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Liz Birardi

Liz Birardi

I met up with Liz on a Sunday afternoon at Comma Fine Art Gallery in East Aurora where she, a co-curator, is minding the store. The current “Known, Imagined, Experienced” exhibit includes 38 local artists — among them Liz — and features an eclectic display of mediums and expressions.

Liz first studied art at UB and continued later at Empire State College where she pursued a program that included natural sciences and art. Today, her paintings reflect an appreciation for the abstract, science and the natural world.

Liz grew up on Long Island where her contact with nature was often limited to a trip to the beach. It wasn’t until she moved to Rochester in the 1980s and met her husband, Rob, that her relationship with the natural world really began to expand. Starting with a trip to Zoar Valley, during the course of their 37-year marriage, the couple explored, camped and canoed. With children Gina and Ian in tow, the family made annual trips to Heart Lake in the Adirondacks. Liz, now a “44 peaker”, is officially an outdoors person. “These experiences opened my eyes to the value of the natural world, which is now intrinsic to my art.”

Today, Liz and Rob live in East Aurora. For several years, Liz was affiliated with The Western New York Land Conservancy. “In 2009, I did a hike at Kenneglenn, one of the Conservancy’s first acquisitions and their current headquarters. I liked their mission and subsequently worked to digitize their files. I became familiar with the conservancy’s history, land preservation and conservation from this experience and, from 2012 until 2022, was employed as their office manager.”

Through mutual friendships, Liz became aware of Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail. She has volunteered at tabling events, National Trails Day celebrations, donor thank-you hikes and at registration for the EA2EVL Fondo. She is also a current and valued member of the ECRT Development Team.

“I really like the idea of the trail; that you can walk from town to town and find yourself surrounded by nature. It’s also great that you rarely have to cross a road. It’s also really great for the communities. This is such a wonderful project!”

February 1, 2024

Written by:

Deb Fenn

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