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Friday, March 10, 2017

Master's Thesis to Benefit Silver Lake Outlet Trail with Auditory Delight
To be Done by 2011 PCS Grad

Sara Stabley is a Perry Central Class of 2011 graduate. As a child, she and her family moved around a bit, but ultimately settled in Perry in 2002. Sara said, “Despite not being born here, it’s undeniably my hometown.” Sara received her Associates degree in 2013 through Genesee Community College in Batavia. She went on to finish her Bachelor’s degree at the Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts at the New School in NYC. 

While she had been adamant about getting away from “small Perry,” it was only after being away that she came to the realization that Perry wasn’t, after all, neither small, boring, nor old. Sara is now an MFA student in the Media Arts Production program of the University at Buffalo. Because of her love of the Silver Lake Outlet Trail, she has decided to use it as the prototype installation for her Master’s thesis.

Sara’s back story continues in her own words.

“While I loved my urban life, I found my passion for it wavering. Upon graduation and despite a generous job offer, I returned to Perry where I rediscovered my hometown as a sanctuary from the fast, exciting pace of the city. Perry was and continues to be positively brimming with potential and I found myself reenergized by the unlimited possibility to contribute, improve and build a community that I loved. Moreover, I discovered what it was that the city was lacking: this community needed me (and others like me) just as much as I need it.


“The Silver Lake Outlet Trail is a 0.8 mile dirt path following Silver Lake outlet, connecting the northeast end of the lake to South Federal Street in Perry, NY. While popular now for its fishing, scenery and proximity to nature, the trail used to be a railroad bed.

“The family-friendly trail is open all year round and hosts the town’s annual En Plein Air Art Festival during the summer season. It’s an easy, level walk accessible to wheelchairs cross country skiers, bicycles, horses and hikers with leashed pets.

“The Silver Lake Outlet Trail is part of my running route as I train for fall marathons and races. For the past several summers, I’ve traversed that path every single day, rain or shine. I like to think that my feet have solidified that packed dirt path, making sure it stays there for years to come. I’ve sweat, bled, cried, and triumphed through that trail and while I am quite literally a part of it, it’s a part of me too.

“That is why I’ve decided to use it as the prototype installation site for my Master’s thesis.

“My thesis work revolves around experiential discovery and site specific media. My work will reinforce the idea art happens within the viewer, rather than the artwork itself,. Thus, my thesis will be about providing an experience—specifically an auditory one.

“My plan is to create a GPS tracking app that plays a narrative as you walk from one end of the outlet to the other. If you start at the west end and travel east through the trail you will hear the story of the Silver Lake Sea Serpent, a famous folk tale born in the late 1800’s.  When you walk east to west along the trail,  you will hear the rich Native American history of Silver Lake and the surrounding area. Thus the title of the project, Timeline Trails.


(The app to accompany this project will enable GPS tracking.) "To participate in this piece, you will need a pair of headphones and a smart phone with the downloadable app, as you walk through the trail. GPS hot points will trigger chapters of the story to play through the app, allowing the participant to literally walk the timeline of a small piece of history.

“If all goes well with this project, I intend to change the narratives every 6-12 months, so that new stories are able to be heard making it easy to experience anew again and again.”

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