‘Castaways: Works by Georganne Mennin’ at LPCA

LAKE PLACID – The Lake Placid Center for the arts invites the public to an Opening Meet-the-Artist Reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday for “Castaways: Works by Georganne Mennin.” This new exhibit will be on display at the LPCA Fine Arts Gallery through Sept. 7.

Gallery hours through Aug. 25 are Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.. From Aug. 27 through September 7 hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10am to 5pm, and Saturday from 1pm-5pm. There are additional hours during performance programs. Admission is free.

About the Exhibit:

Castaways: Around Lake Placid are patches of milkweeds. They are hidden in greenery until early fall when the wind and sun allow them their moment of glory. For a brief time the sealed pods burst open to cast their seeds windward, filling the air with patterns of silvery beauty. I tried to record this moment when the lowly pod shares its splendid secret.

In the lower gallery of the LPCA you will find Leaf Patterns: These were basically photographs of the Hostas plants in front of the Boathouse Restaurant on Mirror Lake. The well-defined lines of the veins on the broad leaves prompted images of intricate designs when superimposed or layered. Many variations were possible and challenging.

About the Artist

From early childhood, when she began piano lessons at age five until today as a world-traveling photographer, Georganne Mennin has enjoyed a variety of successful careers in music and the arts. By the age of seven she had begun violin lessons with Edward Frampton Kurtz, a pupil of Ysaye.

As a teenager, she spent the summers at Interlochen where her performance as a student won the attention of Howard Hanson, who offered her a scholarship to the Eastman School of Music. While studying there, she performed in the Rochester area as a soloist for radio and other professional engagements. After her graduation with honors, winning the George Eastman prize for outstanding achievement in all areas of study, she continued taking classes at the University of Rochester. There she completed all requirements for a Master’s Degree in Music Literature in two semesters. Immediately after graduation, she married the composer, Peter Mennin, and moved with him to New York City. There she studied at the Arts Students League, the Parsons School of Design and the Traphagen School of Fashion with the goal of designing opera sets and costumes. In 1958 her husband was appointed director of the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore where they lived for the next four years.

Upon Dr. Mennin’s appointment as president of the Juilliard School in 1962, they returned to New York with their two children, Felicia, now a criminal court judge in Manhattan, and Mark, a sculptor, with studios in New York and Connecticut. During the 21 years her husband was president of Juilliard, she traveled extensively and photographed the major cities in Europe. She also studied Chinese calligraphy and stage lighting that would affect her graphic work in later years. After the untimely death of Peter Mennin in 1983, she began her career as a professional photographer traveling on assignments from the Zulu of South Africa to the Rhodopes Mountains of Bulgaria and exhibiting in major galleries in America, South America, Europe and Africa. She serves on the advisory board of the University of Rochester and the Lake Placid Institute and is active in many cultural organizations in New York City where she presently resides. (Biographical notes by Nellie Gipson).