May 17, 2016

“Later Rather Than Sooner: The Photographs of Paul Tick and Agnes Zellin”

Alumni Paul Tick ’75 and Agnes Zellin ’82 Exhibit their Photography as part of Troy Night Out

Agnes Zellin ’82 and Paul Tick ’75, holding the exhibit book, were joined by Dean Gerald Lorenz, far left, Secretary Ginger Schwartz and Tom Mackey, vice provost for academic services, standing far right. Photo/Empire State College
Agnes Zellin ’82 and Paul Tick ’75, holding the exhibit book, were joined by Dean Gerald Lorenz, far left, Secretary Ginger Schwartz and Tom Mackey, vice provost for academic services, standing far right. Photo/Empire State College

The photography exhibit “Later Rather Than Sooner: The Photographs of Paul Tick and Agnes Zellin” was displayed at the college’s Troy location as part of Troy Night Out, an arts and cultural event sponsored by the Troy Downtown Business Improvement District, which takes place on the last Friday of every month.

The exhibit of black-and-white photographs by wife Zellin ’82 and husband Tick ’75 documents New York City in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Zellin’s images are of the people and places in Astoria, Queens, while Tick focused his lens on the Bowery in lower Manhattan. Quotes from people living in the Bowery at that time accompany Tick’s photos.

The two first met when they were idealistic photography students studying at SUNY Empire State College’s Manhattan location nearly four decades ago.

Dean Gerald Lorenz, Vice Provost for Academic Services Tom Mackey, Troy-location Secretary Ginger Schwartz and both photographers were on hand to greet visitors, some of whom are shutterbugs, Friday evening, April 30. Efrat Levy, a member of the SUNY Empire faculty and area coordinator in Educational Studies, and her guest, Dan Bernstein, also attended the event.

“Whether they are an amateur, semi-professional or professional, it is always very exciting to talk with other photographers,” said Tick. “I like to hear about their work just as much as I like to hear about mine and I try to get new ideas about my work from their comments. Hopefully, our conversations will stimulate their further thinking about their art and, in particular, how their work could be a positive influence for the greater good.”

“The evening's conversations at the opening with current administrators, faculty, staff and visitors were rich, rewarding and personally fulfilling,” said Zellin. “Coming back to the college in this way reminded me of how valuable an experience it was to learn with the vibrant, creative and committed SUNY Empire faculty and staff. What I learned from them shaped the foundation of my personal and professional life and created enduring relationships.”

They were introduced to each other more than 30 years ago by their mutual mentor at SUNY Empire, Mel Rosenthal, a published and award-winning photographer who was profiled by The New York Times soon after he retired in 2011.

Soon after first introducing the two, Rosenthal suggested a joint exhibit of their work. Tick and Zellin agreed an exhibit would be a productive part of their experience, but the idea never got off the ground.

The joint exhibit finally took place last year at the Photo Center of the Capital District. Zellin commented that it meant a great deal to the two of them to bring their exhibit to SUNY Empire now.

Zellin currently teaches fourth-grade students and serves as the science coordinator for a small, rural elementary school in Western New York state. Her photography is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of the City of New York.

Tick’s images have been published hundreds of times in the United States and Israel. Today, he is the clinical director of a nonprofit counseling agency in Albany, as well as the founder and manager of one of the Capital Region’s farmers markets.

The two reside in Delmar, N.Y.

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