Weekly Feature



2007-10-24 / Entertainment

Snyder resident sponsors ceramics room in new Burchfield-Penney center

Sylvia L. Rosen of Snyder has sponsored a room, dedicated to ceramics, in the new Burchfield-Penney Art Center on the Buffalo State College campus. Sylvia L. Rosen of Snyder has sponsored a room, dedicated to ceramics, in the new Burchfield-Penney Art Center on the Buffalo State College campus. To Sylvia L. Rosen, 87, ceramics are art. They are also her life's work. She has dedicated her life to being a potter, supporting other craft artists and championing the fact that ceramics are fine art. As testament to her mission and passion, Rosen's home in Amherst is filled with ceramic pottery, sculpture and objects crafted by local artists, as well as artists from around the world.

Her home, however, is just the starting point. A gallery devoted to craft art in the new Burchfield Penney Art Center on the Buffalo State College campus will be named in her honor. The new museum, scheduled to open in 2008, replaces a smaller facility in the College's Rockwell Hall, where Rosen had funded a biennial exhibition and a gallery dedicated to fine art in the craft media.

Encompassing 84,000 square feet and designed by the architectural firm, Gwathmey Siegel and Associates Architects, the museum is a major addition to Buffalo's Museum District.

On the second floor overlooking other galleries, is a space dedicated to craft art, made possible by the Sylvia L. Rosen Endowment for Fine Arts in the Craft Media, which she started in the late 1980s with her late husband Nathan, who was a member of the Amherst School Board.

For Rosen, this gallery symbolizes years she spent teaching the art of ceramics and promoting its importance. She taught at Buffalo State College and Amherst High School. And, throughout it all, she furthered her own skills as a potter. "I just love it ... working with my hands I just express myself better," she said.

The craft gallery sponsored by Rosen, in keeping with the Burchfield Penney's mission, will be dedicated to featuring Western New York artists.

She admits that it took "constant urging and support of different events" to elevate craft in the art world. The new gallery in the Burchfield-Penney symbolizes what she has accomplished.

As a potter in her own right, Rosen's work has been featured in Ohio State University's museum, where she received her undergraduate degree, in the Schein-Joseph International Museum of Ceramic Art at Alfred University, the Contemporary New York State Crafts Exhibition and the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Rosen said joining Buffalo State as a professor was the best thing that ever happened to her. She taught from 1973-1983, after receiving her master's degree in art education in 1971.

In 1987 the endowment founded the juried biennial craft art exhibition, Craft Art Western New York, an exhibition of artwork by emerging artists. She also founded the Clay Olympics at Buffalo State.

"Rosen has been recognized for putting ceramics as an art on the map in WNY," Stanley Kardonsky, vice president of Finance and Management at Buffalo State College, said. In the next year she will see her vision fully realized with the opening of the new Burchfield Penney Art Center.

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