This summer and spring were packed with art activities. We started out the spring with moving our framing studio into a new framing space in our own barn. After having a separate framing location in a near-by town, Donald and I came to realize that we vastly prefer to be in the same place at the same time- even after 44 years of marriage! So we made the decision to go ahead and move the studio. It was a good decision because we had a very busy framing season this summer.
Memorial Day we hosted four other artists in tents in among our backyard gardens for the annual Chautauqua Lake Erie Art Trail. It was a successful experience for the artists in the tents and for us in the gallery as well. It is always great fun to have other artists on the premises and it is a great event for bringing old and new gallery friends in for the weekend. Next year the Art Trail will again be held on Memorial Day weekend.
Thirty-seven years ago four local artists formed the Crafts Alliance as a marketing group for regional fine crafts artists. I was one of those four artists. The shows continue as fine crafts shows that are held twice a summer on the grounds of the world famous Chautauqua Institution. These shows have a great reputation for their high quality. This year’s shows were very successful for the sales of my ceramics work. The wonderful director is Tina Rausa. The shows take place annually on the second weekends of July and August.
I don’t usually add in new shows to my summers, which are already packed just keeping up with the gallery business, but one of my friends, Jonathan Weston, in combination with the Roger Tory Peterson Institute started up a new nature themed show at Jonathan’s Panama Rocks Nature Park. It was a lovely show set in a grove of woods. For a first year show, I was pleased by this selling experience. Western New York woods settings are some of my favorite places to spend time. The food was great, and there were many opportunities to learn more about nature from speakers and presenters. All artists were selling quality work celebrating nature and the natural world. This gave this show a different focus and made it a welcome addition to the regional summer art shows. This year it was held on the last weekend of July. @018 will also be held the last weekend of July.
At the gallery we also hosted the annual Membership Appreciation Evening for the Chautauqua Watershed Association. This was a lovely evening gathering of like-minded folks who all appreciate the importance of keeping the local watersheds healthy.
We continue to have the great support of regional artists who bring professional quality work for us to sell along with my work and the framing services provided by Donald.
Another interesting new addition to the gallery this summer was Donald’s recently published western novel, “The Gold of Vanishing Creek” along with a book of poetry by Martin Willow and an anthology of short works by an area writers group that meets at the Ahira Hall Library in Brocton, NY.
It has been a very successful and packed year to remember as volumes of snow are currently falling and blanketing our Chautauqua Ridge Portage Hill Art Gallery home. As snow falls I get my almost uninterrupted studio time that I crave. Attached is a recent winter watercolor of a creek that runs near our cottage that runs into Lake Erie. During the winter time of year we are open Saturdays 10-5 and by chance you can catch Donald and me at the gallery. Stop in to see what we are working on in the studios. Embrace the Lake Effect Snow on the Ridge!