Music and images collide in beautiful harmony through the work of one of North Shore Collinwood’s newest residents: Stephen Bivens.
Bivens and his wife Jennifer moved into the neighborhood just three months ago, but he’s already building deep collaborations. As a resident of the Glencove, Northeast Shores’ innovative live/work building for artists, Bivens is immersed in a community of artists creating every day.
Photography is the medium through which Bivens expresses himself. Music is his passion. This combination started Bivens along the path to becoming a full time artist.
Following ten years in the U.S. Marines and graduation from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Bivens spent time working for several larger corporations. He and Jennifer bounced back and forth between Cleveland and Tampa as opportunities and promotions arose.
In his off hours, Bivens was honing his skill with a camera and creative eye.
His lifelong adoration of photography got a camera in his hand. His love of music got him in live venues. Bivens did a lot of reading, self-teaching and workshop attending to get the basics down, but the real practice came in his life after work at the small clubs and concert halls of Tampa.
The best part? He found out he was good – really good.
Professional photographers saw his skill immediately. The more he practiced, the more he could create gorgeous frames from even the lowest key concert in the tiniest club. Long hours and many photos later, the doors started opening. Before Bivens knew it, he left his corporate career and was photographing live shows of international stars like Drake.
And then the Bivens moved back to Cleveland.
While visiting Jennifer’s childhood neighborhood, North Shore Collinwood, the two were amazed at the infusion of arts and creativity taking place. They stopped in Waterloo Arts (known formerly to them as Arts Collinwood), struck up conversation with Amy Callahan and were connected with Northeast Shores to explore the Glencove and Northeast Shores’ Renter Equity program.
The rest is history in the making.
Now Bivens works on photo projects daily, from formal events to fine art projects. Music still envelops his world. Since moving into the Glencove, he’s started working with fellow artists like Maura Rogers and the Bellows and capturing live performances at theBeachland Ballroom and Tavern.
In December, Bivens participated in the Rock Solid Summit at Cuyahoga Community College’s Metro Campus. There he made contacts wiyh musicians and industry members from across the region. Bivens is following up on numerous connections he made with musicians there, including Marcus Allan Ward, who participated in the Rock Solid Fellowship this year.
Several of Bivens’ works are currently on display at Article and he’s chipping away at several collaborative projects with other neighborhood artists. Some upcoming series include Cleveland on Polaroid, which will feature sessions at Cleveland locales using a Polaroid camera; Historic Cleveland, a collection of images from historic sites around the region like the Euclid Beach Arch and Squire’s Castle; and a collaborative project at Article that will feature the history of Cleveland and Collinwood.