Space: Rock to Host Show by Local Rock Photographer Walter Novak


The work of local photographer Walter Novak, who was Scene’s staff photographer in the late ’90s and through the early 2000s, provides further evidence that Cleveland does indeed rock. Novak, who has won numerous awards for his photos, shot countless concerts during his time at the paper. Some of the best of those photos will be on display as part of Walter Novak: He’s Back, a new show at Space: ROCK, next to the Beachland Ballroom.

A native of the Czech Republic, Novak moved to the States without speaking any English. He established himself as a freelance photographer by contributing to weeklies such as the Cleveland Edition, the Downtown Tab and Scene, where he landed a full-time gig in 1998. His shots of iconic rock acts such as the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, B.B. King (pictured) and ZZ Top suggest a real reverence for the legacy acts that rolled through town during that time. In 2004, Novak displayed his rock photos in Hello Cleveland, a well-received exhibit held at the Western Reserve Historical Society. 

Novak returned to the Czech Republic in 2009 and worked as a staff photographer for an English language weekly there. He moved back to Northeast Ohio last year and has begun shooting rock concerts once more. The exhibit’s opening reception is 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 9; it will remain up through March 1. 

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