An Ohio artist is set to open a photo exhibition at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus that documents the final days at Lordstown Assembly before General Motors shut the facility down.
The exhibition, called ‘The Last Cruze’, was put together by visual artist LaToya Ruby Frazier. According to The Columbus Dispatch, Frazier spent nine months documenting workers at Lordstown Assembly, photographing them both before and after the last Chevrolet Cruze rolled off the assembly line at the facility. The result of her work is a 60-photo exhibition that provides a “stark” look at the situation many Lordstown workers faced after learning the plant had been unallocated, The Dispatch says.
The exhibition first debuted last September at the University of Chicago. In addition to Frazier’s photography, the installment also features wooden framework and overhead conveyors intended to evoke the feeling of the inside of a factory. The walls of the gallery space are also painted blue as a nod to the GM logo.
Fraser feels for the blue-collar workers that lost their jobs in Lordstown, Ohio and wanted to do something after learning of GM’s plans to shutter the large assembly plant.
“I was deeply concerned for the community, those workers, their families,” Frazier told The Dispatch. “There is no way I’m going to idly sit back.”
Another attraction included in the display is the final Chevrolet Cruze itself, which will be shown alongside Fraser’s photos in the gallery. Fraser managed to track down the vehicle’s owner for the display, who gave her permission to borrow it.
As we reported last year, the last Chevrolet Cruze, a white LS model, was purchased by John Kufleitner, the owner of a Fiat Chrysler dealership Columbiana, Ohio. It’s no surprise Kufleitner was okay with lending Frazier the car, as he felt similar to her when he learned of the plant’s fate.
“I’ve had a lot of family members and friends and neighbors that worked at the Lordstown plant,” he was quoted as saying last year. “So let’s be honest, that plant’s a part of all of us.”
LaToya Ruby Frazier: The Last Cruze will open at the Wexner Center for the Arts on Saturday, February 1st.