The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will welcome photographer Anastasia Pantsios, whose work is currently on display in the Girls on Film: 40 Years of Women in Rock exhibit, for a live interview in the Museum’s Foster Theater. Dr. Lauren Onkey, vice president of education and public programs, will interview Pantsios on Wednesday, March 23 at 7 p.m.
The interview is part of the series From Songwriters to Soundmen: The People Behind the Hits, a groundbreaking Rock Hall program that shines the spotlight on the people whose contributions to the rock and roll art form are often as powerful as those of the artists themselves. Questions will be taken from the audience at the end of the interview.
Anastasia Pantsios’ casual interest in photography became a driving passion while she was at Case Western Reserve University pursuing a degree in theater in the early ’70s with the goal of being a lighting designer. While shooting theater productions for the CWRU newspaper, she started toting her camera to concerts downtown at Public Hall by groups like Led Zeppelin, the Who, and Crosby Stills and Nash.
Publication in local underground papers led to her work appearing in national publications like CREEM, Circus and Hit Parader. In 1978, she started Kaleyediscope Photography with two other women photographers to market their work. They felt that forming a company would help them overcome the tendency to regard women rock photographers as groupies. Kaleyediscope existed until the mid-'80s when the founders’ interests took them in different directions. But it springboarded Pantsios to a productive decade when her work appeared nationally and internationally in publications like Rolling Stone, Spin, the Village Voice, Esquire, the National Enquirer, Goldmine, Guitar World, USA Today and People; and in books on Van Halen, Cyndi Lauper, Culture Club, Tina Turner, Bruce Springsteen, Kiss, Motley Crue, David Bowie, the Pretenders, U2, Judas Priest, the Plasmatics, Scorpions, Todd Rundgren, Joe Walsh and Eric Clapton; as well as general-interest rock books, like Norm N. Nite's Rock On Almanac.
In addition, her work has appeared on album covers for Eric Clapton, Southside Johnny, Patti LaBelle, Kathy Mattea, AC/DC, Styx, Kurtis Blow and Robert Palmer, among others. She has done numerous gallery shows in Cleveland and recently curated Visual Music: Northeast Ohio Photographers Look at Rock and Roll at the We Gallery in Akron. She is currently a staff writer for Scene, where she also shoots news stories and food.