Cleveland artist Amber N. Ford on photography, grief and moCa residency

Amber N. Ford’s photos can be viewed just about everywhere from countrywide publications to place museums. As a great deal as the Cleveland artist enjoys photography, she’s on the lookout to widen her art apply with her residency at the Museum of Present-day Art Cleveland (moCa) when drawing attention to grieving.

On the 2nd flooring of moCa, hundreds of brightly colored Put up-it notes deal with the walls. In reaction to a handful of prompts from Ford about grief and grieving, site visitors wrote down the names of misplaced cherished types, cherished reminiscences and extra.

“One of the prompts is, ‘How are you actively maintaining your reminiscences alive?’” Ford reported, adding that “talking about reduction shouldn’t be a taboo matter.”

moCa wall

Carrie Sensible


Ideastream Community Media

People included notes bearing names and drawings to the partitions at moCa as component of Amber N. Ford’s invitation for visitors to reflect on grief, reduction and reminiscences.

Encouraged by the quite a few lives missing because of to the COVID-19 pandemic as nicely as the issues mourning cherished types in excess of the past two yrs, Ford asks people to halt and reflect.

“I imagine that grief unites us mainly because it is one thing that, whether we want to go there or not, we all we all go by it, right? We all encounter it in some form of degree, a person way or an additional,” Ford stated. “And in that thought, we can also perhaps help every other within that course of action as effectively,” Ford stated.

By creating this house for shared reflections, Ford is both of those responding to the times as well as her desire to experiment in other mediums. She plans to even more take a look at grief in a long term moCa set up featuring audio and objects.

“I’m intrigued as I continue to establish with my inventive follow to be much more viewed as as a present-day artist or conceptual artist than just a photographer, mainly because I want to be in a position to choose regardless of what medium tends to make the most sense for the notion and concept that I have compared to making an attempt to make pictures generally in good shape,” she mentioned.

A like for photography led Ford to research at the Cleveland Institute of Artwork. Because graduating in 2016, her photos have been exhibited all around the region. For instance, her up-near photographs of Black hair are on check out as element of the exhibit “Textures: The Record and Artwork of Black Hair” at the Kent Condition University Museum. She also captured portraits of Cleveland Museum of Art curators for past year’s “Stories from Storage” show.


Amber N. Ford


Kent State College Museum

Feeders, 2019, by Amber N. Ford is on see at Kent State University Museum.

I just hardly ever imagined as a pupil that now 6 a long time right after undergrad, that I would be operating with some of the people and some of the establishments that I’m doing work with now, which is truly fascinating and really interesting,” Ford said.

Outside of Northeast Ohio, individuals can see Ford’s photos in nationwide publications like Vox, The New York Moments and The Washington Post.

“I truly get pleasure from that mainly because each individual assignment is different,” she claimed. “I get to meet up with new individuals, go to new spots, and I really get pleasure from that component of picture taking.”

Mass portrait

A person of the portraits Amber N. Ford took for the exhibit “Lacking Historical past of Massillon: Unheard African American Tales.”

Ford is also bringing her creativeness to an impending show with the Massillon Museum named “Missing Historical past of Massillon: Unheard African American Tales.” Her portraits will pair with stories and artifacts Black citizens in the Massillon neighborhood shared with the museum. Though that exhibit is independent from her work at moCa, the two initiatives recognize the value of sharing reminiscences.

“When we really don’t actively hold all those reminiscences alive, when it arrives to the next technology, it’s like you cannot seriously move these issues on,” she stated. “I really don’t seriously know numerous generations right before mine, which is not uncommon inside the African American local community.”

Ford is making an attempt to modify that individually and with her operate, inviting others to do the very same.

Maria Lewis

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