Campus News

Wind inspires UB’s ‘Lumagination’ exhibit

The illuminated domes of the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens during the "Lumagination" display.

The exterior of House 4 (foreground), site of UB's Lumagination display. That's the Asian Rainforest, House 3, bathed in pink light in the rear. Photo: Steven Zehler

By SUE WUETCHER

Published January 25, 2019

“The students conceive the project and see it through to fabrication and installation. It’s valuable experiential learning.”
Lynne Koscielniak, professor and chair
Department of Theatre and Dance

For the third consecutive year, a team from the Department of Theatre and Dance is contributing a display to “Lumagination,” the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens’ annual light and sound show.

Succulent plants.

"Clouds" hover over a bench of succulents. Photo: Steven Zehler

After two years in Dome 11 — the Panama Cloud Forest greenhouse — the team’s exhibit this year is located in House 4 — Cacti & Succulents. And with an overall Lumagination theme of “Magic in the Air,” the UB designs are inspired by wind, says Lynne Koscielniak, professor of scenography, department chair and faculty research coordinator for the UB Lumagination team.

Under faculty and staff supervision, students from the department’s Design and Technology program designed illuminated objects for the greenhouse that include a wind gust light box, an automated pinwheel, a winged dragon, a cactus that catches windblown pages, and an expansive sound wave inspired by the Phil Collins song “In the Air Tonight.”

The wind gust light box that will be part of the UB display.

This wind gust light box is part of the UB display. Photo: Steven Zehler

An illuminated cactus that is part of the UB display.

An illuminated cactus is part of the UB display. Photo: Steven Zehler

Koscielniak notes that perhaps the most valuable aspect of UB’s involvement in Lumagination is that it introduces design and technology majors “to the complexities of site-specific work.”

Taking part in the project offers students the opportunity to “take their theater training and apply it to a community event,” she says. “The students conceive the project and see it through to fabrication and installation. It’s valuable experiential learning.”

UB students on this year’s team are Hannah S. Wolland, lighting director; Steven Zehler, systems designer; Hannah Mackey, technical assistant; and contributing designers Matvey Kitchen, Jake Nowak and Nicholas Taboni.

In addition to Koscielniak, faculty and staff members on the team include Eric Burlingame, sound design/mentor, Rick Haug, scene shop foreman, and craft supervisors Cindy Darling and Donna Massimo.

The automated pinwheel that's part of the UB display.

An automated pinwheel is featured in the UB display. Photo: Steven Zehler

The Zodiaque Dance Company, under the direction of choreographer/MFA Dance cohort member Mary Schnepf, will perform in House 10 in the botanical gardens during the College of Arts and Sciences’ Alumni Night on Feb. 20.

Lumagination runs Jan. 26-27, Jan. 30-Feb. 2, Feb. 6-10 and Feb. 13-23 at the botanical gardens, 2655 South Park Ave. Hours are 6-9 p.m. and until 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The UB display can be viewed during the entire run of Lumagination.

Visit the botanical gardens’ website for admission prices and information about Lumagination special events. UB students receive $2 off admission on Feb. 6.