Expressions from art: Trail event is last weekend in May

Julie Kleven

Editor’s note: This is the second of four parts regarding the Hub Crawl, which takes place May 28 and 29.

Special to the OBSERVER

As artists, we do work that is personal. The annual Chautauqua Lake Erie Art Trail Open Studio and Gallery Tour is an opportunity to visit places where we live and create. We find inspiration in one of the most beautiful, picturesque regions of New York State. As you travel to visit us, see what we see every day — verdant vineyards and fields, lush forests, rolling hills, and spectacular shorelines along Lake Erie and Chautauqua Lake.

Using your cell phone camera, take a picture of this QR code to find our website with an Interactive map and artists.

There are 24 artists on North Shore Arts Alliance’s Art Trail Hub Crawl.

Audrey Kay Dowling

Today, we will feature six artists. Look for us in next weekend’s edition.

¯ Susan Gutierrez (Bemus Point Hub – Bemus Point) — I am an artist living in Jamestown. Chautauqua County has been my home for over 40 years. Through my art I try to capture the life and energy that surrounds us. I use mostly a palette knife to pay tribute to the beauty that encompasses this region. My paintings are a way to share an experience; a recollection; a moment. I hope that my paintings can be a conduit for viewers to recall a memory, stir an emotion, or transport them somewhere familiar.

¯ Tom Janik (Thomas Annear Art – Fredonia) — Tom is a retired chemistry professor. Along with his career in chemistry, Tom has had a lifelong interest in photography starting at the age of 11 with a Brownie camera. Tom’s photography is centered on landscapes and the natural world. Photography has the special quality of extracting, revealing and recording the beauty that oftentimes goes unnoticed. Tom is inspired by many great landscape photographers such as Elliot Porter, but also by photographers whose images have a graphic art quality, e.g., Pete Turner. Tom has a recent book of Lake Erie photographs available to see and/or purchase.

¯ Jessie Simmons (Wayfaring Potter Hub – Fredonia) — Jessie is a full-time studio potter and instructor in Erie, Pa., holding a BFA in Ceramics from Alfred University. She is currently the Studio Director at Erie ClaySpace and is a rostered Teaching Artist through the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Within both of these roles, Jessie works to bring quality art experiences to as many populations as possible within the region. Her pots are made with the intention to bring beauty and joy to the everyday moments of living.

¯ Denise Williams (Living Glass Art Gallery – Westfield) — The Living Glass Gallery is now located at 71 East Main Street, in the beautiful historic downtown of Westfield. Living Glass Gallery is a proud sponsor of the Chautauqua-Lake Erie Art Trail and features original glass work by artist and owner Denise Williams, along with displays of work by several local artists working in pottery, sea glass jewelry, photography, painting, soft sculpture and ceramic sculpture.

Denise Williams

¯ Audrey Kay Dowling (Portage Hill Gallery Hub – Westfield) — I use my work to convey a deep appreciation of the natural world. Form is beautiful, color is exciting, movement is visually stimulating, and texture and patterns open inspire me to express myself. I enjoy using many different art mediums. I attended SUNY New Paltz where I received my BS in Art Education. I also have an MS degree from SUNY Fredonia. I continue to expand my artistic education through several ceramic, painting and printmaking workshops. After teaching for 30 years, I am now a full time award winning artist and gallery owner of Portage Hill Gallery.

¯ Julie Kleven (Annex 45 – Westfield) — Julie speaks passionately of her initial discovery for painting. Painting had once been a life desire. As she recalls, it had “faded and was nearly forgotten” because at “sixty years old, (I was) legally blind with legs weakened from Multiple Sclerosis.” One day, while in Westfield, NY, Julie recalls seeing a vacant building off Main Street. “I saw a number to call. I knew that very second what I was meant to do. It was shortly after that day, Annex 25 was born.” Julie adds, “energized, I saw a space for celebration, new beginnings for artists…, inspiring the most avid collector – a space to embrace individuality, creative expression and soul awakening experiences that engage all the senses.”

Jessie Simmons

Tom Janik

Susan Gutierrez


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