A couple of weeks ago, I found myself "accidentally" on a tour with the curator of a new exhibit and a group of friends of a Buffalo art museum. Now, I could have gone through the museum on my own, reading the labels and support materials, and I'm sure I would have gotten a lot out of the experience. But a self-guided tour simply cannot compare with a tour led by the woman who worked for several years prior to the exhibit's opening. By tagging along on this curator-led tour, I got to hear first hand some of her insights about the research, the recounting of conversations she had with artists and other museums, and the thought process that led to selecting these works instead of other works from the same artists or time period. Just as it is interesting to watch documentaries about "the making of" a movie or play, this tour which was through the exhibit and about the exhibit was fascinating. Studio tours, where you get to watch the artist work, have a similar effect on me as do opportunities to meet authors.
So imagine my excitement when author Tom Erlandson offered to do the driving tour that is the basis of his book "Figure 8 the Lake: A Driving Tour of Chautauqua Lake," co-authored with Linda Swanson. What a blast it will be to ride with one of the authors and hear him talk about what's in the book and what went into its writing.
I hope you've heard of the book. It was first published and made available in 2004 and Tom has created a handout that notes changes since the original printing. Full of maps and historical photos, the book features the history, science, and fun in and around Chautauqua Lake.
Pictured is the Miller Bell Tower at Chautauqua Institution.
Photo by Tom Erlandson
The tour, which will begin and end at the Chautauqua Institution Main Gate on Saturday, June 16, is offered in collaboration with the Chautauqua County Visitors' Bureau's Chautauqua in June series. Enrollment is limited; we can only take nine students due to the size of the Audubon van. Prepaid registrations are required by Friday. The cost is $75 for Audubon members or $85 for non-members and includes transportation, a box lunch and snacks. There is a link to the registration page on Audubon's website: jasprograms.wordpress.com/jun/16-figure-8-the-lake/.
If you don't have Internet access, register by calling Audubon at 569-2345.
If you own a copy of the book, bring it along. If you want a copy, Tom will have autographed extras on hand including the update handout for $21.