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Seeing history through art

New Education Center at Mabee Farm opens doors for art showing

Len Tantillo takes in nature and paints outside during a trip to Canada a few years ago. He will have an exhibit featuring 50 paintings at the new George Franchere Education Center located at the Mabee Farm.

Len Tantillo takes in nature and paints outside during a trip to Canada a few years ago. He will have an exhibit featuring 50 paintings at the new George Franchere Education Center located at the Mabee Farm. Submitted photo

— He hopes painting history allows people to better imagine what the area would look like going back to the 17th century.

“I have tried to paint historical subjects and it really doesn’t matter what time period it is, it could be the history in the area that goes way back or it could even be 20th century history,” he said. “I always felt that making pictures of it would help people imagine it better and make people a little more aware what interesting history we have here in the Capital District.”

Another unique element of the upcoming exhibit is people will be able to see how his work has evolved over time. He will be showing 30 years of work and is expected to have 50 paintings on display. One third of the work being shown relates to Dutch history, another third later state history and lastly, there will be a selection of regional landscapes.

“My painting style has sort of changed as I have gotten older,“ Tantillo said. “It is what happens to a person as they mature and as their view on life evolves. For an artist, their work also evolves.”

The opening reception will include some brief remarks, as well as a silent auction, live music, and Hors d’Oeuvres. Proceeds raised from the reception will go to preserving the collection of the Schenectady County Historical Society at the Mabee Farm Historic Site.

“It is a beautiful spot and a perfect place for this kind of thing,” said Tantillo. “There is a feeling of history just with the land that is there.”

For tickets call the SCHS at 374-0263, email curator@schist.org, or visit the Historical Society at 32 Washington Ave., Schenectady.

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