University of Rochester

EVENT: "Welcome to Sylvan Beach," an exhibit of color photographs by Rochester artist Kristin Merola

TIME, DATE, AND PLACE: Through Friday, Jan. 14, in the Gallery at the Art & Music Library, located on the ground floor of Rush Rhees Library on the University of Rochester’s River Campus. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

ADMISSION: Free and open to the public

December 30, 2004

An old-fashioned amusement park on Oneida Lake left such an indelible mark on the memory of photographer Kristin Merola that she felt compelled to preserve it in her own exhibition titled "Welcome to Sylvan Beach," now at the University of Rochester.

The 19 archival inkjet color prints record a playland that appears almost in miniature with kiddie rides of twirling tea cups and wooden buildings from decades ago. Every summer of her childhood, Merola and her family drove to Sylvan Park on vacation. Her photographs with their dull skies bring a haunting feel to the scenes. The exhibit is on display in the Gallery at the Art & Music Library on the University’s River Campus through Friday, Jan. 14. It is free and open to the public.

Merola, who is education coordinator at the Visual Studies Workshop, used a Holga toy camera to "recapture a part of my childhood but also to preserve it," she says of the exhibit. "The sheer fact that the park still stands is a wonder and now it can exist unchanged—not only in my memory but also in the blurry reminiscence of my photographs."

The artist earned her bachelor of fine arts degree in film at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, and her master's degree in fine arts at the Visual Studies Workshop/SUNY Brockport. Her work has been shown in about a dozen exhibitions.

The Gallery at the Art & Music Library is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday during the winter recess. For more information, contact (585) 275-4476.