Celebrating Chittenango Falls
By Willie Kiernan
The Cazenovia Public Library will be exhibiting works on the beauty and grandeur of Chittenango Falls and Chittenango Falls State Park through May 30.
"We are thrilled to be able to collaborate with Lorenzo State Historic Site and Chittenango Falls State Park with these exhibitions," said Betsy Kennedy, library director.
The library's art gallery features paintings from the library's permanent collection by Cazenovia artist Dwight Williams (1856-1932) as well as sketches and photographs from the collection of Lorenzo State Historic Site; a 1950's watercolor by R.S. Vecherek from the collection of Clark Reservation (Jamesville), NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; and contemporary photographs by Karen Kozicki and Aaron Diefendorf.
"We are connecting with other area libraries and museums in order to bring the art of Chittenango Falls and the work of artist Dwight Williams to an ever-expanding audience," Kennedy said.
There are nine pastel paintings of the falls on display created in the 1920s by Williams, known in the art world as the teacher of Arthur B. Davies. Williams chronicled life in Cazenovia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. According to Russ Grills, historian and Cazenovia Public Library museum committee chair, Williams was an avid fly-fisherman and naturalist; Chittenango Creek and Chittenango Falls were two of his favorite subjects.
The exhibition features two late 1850s sketches by Ledyard Lincklaen (1820-1864) and Katharine Fairchild (1836 -- 1903) from the collection of Lorenzo State Historic Site. According to Sharon Cooney, interpretive programs assistant at Lorenzo, Lincklaen and Fairchild, led by Cazenovia Seminary instructor Charles Welsch, would often travel to Chittenango Falls with family and friends for sketching and picnic outings.
A trio of contemporary photographs by Karen Kozicki and Aaron Diefendorf also add to the exhibition.
SUNY CESF graduate student Kimberly May will present The Splendor of Chittenango Falls State Park: Exploring Historic and Natural Significance at 7 p.m. Thursday May 22 in the community room. The public is invited to bring along historic images of the park to this free program.