Office of Public Affairs
(315) 312-2265
Oct. 23, 2002
CONTACT: Cynthia Clabough, 312-5624
OSWEGO -- Visitors to the south room of Tyler Art Gallery at SUNY Oswego will see an exhibition its creator calls "a giant family album."
In developing "My Mother's Is Anna, Her Maiden Name Was Lanzo," Cynthia Clabough said she hoped to design a study of the nature of family and memories. "I wanted to capture the essence of what a family was and how they documented their lives," she said.
"I centered it on my mother because she is the matriarch of the family," said Clabough, an associate professor of art at SUNY Oswego. "I've reached the age where you realize you can lose your parents. I wanted to get her story down."
Clabough was gratified when 35 family members came on the second day of the exhibit, a get-together she likened to a family reunion. But months of searching, scanning and planning made the journey itself a satisfying one, she said.
Part of the experience involved spending time and traveling with her mother while Clabough was on sabbatical. But much of the work involved several hours a day of looking through photos from relatives, scanning the images into the computer and figuring out how to fit the pieces together.
She has learned, through viewers, that the final result touches on some universal themes, Clabough said.
"What I've found is that many of these photos have resonated with people," Clabough said. "These photos look like pictures many people have in their family collections. I think, for the students, it looks like their grandmother's house or the home of an older relative."
Around 320 photos, ranging as far back as 1914, hang on the walls. Video presentations show about 2,500 more images. Clabough describes it as "a work in progress," as she will continue to develop the project. "I don't think I've finished it yet," she said. "But this lets me see what I have so far."
Clabough still hopes to put an updated version of the exhibition on display in her hometown of Scranton, Pa., and have a large family get-together in conjunction with the show. She also plans to develop a book and an interactive CD with almost 20,000 images.
"After that, I can walk away," she said. "Then hopefully the younger ones can continue it."
"My Mother's Name Is Anna, Her Maiden Name Was Lanzo" will run through Nov. 2, with the Art Department Faculty Exhibition.
Hours for Tyler Art Gallery are 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays and 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturdays. Tyler Hall is handicapped accessible and all gallery programs are free and open to the public. For more information, call Tyler Art Gallery at 312-2113.
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