A Message from Elizabeth: Unveiling our 2022 Season Artwork – 3.4.22


Dear Friends,

As March in upstate New York brings its unpredictable mix of sun, ice, snow, and wildly fluctuating temperatures, we have been utterly focused on one unwavering thing: preparing to bring back a full SPAC Summer season, a summer full of celebration and joy.

One of the biggest tasks of the Spring (amongst many) is putting together our season brochure – gathering all the myriad detail of repertoire, photos of artists, arranging layouts and designs. Every year, one of the most challenging tasks is finding the right cover art, an image to encapsulate the spirit and narrative of the summer’s coming programming.

This year, there was a lovely synchronicity at hand. An illustrator we had engaged to create the cover art sent back a wonderful drawing, fresh and innocent, of our balcony ramps with their globe lights — a view of that iconic “entrance” into the amphitheater. It was beautifully done, but what really gave it its magic were the small butterflies that flew overhead, a fantastic & synchronous element. It was a perfect metaphor for this season, emerging beautiful and glorious after being cocooned for so long. But what was truly extraordinary was that the color of the butterflies was blue. I immediately thought: “Karner Blues”!

The Karner Blue butterfly was discovered back in the 40s by Vladimir Nabakov (author of Lolita and a famed lepidopterist) in the Capital Region (the Albany Pine Bush). But by the 1970s, Karner Blue populations in key habitats in the Northeast had dropped precipitously, earning the dubious distinction of being one of the first entries on the then-new US Endangered Species List in 1973. Now, however, the nearly extinct Karner Blue is making a comeback, thanks to decades of concerted effort by communities and conservationists, including here in the Spa State Park.

Not to seem too dramatic, but there was a time deep in the darkest days of the pandemic when it appeared possible that SPAC and all the other performing arts organizations that had cancelled whole seasons of performances, with no respite in sight, would end up on an Endangered Species list. And so, the appearance of the exquisite Karner Blue on our cover design, and the resurgence of the Karner Blue in nature, appears to be a wondrous omen for the return of a SPAC season, full of beauty.

We, too, were supported by you, our community — people passionate about the importance of art and beauty in our lives. After two long years of hibernation and incubation, we are coming back with a new sense of vitality, purpose and joy. We can’t wait to welcome you back.

Until then, enjoy this exclusive “sneak peek” of our artwork and keep a look out for our brochure which will be fluttering into your mailboxes next month.


Elizabeth Sobol

President & CEO

2022 Season Artwork