The Finger Lakes Art Council had the opportunity to speak with Chris Molloy of Auburn, an internationally renowned harpist known for his electric blue harp. He is also a photographer and can be spotted at local events taking pictures.
Molloy, a veteran, said when he was in the Persian Gulf he saw a girl playing a harp. He had never before seen a harpist, but he knew when he returned home he would learn to play the instrument. In 2000 he began taking lessons, but they lasted for only six weeks because his teacher moved away. From that point on, Molloy said, “Everything is self-taught.”
Molloy’s photographs can be spotted just about anywhere you look and when he sees a need he fills it. An example is the Finger Lakes SPCA; once a week he volunteers there to photograph the adorable adoptable animals for their website. When asked how he got started with photography, he answered, “I don’t consider myself a photographer ... not for a living, just for fun. I just take pictures.”
Always busy, he even briefly tried DJ-ing. “It didn’t go well,” he said. “Cologne and a microphone: the only two dangerous things in my life.” This compulsory creativity stems from boredom at a young age, he said. When asked if he comes from a creative family, he replied, “I guess, sure. My grandpa was a clown.”
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Even though he is busy playing harp and photographing the residents and places of Auburn, he still has a day job. Even here Molloy is well-loved by his co-workers (of which there are more than 200) enough to have a nickname, “The Candyman.” This is because he always had a drawer literally full of candy for anyone to grab from at any time, no questions asked. “Not since COVID (though),” he added.
There are many inherent benefits to being an artist right now in Auburn, but Molloy sees his in the opportunity to perform at different places and meet new people. It has given him other opportunities, like playing with Random Maxx on top of the Phoenix building. His wish for everyone is simple: “Get a hobby.”
You can see Chris Molloy and his Electric Blue Harp at www.facebook.com/electroblueharp. You can also see Chris live at the Finger Lakes Art Council’s Holiday Festival of the Creative Arts from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, at Willard Memorial Chapel, 17 Nelson St., Auburn. When he is not performing, he will be taking photos, so look for those on FLAC’s and Chris’s Facebook pages after the event. There will be live musical entertainment also from Jim Van Arsdale, Perform 4 Purpose and others. Food will be available from local vendors, including Twisted Vegan.
The Finger Lakes Art Council is still accepting applications from vendors for the Holiday Festival of the Creative Arts, as well. Donation is $25 for one day, or $40 for both days. Vendors must provide their own 8-foot table and chairs; FLAC will provide lunch for vendors. Space is limited, and deadline is Dec. 1. For an application, visit the FLAC Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to seeing you for your holiday shopping, and thank you for your support of the arts!
Kat Alexander is an artist and business owner and is a member of the Finger Lakes Art Council. For more information, visit facebook.com/fingerlakesartcouncil.