|
|
|
Wayne Post
  • FLCC alumni exhibit explores Slavic fairy tales, images

    • email print
  • CANANDAIGUA — An exhibit opening Nov. 21 at Finger Lakes Community College will feature the art, poetry and music of alumnus Rand Darrow, who has explored the themes and images of Slavic fairy tales.
    “Alumni Biennial Exhibition: The Art, Music and Poetry of Rand Darrow,” begins with an artist talk Thursday, Nov. 21, from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Williams-Insalaco Gallery 34 on the first floor of the main campus, 3325 Marvin Sands Drive, Canandaigua. A reception sponsored by the FLCC Foundation follows from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Both are free and open to the public.
    Darrow, a Palmyra resident, graduated from FLCC in 1970, earned a bachelor’s of fine arts from SUNY Oswego in 1972. He taught art in the Red Jacket School District in Shortsville for 31 years, before retiring in 2005. He continues to pursue art in retirement. His most recent project involves interpreting the folk tales of Novgorod, the oldest city in Russia, with art, music and poetry.
    Darrow had little formal musical training — some childhood piano lessons he didn’t care for — but after retirement he began composing songs in his head. Those songs evolved into other forms of art.
    “The songs I was creating sounded Slavic so I read a Slavic mythology book, ‘Forest of the Vampire.’ Then I read Russian fairy tales and thought I could write better ones. I wrote about six fairy tales and set them to music,” he explained. “Russian fairy tales are told orally or with song and so my plays are Russian byliny (a style of epic, narrative poem). I painted song paintings inspired by the Russian artist Marc Chagall. Later I sculpted figures from mythology and my own characters.”
    At the suggestion of fellow artist Elaine Verstraete, also an FLCC adjunct faculty member, he made puppets to tell his stories as well. Darrow’s new book “Witches, Wolves and Water Spirits: Slavic Poems of Novgorod,” was published this past summer and features the lyrics, songs and song paintings of his own fairy tales. The FLCC exhibition will feature the paintings, and some puppets and sculptures he created for these poems.
    In 2009, Darrow’s work took on new life when he learned of an exchange between Rochester, celebrating its 175th anniversary and Novgorod, celebrating its 1,150th year.
    “I made up a copy of all my work and sent it with them to Novgorod. They gave it to a lady who was the head of English languages in schools. I have been emailing her since 2009 and sending her my work. She sometimes uses it with her classes,” he said.
    As part of the exchange program, Eastman School of Music held a performance of Darrow’s song “Novgorod.”
    “This year they hope to do two more, ‘Fear Baba Yaga’ and ‘Koljada Season,’ with a children's choir,” he added.
    The exhibit runs through Jan. 24. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. The gallery will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday Wednesday, Nov. 27, and reopen Monday, Dec. 2.
    Page 2 of 2 - For more information, contact Barron Naegel, gallery director, at (585) 785-1369 or gallery34@flcc.edu.
      • calendar