When the staff at New York's historic-preservation office needed help restoring the home of one of America's most famous landscape painters, they didn't call a general contractor or an art historian. They called a physics professor.
That's because they wanted to use lasers rather than traditional tools, such as water and cleanser, for the project at Olana, the house in Hudson, N.Y., where the landscape painter Frederic Edwin Church once lived. And lasers are the specialty of Seyffie Maleki, an associate professor of physics at Union College. He uses them mainly for atomic physics and optics, but he has also taken a course on their use in art conservation.
Mr. Maleki and one of his students are working with conservators to clean the walls at the artist's Persian-style villa, which Church covered with intricate Middle Eastern-inspired stencils of bright pink and turquoise. Obscured by time and dirt, the stencils have lost their luster.
Traditional tools could ruin the artwork because of the types of paints Church may have used, says Joyce Zucker, painting conservator for the New York State Bureau of Historic Sites. In laser cleaning, beams excite and thereby evaporate water molecules on the wall. The lasers remove not only the moisture but also the layers of grime that sit on top.
Conservators are now testing the laser method and will decide whether to continue with the process, which, while popular in Europe, is rarely used in the United States. “In the home of an artist who was a great colorist, it is that much more important to get it right,” Ms. Zucker says.
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – When Union College's football camp opens on Sunday, August 21, there will be many new faces in the program for Head Coach John Audino.
Local players include Trevor Flike, a linebacker from LaSalle HS and Stillwater, NY. QB Vince Gillick, who also plays tight end, is a native of Schenectady who played at Mohonasen. DB Kevin Fallon of Bishop McGinn is from Voorheesville, and WR Sean Wade played at Scotia.
Audino and his staff also have players coming in from throughout the State of New York, as well as Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Connecticut newcomers include offensive lineman Anthony Morello (6-2, 260) from Greenwich High. LB Josh McKelligan, who is from Massachusetts, played in Connecticut for the Salisbury School, while TE Chris Boland stands 6-4 and played for Plainville HS.
Linebacker Kyle Colomba, a native of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, played for St. Thomas Aquinas. All-State performer Charles Kaliades was the quarterback at Ridgewood High in New Jersey, and another New Jersey recruit is LB Chet Parlavecchio, who played for Florham Park High.
WR Jeff Adams is a transfer from Westfield, MA, and QB Brett Huntley played for Bishop Guertin HS in Nashua, NH.
Linebacker Peter Homnick comes from Shickshinny, PA and Northwest Area High while RB Ryan Kraynak is a Plymouth, PA native who played for Wyoming Valley West High.
Here are some of the newcomers who are scheduled to report to the 2005 Union football pre-season camp:
Selections of Asian Art from the Union College Permanent Collection will be on display July 27 through August 28, 2005. The exhibit will be at the Burns Arts Atrium Gallery, in the Arts Building at Union College.
The selection features 19th and 20th century works of art from China and Japan, works include furniture, painting, ceramic and textile. This exhibition was organized by the Mandeville Gallery.
The Burns Arts Atrium Gallery summer hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed weekends) For exhibit information and directions please call 388-6004, and for further gallery information call 388-6729.
The play's definitely the thing for Prof. Finlay, alumni and students
The Bard is alive and well in Saratoga Springs each summer, and increasingly, it's a Union affair, thanks to Union faculty, alumni, students and friends, led by William Finlay, professor of theater.
Finlay is the man behind the Bard – founder and artistic director of the Saratoga Shakespeare Company (SSC), the only professional theater company in Saratoga Springs.
The company rings in its sixth season with the production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare [abridged] in historic Congress Park. Performances typically run for two weeks – through Sunday, July 31, this summer.
Show times are 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, July 19-23 and 26-30; and 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 24 and 31. All shows are free; the park lawn is usually a sprawl of families, friends, tourists and culture lovers of all ages who come from the Capital Region and beyond.
“The performance is extremely fast-paced with lots of physical comedy and humorous wordplay,” says Finlay, who directs the production, which features Othello performed as a lively rap, Titus Andronicus as a cooking show and Hamlet reduced to two minutes (and then performed backwards).
“Shakespeare fans will completely revel in the intellectual exploration of the language in this production – where else will they be able to find all 154 of his sonnets rolled up into eight lines?”
The Complete Works features three actors portraying 75 characters in 90 minutes. One of those actors is Spencer S. Christie '01, a seasoned Shakespearean actor (the others are Christopher Rickett and Andy Place). This is Christie's second season with the troupe.
Other Union connections include Patricia L. Culbert, artist in residence in theater and dance at Union's Yulman Theatre, as director of the SSC Intern Company; Sara E. Friedman '98, a member of Actors Equity, as production stage manager; and Lloyd Waiwaiole, costumer for performing arts at the Yulman, as the show's costume designer.
Union students who are part of the SSC Intern Company are Carly Hirschberg '06, assistant director; Nina Kalinkos '06, assistant stage manager; Justin Silvestri '07; and Joey Hunziker '08.
“There are a lot of us from Union, there's a lot of Shakespeare and it's a lot of fun,” said Culbert, now in her fifth season with SSC.
Finlay founded the not-for-profit troupe in 2000 in response to the need for live, professional productions of the works of William Shakespeare in the Capital Region. Past productions have included Romeo and Juliet, The Tamng of the Shrew, The Comedy of Errors, A Muidsummer Night's Dream and Twelfth Night.
The Complete Works has somethng for everyone.
“After last summer's production of Romeo & Juliet, we sat down with the feedback from our audience surveys to figure out which work we would focus on for our sixth season,” he said. “The suggestions included such a wide range of the Bard's work that we couldn't narrow it down to just one.
London has long been a hot spot for American students studying abroad. It's appeal is three-fold — it's English speaking, it has well-known schools, and its transportation system makes it easy to get around. But it's that same transportation system that is now under attack, putting fear in the hearts of loving parents.
“My fears are the worse fears that any parent could have. That something could happen to her,” said Alban Molineaux.
Molineaux's daughter, Diane, was in London during the July 7 bombings. She's one of 12 students from Union College studying there.
“The situation over there, it ties your stomach right in a knot, you know, because you fear for your child. You want to protect them in any way you possibly can, and there's nothing I can do when she's over there,” said Molineaux.
Despite his worries, Molineaux wants his daughter to continue her trip.
“Don't let terrorists get what they are trying to get, you know. Don't let them win,” said Molineaux.
Ann Wilkening agrees with Molineaux. She sends Saint Rose students to London every semester, and this fall she's sending five.
“We have not discouraged students from going there,” said Wilkening.
Wilkening understands her students' concerns. Her own son was in London more than a decade ago during an IRA attack.
“Your first concern is that the child you brought into this world, you want to know that they are going to be safe. But the reality of this world is that they could be crossing the street, Western Avenue, and something could happen to them. So I would rather them take chances,” said Wilkening.
Wilkening said the school is closely monitoring the bombings. They have two students in London right now, and said both are safe.