Schenectady County

Artist among alums in Niskayuna school exhibit

A 1959 graduate of Niskayuna High School, Paul Kant hasn’t been able to stay away for long.

A 1959 graduate of Niskayuna High School, Paul Kant hasn’t been able to stay away for long.

He soon found himself as a teacher at the school, leading ceramics, jewelry and other art classes at the school until his 1993 retirement. He also coached soccer and helped with the yearbook.

Now, the 70-year-old retiree is back with a dozen others in an art exhibit held at the school.

“It’s like my home,” Kant said this week. “I’ve always wanted to give something back to the school.

“It was a wonderful experience to be there,” he added later.

Kant has become the focus of the exhibit, with this year marking his class’s 50th anniversary.

His offerings number more than a dozen, with oil paintings and painted clay.

The exhibit is being held at the Niskayuna High School gallery through March 19. It can be viewed on school days by signing in at the main entrance. March 19 is the day of a reception to which current students and graduates are invited to catch up with their old teachers.

The reception is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the school.

Scott Walroth, the school’s director of art education, said he expects the reception to be a good opportunity for people who haven’t seen each other in years.

He also said the exhibit gives students the opportunity to see the work of people who helped build and sustain the program.

Some students even are able to recognize pieces as their former teachers’ work.

“They say it’s just like they remember her being,” Walroth said, referring to a particular artist. “Her personality comes through in the work. The kids recognize the person who taught them.”

Walroth has his own art in the show, two oils on canvas and one mixed media.

Kant, meanwhile, is still creating. He has his own studio in Glenville, the Owl Creek Studio. Most of the pieces being shown were created since 2006.

The media, however, have shifted.

“As I’ve gotten older, I do more painting,” he said. “It’s not as taxing on the body.”

His message to students of today is “get involved.”

The current and former teachers joining Kant and Walroth in the exhibition are Doris Cole, Amy DeSoyza, David Dowd, Jamie Endres, Michael Fenton, Deborah Friedson, Stephen Honicki, Sheree Komp, Melissa Leach, Paul Marcellino, Maureen Saul, Melissa Valente, Frank Vurraro, Kim Wallace and Victoria Wallimann.

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