About the Photographs

The reopening of a totally renovated Public Square in 2016 prompted The George Gund Foundation to commission esteemed photographer Matthew Pillsbury to picture many of Cleveland’s public spaces through his imaginative use of long exposures. In this series of photographs he portrays a sampling of the city’s successful and not-so-successful gathering places, perhaps sparking consideration of the difference but certainly elevating appreciation for these grounds that Clevelanders have in common.

For the past 15 years, I have made long exposure photographs using only available light. Across several series and in many cities, I have focused on the passage of time and people within spaces both public and private. With the Cleveland commission, I was interested in examining the ways, both successful and not, in which public spaces can become a part of the fabric of city life. I found myself particularly drawn to Edgewater beach and the way it’s become a place for residents of all ages and income to escape the city summer."
Matthew Pillsbury