Schweinfurth's new exhibit pairs art by students with art by seniors


The Schweinfurth Art Center’s upcoming exhibit, Both Ends of the Rainbow, has an unusual concept: pairing art from school students who are just beginning to explore their artistic talents with art from people age 65 and older who have experienced far more of life. Yet the concept works, likely because both sets of artists have something to say in their work.

Take the work of Auburn High School junior Gabrielle Wagner. In her drawing of a young man smoking, the cigarette smoke wafts upward to reveal the grim reaper in the gray coils above his head. Husband and wife photographers Max and Tina Lent, who live in Webster, NY, take a softer approach with their work, which features the beauty and fragility of nature.

All three are part of the 2018 version of Both Ends of the Rainbow, which opens March 10 at the Art Center. An opening reception for student artists and their families will be held noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 18. A reception for senior artists will be 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday, March 22.

"This is my favorite show, and the student reception is my favorite day of the year," said Deirdre Aureden, Schweinfurth’s Program Director who works with schools and senior artists to create the show. "The students are so excited to have their work shown in the gallery. It’s a wonderful opportunity to show off all the talent in the community."

More than 1,000 works of art are featured in the show, with 59 created by seniors. Students from 21 schools in seven different school districts plus Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES, Cayuga Centers, CSCAA Head Start, Play Space, and a Cayuga County homeschool group are participating in the show.

This is the third year that Wagner has participated, and she has four pieces in the show. "I’m really honored to be in the show at all, but to have four pieces in it, that’s crazy!" she said. "I think it’s great that the community comes together for this show. I like seeing all the other work and the other students’ creativity."

Wagner hopes to become a professional illustrator after completing her education. "My dream job is working for Disney or Pixar as a concept artist," she said. "But whatever happens, I know I want to go into the art field somewhere."

The Lents, meanwhile, go for walks together when they shoot their photographs, but come back with strikingly different work. Max often uses an iPhone to capture panoramas of nature. Tina prefers to focus on the reflection of nature in woodland swamps, ponds, and waterways. "We often go to the same place and photograph the same things," Tina said. "But you couldn’t tell by looking at our photographs."

The Lents have been photographing together since 1969 and have shown their work together since the early 1970s. They both have had pieces in Schweinfurth’s Made in NY exhibit through the years, including both in the same year. But this is their first time participating in Both Ends of the Rainbow.

"It seemed like a wonderful opportunity to exhibit with other senior artists," Max Lent said. "There’s no other art facility that I know of that does that. I’d like to say how much we appreciate the existence of the Schweinfurth. I’ve always impressed with quality of the shows and the way they are hung."

Also on view at the Schweinfurth will be the Three Lakes Sampler.  This exhibit features artwork by students in the area’s three Finger Lakes and is organized by Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES. The exhibit encompass the BOCES component school district, which covers Cayuga, Skaneateles and Owasco lakes. Participation in the Three Lakes Sampler is open to all students within the BOCES component school districts. The students’ work is selected by the Art and English teachers at all district building levels.

Both Ends of the Rainbow and Three Lakes Sampler exhibits are sponsored by Nucor Steel Auburn and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

If you go ...
WHAT: Both Ends of the Rainbow and Three Lakes Sampler
WHERE: Schweinfurth Art Center, 205 Genesee St. Auburn
WHEN: Opens March 10, 2018; runs through April 8, 2018
HOURS: Art center is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays
COST: Free
DETAILS: Student reception is noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 18, 2018. Senior reception is 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday, March 22, 2018.