Release Date: January 21, 2020
University at Buffalo students have spent countless hours of planning and creating to contribute to the efforts of transforming an 1898 tri-domed glass and steel structure into a work of art with light, sound and movement.
As the students from the UB College of Arts and Sciences Department of Theatre and Dance help Luminated Landscapes of East Aurora bring the annual Lumagination to life at the Buffalo Botanical Gardens, they will encourage endless imagination and wonder to ensue for the Western New York community.
This year’s Lumagination theme is “Mysterious Minerals.” Attendees will experience a unique, self-guided, journey through the botanical gardens while exploring extraordinary earthly facets. Visitors will view colorful Rainbow Cavern Crystals designed by senior, Steven Zehler; a 12-foot tall Geode sculpture designed by junior, Nicholas Taboni; fiber optic displays exploring the abstract nature of the crystal with Crystal Rods designed by sophomore, Timothy “TJ” Wildow; an organic, jagged exploration of the dark side of the crystal designed by senior, Jake Nowak; and Cairns, the delicate balance of minerals and water alongside the Koi Ponds within the gardens designed by Lynne Koscielniak, professor of theatre and scenogprahy and senior, Hannah S. Wolland.
The popular seasonal event opens on January 24 and will be on display until February 29, 2020. UB exhibits are located in houses three, four, five and the main dome.
“These students are proud to contribute their theatrical sensibilities to this gem of a community event, and I am thrilled that they have an opportunity to apply their knowledge to a site-specific project,” stated Koscielniak. “The gardens present a very unusual set of circumstances, including moisture and varying temperature, and necessitate a way of working that pays respect to the precious flora that is being housed. By literally working outside the box on Lumagination, students not only gain a deeper understanding of service, they learn how to ask the right questions when working in a new space.”
The College’s Alumni Night at Lumagination will take place on February 13. The immersive event will include a choreographed piece by dance MFA student Kate Mackey featuring Zodiaque Dance Company members as well as a selection of works by musical theatre students led by faculty members, Nathan R. Matthews and Allison D’Amato. Interested UB alumni can register to attend the alumni event online.
Design and technology students in conjunction with the UB United States Institute for Theatre Technology Student Chapter honed their creativity and theatre skills to create design exhibits throughout the gardens. Those that are involved in Lumagination include emerging set and lighting designers, stage technicians and technical directors who are trained in developing artistic concepts, research methods, drafting, drawing, model building, structural engineering, budgeting, painting, fabrication, collaboration and project management.
The UB student design and fabrication team includes research assistants Hannah S. Wolland and Nick Taboni; technical support Luke Tarnow-Bulatowicz; build and graphic design coordinator, Steven Zehler; load-in project manager Timothy “TJ” Wildow; and scenic artist Francisca Losada Hernandez.
Additional build and fabrication team members include Sam Dell'Acqua, Andrew Fish, Katie Johnson, Hannah Mackey, Alex Sansolo, Becca Stock and Tim Swenson. The students are mentored by Lynne Koscielniak, professor and faculty research coordinator for the UB Lumagination team. Students are also supported by scene shop manager Rick Haug and assistant costume shop manager, Cindy Darling. Lumagination is produced by Luminated Landscapes of East Aurora.