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Western New York Chapter NewsSubmitted by Dorothy Tao, Outgoing ARLIS/Western New York Chapter President 12/19/2006
On October 20, 2006, more than thirty members of the ARLIS/Western New York (WNY) and ARLIS/Ontario chapters gathered at a joint meeting in Buffalo to hear about Frank Lloyd Wright's Darwin D. Martin House, and the "Influence of Frank Lloyd Wright on Architecture in Buffalo" in the University at Buffalo's Anderson Gallery. In addition to offering this notable lecture, the joint meeting was intended to build on the success of an earlier joint meeting of the WNY/Ontario chapters in May 2005, in Toronto. With this second meeting, we endeavored to continue to encourage and enhance cross-border communication and exchange of ideas in art and society. Further, in support of ARLIS NA recruitment goals, the WNY chapter sought special funding from ARLIS/NA to enable us to invite interested students and prospective art librarians to attend an interesting and enjoyable meeting and to defray their travel and registration expenses. Between the two chapters, we have four library schools (University of Western Ontario, University at Buffalo, Syracuse University, and State University of New York at Albany),
Although the skies were charcoal grey on that October day one week after the damaging "October Surprise" snowstorm, the Anderson Gallery was aglow with Tibetan works of art. The keynote speech presented by Jack Quinan, University at Buffalo distinguished professor of art history and curator of the Martin House, was most illuminating so it was easy to forget about the looming clouds. Jack's talk sparked some interesting questions which gave us a fascinating picture of the cast of characters and the making of the iconic Martin House. Also on the agenda was a tour of the Martin House offered by Eric Jackson-Forsberg, associate curator, and an accompanying docent, which covered the construction, history, and ongoing restoration initiatives of the Martin House including the current reconstruction of the original pergola, conservatory, and carriage house that had been demolished in 1962. The tour guides also offered many stories about Frank Lloyd Wright's unique relationship to Martin, as well as details on the Martin House, said to be Wright's most documented house.
In addition to chapter members, three travel scholarship awardees attended the meeting, including: Jessica Fadel, a recent graduate of the MLS program at the University at Buffalo, who also holds an MS degree in art history from the University of Edinburgh; Nicholas Sovot a fourth year student at the Rochester Institute of Technology majoring in advertising photography, who is presently applying to several graduate programs in art history and library science; and Jennifer Russell, who holds a BFA in illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design. At present Jennifer is studying at the College of Computing and Information, University of Albany. The invitation to these prospective librarians reinforced our year's effort to emphasize recruitment and followed up on the WNY spring meeting in Geneva, which featured a panel of prospective librarians and mentors who spoke about mentoring, internships, and highlighting best practices for recruiting new art librarians.
An unexpected benefit of the joint meeting was a lively discussion on chapter affiliation issues. Although we had planned separate chapter meetings where each chapter would discuss the chapter affiliation issues, the topic arose at the icebreaker dinner on Thursday night. Carole Ann Fabian, a WNY member and current ARLIS/NA northeast regional representative, had previously agreed to offer an overview and clarification of the pros and cons of the affiliation agreement. The resulting joint discussion with the counsel of Carole Ann, Margaret Webster, current ARLIS/NA past president, and others, gave each chapter a better idea of the affiliation concerns and issues faced by our separate chapters and offered a way for us to understand the issues and in the process to get to know each other better. After our discussion, the thirteen WNY members in attendance voted unanimously to approve the chapter affiliation agreement. The Ontario chapter has since also voted to approve the agreement.
In late afternoon, just as sun rays began to peak through the dark clouds, the meeting closed with a reception at the G. Robert Strauss, Jr. Memorial Library of the Albright Knox Art Gallery. The reception was graciously funded by H.W. Wilson Publishers, and hosted by Susanna Tejada, director of the library. The Gallery was currently featuring the work of Chuck Close as well as the work of Andrea Zittel. Attendees had the option of extending their visit at the museum into the evening, which offers free admission, music, and other activities from 3:00 p.m. onward. In all, it was an inspiring day of education, fellowship, and fun, hopefully encouraging new librarians to join our numbers.
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