Innovative Brand-New Light to Arboretums

Spectators of the “Lumagination,” the Erie and Buffalo County Botanical Gardens’ annual light and sound exhibition, will observe a few brand-new alterations this year, thanks to staff and students from the Department of Theatre and Dance. In return, these undergraduates from the department’s Style and Innovation program are getting important practical experience in site-specific style concepts. The UB group brings brand-new innovation and theatrical style to Lumagination through 2 contributions: 2 illuminated sculptures for the front yard of the gardens, and a unique light and soundscape for the Panama Cloud Forest greenhouse (Dome 11).

Participating in Lumagination provides those involved the chance to “take their theater training and apply it to a community event,” states Lynne Koscielniak, department chair and associate professor of scenography. “The students conceive the project and see it through to fabrication and installation. It’s valuable experiential learning,” she states.

Koscielniak recognised the need for the landscaping design task after seeing 2015’s edition of Lumagination. She noticed how theatrical sensibility had been a core consideration by event organisers and saw a real opportunity for students to gain site-specific work experience while also lending the expertise of the design and technology faculty to the event.

After talking at a regional garden program with an agent from Luminated Landscapes, (the East Aurora business that produces Lumagination), she got in touch with business owner Phil Colarusso and a collaboration was born. The UB group likewise worked carefully with David Swarts, president and CEO of the arboretums, and Erin Grajek, associate vice president of visitor experience and marketing. Koscielniak, who has actually taught lighting and set style for 15 years explains that UB conducts 8 theater and dance productions each year, and trainees are accountable for nearly all of the production style. However dealing with a production like Lumagination– that includes some work outside– permits undergraduates to learn how equipment operates, consider aesthetic design, service a site and account for weather conditions, like wind, rain, and snow– concerns they usually do not need to deal with when working on indoor productions, she explained.

The front yard light sculptures were created by trainees in Koscielniak’s fall “Scene Style” course. As part of a class task, trainees composed brief remarkable stories motivated by the history, architecture and plant life of the arboretums. Each trainee was then required to develop a sculptural component that a dancer may utilize when performing or that might stand alone as a piece of public art, states Koscielniak, who worked as a creative manager for UB’s Lumagination tasks. From amongst the 20 principle designs produced by trainees in the class, 2 were picked to be changed into big yard sculptures: “Palm,” produced by Alison Weinberger, a BFA under graduate in theatre style and innovation, and “Orchid,” developed by Emily Powrie, a Bachelor’s Degree theatre major.

After their styles were picked, a trainee group prepared working illustrations and sent budget plan propositions. And trainees in the fall “Theatre Crafts” course taught by Dyan Burlingame, clinical assistant teacher of scenography, looked into products and lighting elements that would withstand severe weather. The ideas were transformed into sculptures under the instructions of technical supervisor Jon Shimon, assistant teacher of technology, who dealt with members of UB’s trainee chapter of the United States Institute for Theatre Innovation to construct the sculptures, style LED lighting parts and set up the sculptures in the yard.

The UB group’s other Lumagination task– the light and soundscape for Dome 11, the Panama Cloud Forest– reproduces a day in the jungle, Koscielniak stated. With the lighting continuously transitioning from the haze of dawn to sunset to deep night, while radiant, technicolor orbs stimulate the wildlife of the landscaping area.

She states undergraduate scholars from the “Site Specific Independent Study” class found the jungle is a location for butterfly watchers, so undergraduates, under the instructions of Gina Boccolucci, a sophomore BFA theatre style and innovation major, constructed a big, wire-framed, material butterfly with stain glass parts.

They also developed an energy-efficient lighting system, with set automated lighting that created matching lighting effects, modified theatrical rigging methods to a nontraditional area, modified sound, and created/produced items for the screen that interact with light.

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