by Alex Muto
Catherine Schuyler Chambers Boericke, the first female president of Artpark, passed away in December 2011. She was recognized by Artpark this past summer.
Maureen Kellick, director of marketing, public relations, and development for Artpark & Company, notes that Boericke was the director of Artpark "when Artpark & Company was still run by the state, not when it became a non-profit." However, Boericke's humanitarian contributions to the arts and achievements at Artpark still exemplify Artpark & Company's mission.
Boericke, an artist and humanitarian, was a sculptor and painter who assisted the restoration of the Niagara Reservation Park. She worked to secure better conditions for children with learning disabilities alongside former New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller.
In recognition of Boericke's indelible influence on Artpark, a philharmonic performance at Artpark was dedicated to her memory.
At hearing the news of Boericke's passing, the Artpark & Company board immediately sought a way to recognize Boericke's vital role in Artpark's history.
"(This) season, the board chose a philharmonic performance to dedicate in her memory," Kellick said.
Boericke's achievements were shared with concert attendees, honoring this historical figure who shaped many of Artpark's past achievements.
"There was a stage announcement that day, which was dedicated in honor of Catherine Schuyler Chambers Boericke," Kellick recalled.
Michael Dowd, Lewiston attorney and a second-generation Artpark & Company board member, commented that the performance at Artpark was packed with the many co-workers, friends and family who were inspired by her work.
"The announcer (for the performance dedication) acknowledged that she was a true benefactor and supporter of Artpark, serving five years as president of Artpark & Company," he said. "A number of Artpark members who sat on the board while Mrs. Boericke was active were invited to the show and a reception."
Current members who served with Boericke include Michelle Heffernan, and current board of directors Chairman Christopher Brown and Artpark & Company President George Osborne.
Three of Boericke's four children, Gouverneur Cadwalader III, Gideon Francis Boericke and Katherine Schuyler Boericke Mitchell, also attended.
Dowd notes that Boericke's children are still influenced by her work. "(Boericke's) children are still in the arts and are proud of their mother for her involvement in Artpark."
Following the performance at Artpark, some performance attendees visited the home of Dowd's mother, Patricia, who served on Artpark's board, for a private reception.
Guests found that the dedication this past summer was a beautiful way to honor the legacy of a woman so vital to Artpark & Company's prosperity.
"It was a great event on the river," Dowd said. "Many of the (past) staff that hadn't been (in Lewiston or Artpark) for a year or years came to see this event. It was a nice reception."