John Middlestead has lived his entire life in Southeast Michigan and the most recent forty years in Canton, Michigan. A self-proclaimed product of the 1960’s idealism, Middlestead dreamed of becoming an Industrial Designer and pursued and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) from Michigan State University. While at Michigan State, he took several freelance honors courses in photography from Roger Funk. His passions eventually compelled him to pursued additional “portfolio” Industrial Design course work at the Center For Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan.
Not finding employment in his chosen field, Middlestead totally shifted gears and pursued the craze of the 1970s and 1980s - an MBA. After receiving his MBA from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, he began working at Michigan Consolidated Gas (MichCon) and put aside his creative ambitions. During the later years of a thirty-two year career at MichCon, now a DTE Energy subsidiary, Middlestead reinvented himself as a fine art photographer.
In 2002, Middlestead started the process by honing his photographic skill set taking course work from local and national instructors Monte Nagler, Tim Cooper, Nancy Rotenberg, Doug Johnson, Elizabeth Stone, Susanna Gaunt, David Middleton, Les Saucier and Don McGowan. The results have included the showing of his work at the Canton Fine Arts Exhibition, Plymouth Council of the Arts, the International Ecotourism Society in Washington, D.C., and Oakwood and St. Joseph Mercy Hospitals. In addition, Middlestead has been a featured artist in Art Showcase Magazine. Awards have included “Best of Show – Photography” at the International Ecotourism Society, and a Merit and Honorable Mention at the Canton Fine Arts Exhibition. Middlestead has also shown his work locally through Art Fairs held in the Southeast Michigan area from 2002 until 2008 and gallery showings from 2011 to present.
“My vision as an artist is to capture images that touch and calm my soul, as well as those who look at my images,” said John Middlestead. “In this age of instant everything, I desire a pause in the action, a time to enjoy a scene or detail often missed, to be able to reflect and to share what I have seen. A technique I have started experimenting with is “negative clarity” which gives the image a “painting” affect. Images in this Exhibit consist mostly of detailed subjects that I hope the viewer will enjoy.”
Subject matters on display consist of everything from the grand landscapes of the National Parks to intricate designs of flowers on the kitchen counter. Much of his work has been done with medium format film while over the last several years he has switched to a digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera. Lightroom ® and Photoshop ® are used, although sparingly.
Over forty framed works by this award-winning photographer entitled, “Details from the Landscape,” are now on display at The Village Theater at Cherry Hill Monday – Friday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., as well as during public performances at the theater and also by appointment by calling 734/394-5300. The Gallery@VT is closed on holidays.
The Village Theater at Cherry Hill, located at 50400 Cherry Hill Road in Canton, MI 48187, is a regional center for the arts that offers the magic of live theatre, soul-stirring music, the thrill of the dance, and the enjoyment of fine art exhibitions and events, in addition to providing a home for several cultural organizations and community groups. For more information about this latest exhibition in the Gallery@VT, please call 734/394-5300 or visit cantonvillagetheater.org. For additional information on the works of John Middlestead, visit www.johnmiddlestead.com.