 and designed by Coop Himmelb(l)au who integrated 21,000 square feet of the 1899 building with a new 63,300 square foot building. On the architecture firm’s site they explain “The building is broken up into 3 parts: the Crystal, the Gallery Box, and the Roof Cloud.” Pretty spectacular!

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NEO Geo at the Akron Art Museum

This exhibit was my dream come true! Geometric shapes, lines and bright colors. All the pieces were created by artists working in the Northern Ohio.

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Natalie Lanese installation Depthless Without You

You can walk and stand inside this installation by Natalie Lanese. This was my favorite! It was so bright it made me dizzy in a good way.

Standing inside this amazing piece

Standing inside this amazing piece

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Kristina Paabus

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Something to Believe by Kristina Paabus

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24h by Kristina Paabus

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#432 by Janice Lessman-Moss

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Nepp by Gianna Commito

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Gianna Commito

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Eyeshadow Overlap Op by Michelle Marie Murphy

The museum is small but the collection is great! I went into the space just to see NEO Geo but was impressed with the pieces they have on exhibit and have acquired. I am personally more into contemporary work and they have plenty of it.

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Helen Frankenthaler, Wisdom , 1969

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Mickalene Thomas, Girlfriends and Lovers , 2008

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Alvin Loving, Untitled , 1971

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Chuck Close, Linda , 1975-1976

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They allow you to take photos of the artwork as long as you do not use flash.

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Giorgio Cavallon, Untitled , 1974 – 1975

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Yinka Shonibare, Gentleman Walking a Tightrope 2006

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James Gobel, I’ll Be Your Friend, I’ll Be Your Love, I’ll Be Everything You Need, 2009

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Robert Colescott, Bye Bye Miss American Pie, 1971

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The cafe was was cozy and modern. The person working behind the counter made a delicious french press from a their local roaster Akron Coffee Roasters.

inside_museumThe building curves and bends in unusual places. I found myself just walking around studying the inside.

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At the bottom of the stairs is a sculpture by Claes Oldenburg, Inverted Q , 1976

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Frank Stella, Diepholz , 1981

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Larry Zox, Untitled from the Scissors Jack Series, 1965-1966

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Sol LeWitt, Wall Drawing #1240 Planes with broken bands of color (Akron) , 2005

This museum is definitely a place you can go for a day trip and take your time exploring all the pieces on display. I’m excited to have them nearby. The staff that we encountered were friendly and eager to answer our questions. We went on a Sunday so most of the downtown area was silent. I want to go again soon during a Saturday to try a couple of the restaurants nearby.

For more information, check out their site.

Architecture Art Cleveland Pittsburgh

Don’t Underestimate Cleveland

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In 2012, I was about to attend a conference in Cleveland, Ohio and was looking for recommendations for things to do. My friends from Pittsburgh talked a lot of smack on Cleveland. I was also guilty of doing this. Besides the ridiculous rivalry between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns, I was hanging on to outdated recollections of the city I visited in the 90’s when I was just 14 years old. What I remember were mostly buildings that were run down, abandoned, or dirty looking. I heard it referred to as “the mistake on the lake.” What I wasn’t taking into consideration was that I didn’t live in Pittsburgh until I was 18, and the truth is, Pittsburgh was underdeveloped and run down as well, I just didn’t remember it that way. Now that I’ve gotten to know both cities better, I’ve come to think of these two places as rustbelt sister cities.

Just like Pittsburgh, Cleveland has a rich industrial history that includes steel, oil and automobiles. I’m sure you are familiar with the name Rockefeller. Instead of the Carnegie family of Pittsburgh, Cleveland had the Rockefellers who grew up in Strongsville, a suburb of Cleveland, and started Standard Oil which was the largest oil company in the United States. I won’t bore you with all the historic facts on Cleveland. My main point is that it’s similar to Pittsburgh in its industrial history and growth.

Euclid Avenue was known as Millionaire's Row and had over 300 mansions. Above is John D. Rockefeller's mansion.

Euclid Avenue was known as Millionaire’s Row and had over 300 mansions. Above is John D. Rockefeller’s mansion.

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Cleveland's skyline

Cleveland’s skyline

If you didn’t already know, I relocated to Cleveland at the end of October to live with my partner. She owns a successful boutique in Lakewood. My decision to make the move here was both difficult and easy. Difficult since I love Pittsburgh and I knew I would miss my friends, but I was looking forward to making a home with my girl. I’ve lived in Pittsburgh a total of 15 years but have moved a lot so I was ready to try a new place.

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The Arcade inside the Hyatt Regency

The Arcade inside the Hyatt Regency

Cleveland skyline, Lake Erie

Cleveland skyline, Lake Erie

West Side Market in Ohio City

West Side Market in Ohio City

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The best things I’ve discovered about Cleveland so far:

The spectacular art museum that is always FREE to visit
Buying or renting large properties is incredibly affordable
Development is happening at a steady pace, but there’s still space for young businesses to grow
The food scene is pretty amazing
I live near a beach and it’s beautiful
The Emerald Necklace, which is the large hiking and multi-use trail of Cleveland Metroparks is incredible
The West Side Market is Cleveland’s oldest market and I might like it even more than Pike Place in Seattle.

I’m still exploring!

My favorite ghost sign so far

My favorite ghost sign so far

Cleveland Art Museum's digital wall

Cleveland Art Museum’s digital wall

Mural by artist RAE of Pawn Works

Mural by artist RAE of Pawn Works

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Power plant by the coast

Terminal Tower, photo by Coville Photography

Terminal Tower, photo by Coville Photography

Favorite ghost sign

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I love the sunsets here

I love the sunsets here

When I met my partner Rachel, one of the first things she said to me was how wonderful she thought her city was and that she couldn’t wait to show me around. I was curious about Cleveland, but never thought I would move here. Over time I started to fall in love with the different qualities of the city. I love their historic past and how they came back from a hard struggle to what you see today. There’s something so charming about living in a city of underdogs. There are are lot of creative people here filled with hope and optimism. Pittsburgh will always have my heart but it’s easy for me to feel at home here. People are friendly, there’s a lot to explore, everywhere you turn there’s beautiful architecture, there’s a great art scene, the city is culturally very diverse, and I’m excited to put some roots down.

Steeltown Anthem will continue but in addition to Pittsburgh, I will also be featuring Cleveland. I hope to show all of you the things I’ve come to love here. Perhaps it will inspire you to get in your car and make the 2 hour trip.