New exhibits celebrate alumni artwork at FLCC’s two galleries

Finger Lakes Community College’s two art galleries – Williams-Insalaco Gallery 34 and ArtSpace36 – will showcase the work of accomplished alumni in exhibits set to open later this month.

The Biennial Alumni Exhibition in Williams-Insalaco Gallery 34 will showcase the work of artists Melissa Newcomb ’02 and Dee Westfall ’14, both members of the Keuka College art faculty. The exhibit will open Thursday, Jan. 30 with a 2 p.m. talk by the artists, followed by an appetizers reception sponsored by the FLCC Foundation from 4 to 6:30 p.m.

Newcomb, associate professor of art at Keuka, earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from the State University of New York at Oswego and master’s degrees from Oswego and Rochester Institute of Technology. Her vast portfolio includes a six-by-eight foot pen-and-ink mural of the Rochester city skyline, created for the office of Marathon Engineering. She was honored by the college’s Alumni Association with the Outstanding Alumni Art Achievement Award in May 2013.

Westfall, adjunct instructor of ceramics at Keuka, earned a bachelor of fine arts in ceramics at RIT after completing her associate degree at FLCC. The owner of Westfall Ceramics, she has participated in numerous gallery exhibits and has created pieces for commercial facilities and private collections.

Three additional art alumni will be celebrated just a few miles away, at the College’s downtown gallery, ArtSpace36. Jessica Marianacci Valone ’08, Erica Bapst ’98 and Michelle Garlock ’87  will be featured in the exhibit, also set to open Thursday, Jan. 30. A free, public reception and talk by the artists is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 13 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

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Bestselling author on organic, sustainable farming gives talk

A seventh-generation farmer who penned a New York Times bestseller about his transformation to organic and sustainable operations will visit Finger Lakes Community College later this month to close out the ninth season of the George M. Ewing Canandaigua Forum speaker series.

Forrest Pritchard will give a talk titled “Sustainable Agriculture: Gaining Ground and Growing Tomorrow” at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 26 in the Student Center Auditorium at the main campus, 3325 Marvin Sands Drive, Canandaigua.

Pritchard has authored three books. The first, “Gaining Ground, A Story of Farmer’s Markets, Local Food and Saving the Family Farm,” made the New York Times Bestseller list, was named a top read by Publishers Weekly, The Washington Post and NPR’s “The Splendid Table.” His second book, “Growing Tomorrow,” offered a behind-the-scenes visit with 18 sustainable farmers from across the county. His latest book, “Start Your Farm,” was co-written with Ellen Polishuk.

“People often say that local, organic food is expensive, but never take the time to understand why conventional food is so cheap,” he said. “From New York family dairy farms, to our food system at large, we’re learning how our food choices have major consequences. We’ll discuss how local food impacts us all, and how to enact positive change.”

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Student Emily O’Neill honored by Sheriffs’ Association

Emily O'Neill
FLCC student Emily O’Neill, fourth from left, was selected for a New York State Sheriff’s Association Institute award. She was recently congratulated by, left to right, Jason Maitland, chief of campus police; James Valenti, associate professor of criminal justice; Joseph Mariconda, associate professor of criminal justice; Ontario County Sheriff Kevin Henderson; and FLCC President Robert K. Nye.

Emily O’Neill’s success is a result of perseverance, a value at the core of FLCC’s Strategic Plan.

FLCC’s next student-made wine label symbolizes starting point

Image shows new wine bottle label called Foundation
Finger Lakes Community College graphic design student Rachel Graf of Walworth created the label and name selected by her counterparts in the college’s viticulture and wine technology program to be used on their 2019 varieties.

The label chosen for the wine that Finger Lakes Community College students will bottle next spring pays homage to where it all began.

Second-year graphic design major Rachel Graf of Walworth designed the label and name for the college’s 2019 vintage wines. To be called “Foundation,” the wine label features antiqued blueprints of the college’s Viticulture and Wine Center, which opened in Geneva in early 2015.

The name and design symbolize the center’s opening and its role as a starting point – or foundation – for students enrolled in the program.

“I wanted to showcase the hard work of the viticulture students and pay homage to their studies and the center itself for creating these amazing opportunities for them,” said Graf, a 2018 graduate of Wayne Central High School in Ontario, Wayne County. “The blueprints represent the literal foundation for the center itself, and the center represents the educational foundation for the students.”

Graf and her classmates designed labels for a graphic design course taught by Liz Brownell of Victor, professor of graphic design. In what has become an annual tradition, the labels were revealed recently at a gallery-style reception at the Viticulture and Wine Center. The 14 student designers took turns pitching their concepts, touching on themes, color palettes, font choices, as well as what types of computer programs were used to create the designs.

“This project is a chance for the students to have the experience of working with actual clients,” said Brownell. “It’s a boots on the ground approach. In any discipline of study, the teacher can describe what it’s like to work in the field, but when students have the actual experience for themselves it’s a different level of learning.”

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Sands Family Foundation’s $3 million gift largest in FLCC history

Drawing of building
A concept drawing of the Sands Center for Allied Health

The Sands Family Foundation will donate $3 million to Finger Lakes Community College to more than double its nursing program.

The gift, the largest in the college’s history, will cover nearly half the cost of an expanded wing at the main campus in Canandaigua to be called the Sands Center for Allied Health.

The expansion will enable the college to gradually double the number of students it accepts into its registered nursing (RN) associate degree program. Currently, FLCC has 80 openings for new students each fall.

Older woman posing with two grown sons
Mickey Sands, with her sons, Robert and Richard, in front of a portrait of her husband, Marvin Sands

“With a growing need for nurses in the Finger Lakes region, this generous gift from the Sands family will help FLCC fulfill a critical community workforce need,” said SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson. “The Sands Center of Allied Health will put many more nursing students on a pathway to providing valuable health services to people right here in New York.”

FLCC will also launch a licensed practical nursing certificate program (LPN), which can be completed in one year. The college anticipates scaling up to as many as 56 LPN openings per year within three years.

Objective 3 of FLCC’s strategic plan calls on the college to meet the needs of high demand sectors in our region. This gift allows FLCC to more than double its nursing program to address the local shortage of health care workers.

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Students stage Steve Martin comedy

Picasso character pointing pencil at the chest of Einstein character
Daniel Jackson, right, cast as Picasso, challenges Juan España, who portrays Einstein, in the Finger Lakes Community College production of Steve Martin’s “Picasso at the Lapin Agile.”

Picasso and Einstein walk into a bar …

This classic setup is the basis for comedian Steve Martin’s play “Picasso at the Lapin Agile,” which Finger Lakes Community College students will stage on Nov. 15 and 16 at the main campus in Canandaigua.

This long-running off-Broadway absurdist comedy is set at a bar in the Montmartre neighborhood of Paris in 1904, a year before Einstein publishes his theory of relativity and Picasso transitions into cubism. Einstein and Picasso have a lengthy discussion about genius and inspiration at the bar, which is named the Lapin Agile, French for nimble rabbit.

Performances will be held in the Student Center Auditorium, 3325 Marvin Sands Drive, on Friday, Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 16 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. General admission is $8; entry for students and seniors is $5. This show is recommended for mature audiences.

Headshot of Juan España
Juan España

Student Juan España II of Penn Yan, cast in the part of Einstein, said he particularly enjoys the moment when the two characters, who begin by squabbling, discover their kinship.

“Einstein doesn’t see art as smart, and Picasso doesn’t see science as beautiful,” he said. “They are both geniuses, but of two different kinds, and they have this moment of recognition.”

“The play is asking if there is a difference between genius and talent,” added Daniel Jackson, of Naples, who plays Picasso.

España said learning to research characters in his acting classes helped him with the conundrum of playing a historical figure at a point in his life when we was still an obscure patent office worker.

Theatre productions are great opportunities for students to apply what they have learned in class. The college’s strategic plan emphasizes the importance of applied learning, particularly as a way to experience FLCC values.

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Veterans Day event spotlights ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ trip

Ella Sickles, a high school student from Midlakes, is shown hugging a fellow participant on the Soaring Valor trip.
Midlakes high school student Ella Sickles was among the Soaring Valor trip participants.

Josiane Amidon never got to ask her great-grandfathers about their military service in World War II. Her knowledge of the war has come from her high school teachers, her parents, and movies.

A recent trip provided insight none of those sources could offer. Josiane, a high school senior, went to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, La. with a veteran who endured the war. She was among a group of over 100 Midlakes students, veterans and caretakers to make the expenses-paid trip with the Soaring Valor program.

“It opened my mind a lot more to what it was like to not only be in the war but also to be living during that time period with everything that was going on all over the world,” said Josiane.  “My veteran, Frank, told me that so many people he knew also went to war. It was on everyone’s mind; they wanted to support their country.”

Several of Josiane’s classmates and veterans who made the trip will share reflections at the annual Veterans Day ceremony at Finger Lakes Community College. The free, public event will be held in the Student Center Auditorium at the FLCC main campus, 3325 Marvin Sands Drive, Canandaigua, at 1 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 11. Visitors are encouraged to arrive early for parking; handicap spots are available in the lot closest to the main entrance.

“These students and their veteran travel companions have just returned from a once-in-a-lifetime trip, and we’re honored they will join our ceremony to share their experiences,” said Jennie Erdle, director of student life at FLCC. “This is truly a wonderful opportunity to bring our communities together and recognize our veterans.”

The Soaring Valor trip was made possible through a charitable effort by the Gary Sinise Foundation and American Airlines. Sinise played the role of Lt. Dan in the popular “Forrest Gump” movie. The actor started the foundation after meeting an American serviceman severely injured during a bomb blast in Iraq.

This event highlights one of FLCC’s primary values, interconnectedness: It brings together community members with diverse life perspectives for a common goal – to celebrate those who served.

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