Episodes / Ep. 255 - Fred Bidwell

255. Fred Bidwell


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Fred and Laura Bidwell are collectors who run the Transformer Station in Cleveland

Ep. 255: Fred Bidwell is an American collector of photography. Along with his wife Laura, they curate and exhibit their collection in a private museum in Cleveland called Transformer Station. A special thank you goes out to Christian Patterson for helping to arrange this interview.

Tabitha Soren Surface tension

Transformer Station is responsible for a number of exhibitions from Christian Patterson’s Redheaded Peckerwood to Tabitha Soren’s Surface Tension which has bought many leading American artists to Cleveland and in doing so has expanded the cultural landscape of the city in close conjunction with other institutions such as the Cleveland Museum of Art. I first learned about Transformer Station when researching American conceptual artist TR Ericsson’s monumental Crackle and Drag. The Bidwell’s were instrumental in seeing that work brought to light.

Christian Patterson Redheaded Peckerwood

In this conversation, Fred and I discuss the nature of private collecting and how he and Laura make decisions about buying work from living artists, and what the past, present, and future of the museum hold. We discuss several key moments in Fred’s career as well as his many obligations of fostering art within the city of Cleveland including the FRONT Triennial. Fred’s boundless energy permeated the episode and it was incredibly refreshing to sit and speak with him about the couple’s efforts in engaging with the city and the artists involved with Transformer Station.

TR Ericsson Crackle and Drag

Please tune in to this special episode. It is not often that I get a moment to speak with a collector like Fred who has spent decades fostering the careers of many notable artists of our time. He and Laura’s passion and care for their local environment are commendable.

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Music: Algiers, with their full permission

Photograph Credit: Transformer Station
Editing: Adam Mead
Producer: Lucas Callaghan
Executive Producer: Brad Feuerhelm

Rights are reserved to Nearest Truth. No copies of this content is permitted without express permission from Brad Feuerhelm.

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