Hartwick Alum Returns to Offer ‘Art and the Public Landscape’

October 4, 2010

Deirdre Cunningham '79 will return to Oyaron Hill on October 11 for an interactive workshop on landscape design, a campus planting, and a lecture titled "Art and the Public Landscape". It is open to the public. Cunningham's design style was influenced, in part, by an independent study she conducted at Pine Lake and her senior project, "Wildflower Cultivation," which was part of her ISP at Hartwick.

The program will led by both Cunningham and Associate Professor of Biology Peter Fauth. It will include a 7-8 p.m. lecture in Johnstone Science Center, Room 201; a hands-on landscape design workshop from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in which members of the Hartwick community will learn about and then apply basic landscaping design practices for the lower slope of Frisbee Field (which may then become a future landscaping project); and an opportunity to participate in the planting of thousands of spring bulbs around the flower beds located near the main campus entrance on West Street from 3:30-5:30 p.m.

Cunningham graduated from Hartwick College after pursuing an Individual Student Program in "Horticulture and German," that included a year as a visiting student at SUNY-Cobleskill and a native plant internship at Garden in the Woods in Massachusetts. She went on to complete a masters program in Landscape Architecture at the University of Massachusetts and subsequently worked as an intern in ecological landscape planning in Germany.

Upon her return to the US, Cunningham was hired by George Eastman House in Rochester, NY as landscape curator, where she created educational interpretive programming and oversaw the restoration and rehabilitation of the historic gardens and grounds for more than 12 years. From there, she returned to the Ithaca / Cayuga Lake area of the Finger Lakes region to open a bed and breakfast with her husband and to manage the gardens and grounds at MacKenzie-Childs in Aurora. Currently she works full-time at the bed and breakfast and for the past three years has managed Trumansburg Farmers Market.

Landscaping involves arranging the visible features of an area, particularly landforms and vegetation, in an effort to make it more pleasing to the viewer's eyes. Often, landscaping can be considered environmental art, an expression of human senses and emotions that uses products of nature as its media and inspiration.

This program is sponsored by the Foreman Institute for the Creative and Performing Arts. For more information, contact Fauth at 607-431-4754 or

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,500 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes a uniquely experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a unique January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Christopher Lott
Phone: 607-431-4030