RIT alumna creates artwork to go with theater production

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Virginia Martin

Virginia Martin’s Nannerl Notenbuch.

Virginia Martin’s face lights up as she walks through her art exhibition on Mozart.

“The passion was there,” Martin ’07 (painting, sculpture and printmaking) says. “The love and the interest were there. I knew I wanted to create this art.”

Martin’s paintings and sculptures are on display in the Geva Theatre Center lobby in downtown Rochester in conjunction with the production of Amadeus. This is the third such exhibition by a local artist that Geva has hosted to coincide with its productions.

Martin met Geva representatives at an event at RIT in April called “Revealing the Hero: A Soiree.” The event, hosted by the College of Liberal Arts, RIT Orchestra and Exact Theatre Company, celebrated musical, dramatic and visual art dedicated to Beethoven and Goethe.

At that event, 13 of Martin’s new Beethoven artworks were on display in addition to two pieces from her original master’s thesis exhibit.

Martin had received a degree in music and art from Hiram College in Ohio. She has always loved classical music, so when it came time to pick a thesis topic at RIT, she selected Beethoven. She jumped at the Geva opportunity.

“For me it was the perfect continuation in my interest in classical music,” Martin says.

For “Mozart — Motives of Genius,” Martin did a lot of research on Mozart. The exhibition is a mix of paintings and sculptures that Martin created in 12 weeks.

One piece depicts the Nannerl Notenbuch, in which Mozart’s earliest compositions were written. It is widely regarded as the most significant historical artifact of Mozart’s life.

Another shows pool balls turning into music notes. Martin says Mozart reportedly noted down musical ideas while playing billiards, spreading his manuscript paper on the table. She visualized the billiard balls being transported into the notes of his eventual scores.

Martin says she expects to continue to create music-themed art.

“I feel this is just the beginning,” she says. Amadeus opened Sept. 7 and runs through Oct. 3.