Walkway between art centers comes alive with nighttime lights


The walkway in front of Strohl Art Center lights up every night with bright, ever-changing colors. Photo by Greg Funka.

Elora Tocci | Staff Writer

The walkway in front of Strohl Art Center has become a work of art in itself.

Chautauquans Lowell and Rebecca Strohl felt the outside of the recently constructed art facility needed an extra touch to make it inviting to passersby. They collaborated with Judy Barie, director of galleries for Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution, and Mike Conroe, an architect from Buffalo, N.Y., to spice up the walkway.

Conroe developed the concept to install columns that would light up at night in front of the center, and the Strohls loved the idea. Now, the columns light up from sunset to sunrise and cycle through about a dozen different colors.

“The galleries are beautiful buildings, and I think this gives them more of a presence on the grounds,” Lowell Strohl said.

The columns are programmed to light up with a cycle of different colors each night and shone red, white and blue for the Fourth of July. Atop the four columns leading into the patio area between Strohl and Fowler-Kellogg art centers sit yellow, red, green and blue urns crafted by Christian Kuharik, whose work also is part of the “Animal Craft” exhibition at the Fowler-Kellogg Art Center.

The Strohls have been coming to Chautauqua for about 50 years and said they are pleased with how the gallery space now looks complete.

“I think (the columns) finish off the area, and they’re fun,” Lowell Strohl said.

There is one comment

  1. Burr Anderson

    Multicolored columns indeed “finish off”, or rather distract us from, what during the day is a harmonious addition to the Grounds. We would not appreciate a multicolored fountain in front of Norton Hall, or strobe lights around Bestor Fountain.

    Does this gimmickry portend jazzed up lighting of the Bell Tower clock?

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