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About two years ago, Patrick Schwabenbauer bought a new camera and began taking photographs of Olean.
It may sound simple enough, but for Schwabenbauer it’s been a long trip back to his hometown and photography. Raised in Olean, Schwabenbauer joined the U.S. Navy after high school. He saw the world via the Mediterranean, Spain, Italy and North Africa, taking photos along the way.
Following his service in the Navy, Schwabenbauer returned to Olean and attended Jamestown Community College and Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, where he studied computer science. During a summer in college, he received an internship at NASA that led to a full-time position at the agency as an aerospace computer engineer after graduation. While working for NASA, Schwabenbauer wrote the initial software that was used on the Mars “Rover Curiosity” designed to explore the Gale Crater on Mars as part of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission.
He returned to Olean in 2005 because of complications related to his disability. A diving accident had left him paralyzed and unable to walk. With more free time, Schwabenbauer decided to take a passing hobby and spend more time at it. His photos show a bit of his love for the daring. Used to skydiving, Schwabenbauer likes to get the aerial view: He photographs from high up on buildings and scaffolding, where he gets a view not many have seen.
The public will have an opportunity to see a number of the Olean’s man’s photos in a new exhibition that opens Monday, Jan. 14, at the Front Gallery of the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University.
“In curating a show of Pat’s work I was struck by the patterns he finds in the landscapes and buildings of Olean. His work captures visual moments and the beauty that we overlook and take for granted each day,” said Evelyn Penman, assistant director at the Quick Center for the Arts.
Schwabenbauer will be in the gallery on the evening of Friday, Jan. 25, to greet visitors an hour before the Friends of Good Music program “Broadway’s Next Hit Musical” at 7:30 p.m. The exhibition runs through Sunday, Jan. 27.
The Quick Center galleries are open from noon until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon until 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Entrance to the galleries is free and open to the public. Please visit the arts center’s website for an informational listing of all gallery exhibitions, programs and performances at www.sbu.edu/quickcenter.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things. St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #1 regional university value in New York and #2 in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition.
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