Art trail stop, Kniti Griti Works Studio Hub, to feature three artists

Painting by Susan Gutierrez.
Hippo, by Marcia Merrins.
Painting by Nancy Nixon Ensign.

The North Shore Arts Alliance announces that the 11th annual Chautauqua-Lake Erie Art Trail Open Studio and Gallery Tour will take place over Memorial Day Weekend, May 25-26. One of the stops on this year’s art trail is Kniti Griti Works Studio Hub, located at 42 Rosalyn Court, Fredonia, featuring Marcia Merrins (ceramics), Nancy Nixon Ensign (painting) and Susan Gutierrez (mixed media and painting).

Merrins, a Brooklyn native, has always known she wanted to make art. “I lost my way with adult things, until an opportunity to play in the mud came around in my 60s,” she said. She creates signature pieces that are quirky themed, including bright and sassy “footed bowls.” She is drawn to whimsy and her work reflects what she finds in contemporary footwear and clothing. Merrins also creates a wonderful menagerie of wood fired and raku animal pieces, from hippos to elephants, that are fun and collectible.

A native of Westfield, Ensign’s greatest inspiration is nature and the silence of rural life. Her favorite palette consists of cool colors. She paints abstract landscapes in acrylic, graphite, and ink on canvas using a combination of palette knife painting and faux finishing techniques she once used for interior design works in New York City, Walt Disney World, and Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla. For the 2019 Art Trail weekend, Ensign has created a new series called “Home for the Weekend” that incorporates architectural elements into the landscape which she describes as a “vision of my mindful recollections of this area and other quiet landscapes…(it) also collects my memories of my happy childhood with my parents and the isolated feelings of loss in their death.”

Gutierrez tries to capture the life and energy that surrounds us using mostly a palette knife to pay tribute to the beauty that encompasses this region. Her paintings are a way to share an experience; a recollection; a moment. Gutierrez hopes that her work can be a conduit for viewers to recall a memory, stir an emotion, or transport them somewhere familiar.

For more information and a list of all the artists participating in this year’s art trail, visit http://www.northshoreartsalliance.com.