CSULB Professor Earns Prestigious Photography Awards


Photo courtesy of Mark Ruwedel.

Just weeks after being named a Guggenheim Fellow, California State University Long Beach professor Mark Ruwedel has also claimed Canada’s 2014 Scotiabank Photography Award.

The award from Scotiabank comes with a $50,000 cash prize as well as a solo exhibition next Spring at the Ryerson Image Centre in Toronto. A full catalogue of Ruwedel’s works will also be published by acclaimed German publisher, Steidl.

He earned the fellowship in photography in the 90th annual competition put on by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation which awarded 177 fellowships out of a pool of almost 3,000. The Guggenheim awards were given out on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise.

Mark Ruwedel. 4 x 6 The Guggenheim Fellowship is a grant given to select individuals for a minimum of six months and for a maximum of 12 months to help provide artists with valuable time to exercise creative freedom.

“Individually, either of these awards, given in recognition of his lifelong body of work—properly places Mark in the ranks of today’s top artists worldwide,” Jay Kvapil, the campus director of the School of Art said in a press release. “To receive both in the same month truly illustrates the depth and excellence of Mark’s work. Congratulations to Mark on these much-deserved honors. We in the School of Art are proud he is a colleague.”

Ruwedel has worked as a photographer for over 25 years and taught at Concordia University in Canada prior to joining CSULB’s nationally recognized art school faculty. His work, which has been displayed in galleries in Montreal, Paris and Los Angeles to name a few, is renowned for capturing haunting images of desolate landscapes and structures.

A native of Pennsylvania, Ruwedel moved to Montreal in 1980 and has showcased both the Canadian and American countryside’s during his nearly three decades as a photographer. After moving to Southern California, he started to focus on the surrounding areas like the desert regions of Los Angeles and the border between Mexico and the United States.

Ruwedel described the intent of his work by saying “I am interested in revealing the narratives contained within the landscape and am most attracted to places where the land reveals itself as being both an agent of geological processes and a field of human endeavor.”

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Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post.