Exhibit celebrates the life of Philip Danforth Snyder II

Whether BZ-boarding on the Westport River with his hometown buddies, or working late at night with fellow architecture students in Chaplin studios, Phill Snyder '07 was equally in his element. Phill's two great loves -- architecture and water sports -- are artfully combined in a poignant tribute now on exhibit in Chaplin Gallery. A second-year architecture student, the twenty-one year-old from Westport, Mass., died last November after a lengthy battle with leukemia.

The show, curated by Phill's classmate and good friend, Rinor Komoni '07, is a study in contrasts, revealing not only Phill Snyder the student, but also the person he was outside of school. The focal point of the exhibit is lively footage of Phill, Rinor, and others taken last summer on the Westport River. Edited and set to music by Phill, the video celebrates Phill's adventurous and playful spirit, while the work displayed on the walls and pedestals throughout the gallery serve as a testament to Phill's more serious, artistic side. In addition, two large composite photo displays render an intimate portrait of the artist both at home and at school.

Rinor and Phil's parents"His family and friends back home, they didn't really know his architecture side, his creative side, so I think this showed a new side of Phill that people didn’t know," said Komoni.

In assembling the exhibit, Komoni combined artwork produced during Phill's middle and high school years with architecture work completed at Norwich. Taken as a whole, the multi-media display showcases Phill's exceptionally broad talent as an artist.

"He was very knowledgeable about architecture, but at the same time, he was very sensitive in art," said Komoni.

At last Thursday's opening reception, Phill's parents and sister met and talked with many of Phill's friends for the first time. According to Professor of Architecture Kirsten van Aalst, the Snyders came away from the exhibit with a greater understanding of their son.

"They much more clearly understood why he loved being here," said van Aalst.

Komoni agreed, noting the extraordinary bond that Phill and his classmates shared.

"Spending so much time in the studio working together, we created this really strong relationship -- all the sophomore class -- we became like brothers and sisters. That friendship, together with the architecture work, I think, made him just love Norwich."

photo galleryThe Snyder exhibit will remain on display in the Chaplin Hall gallery through March 6, 2005. For more information, contact Kirsten van Aalst 802.485.2634 or kvanaals@norwich.edu