Flower City Arts Center Mourns the Passing of Dan Neuberger

Rochester NY Region

Flower City Arts Center Mourns the Passing of Dan Neuberger

Rochester NY Region

Flower City Arts Center
I first met Dan through a mutual friend who worked with him at Kodak. I met a down to earth spirit who liked to tell slightly off color jokes but I had no idea he was a brilliant research scientist. I would run into him at photographic events around town and began to see more and more of his work on display at several galleries. In 1993, I invited him to exhibit his work in a solo show in the gallery at what is now the Flower City Arts Center. Dan believed in our mission of art for the community and supported our organization by donating photographs to our auctions, participating in group shows, attending our events, and supporting other artists.

When we were working on making our building accessible in 2009, we needed to remove a darkroom and construct a new larger one in a different spot. Dan showed up one day to chat with me and out of the blue offered to donate the full cost of the darkroom reconstruction. I was floored. He quietly said that his father taught him to give with a warm hand and that's what he intended to do. Dan's generous donation enabled us to build Dan's Darkroom. Hundreds of students, artists, and young photographers in our after school program have enjoyed learning and practicing the fine craft of black and white printing in that space.

Prior to his passing, Dan has continued his support of our darkroom. Just recently, Dan donated some of his photographs to Flower City Arts Center, telling us to sell them to raise money for our programs.

One year, Dan celebrated his birthday at Image City Photo Gallery and I was glad to attend. In Dan's quirky style, he climbed up a ladder to address the crowd. Among jokes and effusive welcoming, he went out of his way to pick individuals out of the crowd, making each person feel appreciated within the group. He kindly invited me to other celebrations at Image City; when I missed one of them, he wondered why I had not come. I told him I needed to visit my father and his response was that I had my priorities straight. His concern for my well-being was evident.

Dan once told me that his favorite compliment was that he exhibited a nice blend of left and right brain activity. He was also pleased to be referred to as "childlike" (as distinguished from "childish"!). He also told me that since he defines success as being in love with your work, he felt he has always been, and still is, a very successful person.

A few weeks before his passing, he invited myself and my former co-worker Marianne Pojman to visit him at his new apartment and to have lunch there. He made light of his difficulty breathing by showing us that chairs were strategically placed along the hall to the dining room, so he could take advantage of them to rest. He just had to be careful not to get too comfortable or a nap might ensue! He knew all the staff by name and spoke highly of his new lodgings. His trove of jokes was undiminished.

I learned more about his past: His family left Yugoslavia (Croatia) in the knick of time before the Nazis took over. He grew up in California and then attended Columbia College in NYC. He received a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry at the U of R which brought him to Rochester. When he applied for a job at Kodak he was only able to be hired through a friend because of prejudiced hiring practices. One of his biggest thrills was when Kodak sent him to the research laboratories in Paris.

Dan left us on Monday and we will miss him. Thank you, Dan, for your amazing photographs, for your friendship, and for showing us how to live a successful life.

About the Flower City Arts Center
The Flower City Arts Center is a community-based not-for-profit that educates, encourages and inspires all people to create and enjoy the visual arts. As a member of the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts, the organization is committed to making high-quality arts education available to all.

Flower City Arts Center has been operating since 1970. The Center is a darkroom and photography facility, a pottery workshop, and a printing and book arts center. Support of the Center benefits youth outreach programs and programs for the community. All of the money raised stays in Rochester and directly benefits members of the Rochester community. The Center uses its resources to provide youth programs in schools, offers over 140 classes to the general public, and rents space to artists and others interested in the visual arts. Internships, facilities for advanced area arts students and resource facilities for anyone interested in book arts, photography and pottery are also available. Three galleries in the building serve as exhibit space for local, regional and national artists.

For more information, contact the Flower City Arts Center Administrative Office at 585-244-1730, or visit our website at www.rochesterarts.org.
Amanda Chestnut
Flower City Arts Center
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