‘Monuments’ art project honors three local heroes

Three projected faces appear on trees in a previous installation of Craig Walsh’s “Monuments.” The SUNY Oswego installation recognizes three local heroes.

OSWEGO - SUNY Oswego’s Artswego program, teaming up with internationally acclaimed artist Craig Walsh, will showcase a unique way to honor a trio of Oswego County’s unsung heroes: Jiancheng Huang, Kathryn Pagliaroli and Paul Stewart.

“Monuments” is a community art program that merges human form, natural environment and the act of viewing. Created by Walsh, this project celebrates three selected individuals through large-scale nighttime projected portraits onto live trees for stunning effect. “Monuments” redefines traditional expectations of public monuments and common history represented in civic spaces while celebrating contributing members of the Oswego County community.

The unsung heroes were nominated by members of the community and selected among a competitive group because of their dedication towards enhancing the Oswego community.

“This past year has been a time marked with so much fear and uncertainty,” said SUNY Oswego’s director of arts programming, Miranda Traudt. “It has sincerely been a privilege getting to know these incredible individuals who have dedicated their lives to improving and serving our community.”

Huang, the director of public health of Oswego County, earned recognition for all he has done in leading the county in its fight against COVID-19. His passion for public health and leadership of local medical professionals has helped save vulnerable lives. Huang described finding his calling in the field of public health.

“I realized public health can help more people,” Huang said. “A physician sees a patient once in a while, public health officials take the whole population as subjects, so I could help many more people.”

Pagliaroli, a registered nurse, was nominated and selected for her dedication to her profession, and her community. As a nurse fighting on the front lines against COVID-19, Pagliaroli also found time to elevate Oswego through volunteer work with the Oswego Renaissance Association and as a member of the board of ministries at her church. As a lifelong Oswego resident, Pagliaroli has found her contributions in her hometown to be extremely rewarding.

“I love being able to work in the community that I grew up in,” Pagliaroli said. “It has really poured itself into me and became a part of who I am. It is a benefit for me to give back, be able to work here, raise my family here, and give back to the community that has given back to me.”

Stewart, a SUNY Oswego psychology professor, was selected for his immense impact as the director of the Oswego Renaissance Association, a nonprofit organization primarily responsible for revitalizing and beautifying the housing stock in the city of Oswego. Stewart is proud to have helped towards the growth of Oswego in recent years and hopes that it is just the beginning.

“If you want to have a better community, no one else is coming to save your town,” Stewart said. “It is up to the people in Oswego to make things happen and that is what we are doing.”

Over the last 30 years, Walsh has become widely known for his pioneering works including innovative approaches to projection mapping in unconventional sites His site-responsive works have animated natural environments and features such as trees, rivers and mountains, as well as public art projects in urban and architectural space. He is also renowned for his site interventions at live events, including iconic works at music festivals across Australia and internationally.

The installation featuring these heroes commenced on Monday, Sept. 13, and run daily until Sunday, Oct. 10. The projections will play at dusk every evening and remain active until 10 p.m.

On Wednesday, Sept. 29, Artswego will host a virtual artist talk with Walsh at 7 p.m. in Marano Campus Center auditorium, followed by a tour of the projections on the SUNY Oswego campus.

For more information on arts events at SUNY Oswego, visit oswego.edu/artswego.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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