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New Marion Art Gallery is truly a sight for the senses
Monday, October 24, 2011

Cathy (Calannio) and Jesse Marion
Jamestown native Cathy Calannio Marion, ’79, and her husband, Jesse, above, attended the formal dedication of the newly renovated art gallery in the Rockefeller Arts Center which now bears their name. The Cathy and Jesse Marion Art Gallery re-opened during Homecoming Weekend. It welcomed as its first exhibit, “Then and Again,” which features the work of campus faculty as well as that of their former students. The exhibit runs through Nov. 13, and is free and open to the public.

Cathy and Jesse Marion Art Gallery
President Hefner speaks at Gallery Dedication.


Bob Booth“I’ve been on this campus for 34 years — more than half my life – and I’ve been involved in a number of big events and initiatives,” said Booth. “However, none of them is bigger for me and the department than this. To have an exhibition gallery of this quality, it raises the bar significantly for our entire program, and the final product is even more amazing than I had imagined.”

--Bob Booth, Chairperson of Visual Arts & New Media


Inaugural Exhibition: "Then and Again"

“Then and Again” features work from the faculty and select graduates of SUNY Fredonia's Department of Visual Arts and New Media, as well as graduates of some other institutions.

It runs through Nov. 13 with works by 22 artists, including Ray Bonilla, Robert Booth, Anna Christenson, Kristen Davide-Puirek, Jason Dilworth, Abraham Ferraro, Maggie Finlayson, Tim Frerichs, Phil Hastings, Jill Johnston, Steve Komp, Liz Lee, Michelle Leedy, John Malinoski, Alberto Rey, Hide Sadohara, Allison Schumacher, Peter Tucker, Kyle Turner, Megan Urban, Kim Waite and Emily Zeller.

Gallery hours are 2 to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 2 to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday.  

SUNY Fredonia ushered in a new era of fine arts on Saturday afternoon as it opened its newly renovated art gallery, which coincided with its renaming as the Cathy and Jesse Marion Art Gallery, in honor of Cathy (Calannio) Marion, a Jamestown native and a member of the class of 1979, and her husband, Jesse, who are avid supporters of the arts around the world.

The Marions, residents of Houston, Texas, have graciously made a $500,000 commitment to SUNY Fredonia during the current Doors to Success Capital Campaign.

The gift will be used for programming and community outreach, and comes via the Marion Foundation, which the couple founded to support such issues as health, education, the arts, and children and animal welfare.

“Hosting this dedication over Homecoming Weekend is especially appropriate,” SUNY Fredonia President Dennis Hefner told a room of close to 80 invited guests. “Not only are we honoring the very generous acts of one of our most dedicated alums and her husband – whom I’ve made an honorary alumnus as well – but our first exhibition, entitled “Then and Again,” has allowed our faculty to connect with their graduates, to illustrate the talents SUNY Fredonia offers both among its faculty and the graduates we produce.”

The 2,180-square-foot gallery was designed by Sandberg Kessler Architecture and Engineering, P.C., and built by general contractor Rodems Construction Company.

It features a movable wall system, climate-controlled space with temperature and humidity control, blonde bamboo flooring, a grand entrance and new office space.

Internally, the project’s renovation was led by a team which included Director of Facilities Services Kevin Cloos, Gallery Administrator Tina Hastings, and Department of Visual Arts and New Media Chair and Distinguished Teaching Professor Robert Booth. Together they followed an aggressive project timeline to ensure the breathtaking facility was ready for opening night.

“I’ve been on this campus for 34 years — more than half my life – and I’ve been involved in a number of big events and initiatives,” said Booth. “However, none of them is bigger for me and the department than this. To have an exhibition gallery of this quality, it raises the bar significantly for our entire program, and the final product is even more amazing than I had imagined.”

The impact, Booth explained, will be felt in all areas of the department, not only in the opportunities for exhibiting, but also in its recruiting efforts for both students and faculty. Alumni will also want to come back to see this beautiful new space, and that brings with it the chance for additional relationship-building and collaboration.

“Because the galley is temperature-controlled, it allows us now to bring in shows and curate exhibits that previously we could not, and those will bring added learning experiences to our students and the community,” Booth added. “It makes us more attractive as a complete arts campus.”

About Cathy (Calannio) Mairon, '79, and Jesse Marion

“When I left this campus many moons ago upon graduation, I could never have dreamed that I would someday be standing here, dedicating this beautiful, state-of-the-art gallery in the Rockefeller Arts Center,” Mrs. Marion said. “My hope is that the Marion Art Gallery will bring inspiration, serenity and a sense of community to all those who enter its space, and reach far beyond its walls.”

An alumna of Falconer Central School, Mrs. Marion graduated from SUNY Fredonia with honors with a degree in psychology before moving to Houston. She pursued a career in marketing, public relations, corporate publications and event planning for profit and nonprofit organizations.

Today she serves on the board of the Fredonia College Foundation and the advisory board of the Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet, and the Marion Foundation has provided support for the Chautauqua Institution as well.

Cathy was honored in 2007 with the Fredonia Alumni Association’s Outstanding Achievement Award for her distinguished professional achievement and humanitarian service.

 

Jesse is the founder of Millennium Seismic, Ltd., a seismic data library company in Canada, as well as Marion Investments, Inc. He is a board member of the Memorial Hermann Foundation and Memorial Hermann Children’s Hospital, and a trustee of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists Foundation.

The Marion Foundation has become a fixture of the Houston region’s philanthropic community, although its giving has extended as far away as Wyoming, Alberta, Canada, and Egypt, in addition to Mrs. Marion’s native Chautauqua County.

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