Article Contributed by
North Shore Arts Alliance
This year’s Art Trail Hub Crawl will take place on September 4th and 5th from 10AM to 5PM. There are eleven total “hubs” on the trail, featuring 18 local artists, with art that ranges from paintings to textiles, from pottery to outdoor sculptures. The hubs are scattered from Fredonia through Westfield and Mayville down to Lakewood, and on throughout Chautauqua County. It is well worth planning a day or half a day on your Labor Day weekend to check out this unique event. Meet the talented artists in the North Shore Arts Alliance, and perhaps find a new piece of art to take back home with you. Find more information about the Art Trail Hub Crawl, including a digital interactive map at: https://www.nsaachautauqua.org
The North Shore Arts Alliance was founded about thirteen years ago by a group of artists with the mission to promote, mentor, and encourage visual artists of all disciplines in Chautauqua County. The organization has grown significantly since then, and membership in the alliance includes local artists and community members who can join for a nominal fee. All administrative work is done by volunteers and the funds that are raised go directly to the promotion of Alliance artists and to arts scholarships for local college-bound seniors.
Their signature event is the Chautauqua-Lake Erie Art Trail, a driving trail that brings patrons directly to the homes and studios of many of the artists in the Alliance. They call it the “Art Trail Hub Crawl” because many stops on the trail are “hubs” where you can see the works of multiple artists at a time.
This year’s artists include Dale Anderson, of Forestville, NY who has been making garden art and whimsical sculptures from scrap metals for 20 years. Thomas Annear of Fredonia, whose plein air paintings capture the grandeur and beauty of the American landscape. Nancy Nixon Ensign, whose paintings work with the historic homes of Chautauqua County that provide untamed architectural landscapes that call to be painted into relevance with isolated figures. Susan Gutierrez, of Jamestown, whose palette knife paintings depict the beauty of the area. Marica Merrins, of Fredonia, a potter whose wonderful menagerie of wood fired and raku animal pieces, from hippos to elephants, that are fun and collectible, also has whimsical pottery and jewelry that are statement pieces all their own. Melissa Meyers, of Bemus Point, works with abstracts in acrylic and depicts the beauty of the area with realism paintings in acrylic, oils and watercolor. Susan Barnes, of Cassadaga, creates spirit-inspired creative images on canvas. Leslie Calimeri, of Lakewood, who creates beautiful paintings in oil and watercolors. James Hoggard, whose stunning landscape photography is so unique and a must see. Anastasia McNeal, who specializes in handmade, bespoke vintage jewelry. Cynthia Norton, of Chautauqua, a very talented textile artist, specializing in hand-painted clothing for sophisticated, artistically inclined women. Jim and Pat Reno, of Dewittville, are potters who create highly decorated pieces. Kirsten Engstrom, of Mayville, a creator of large and small sculptures. Tim Sivertsen, who works with pastel, charcoal and acrylics to create figures in motion, and landscapes. Karen Glosser, a native of WNY, specializing in photographs that include a series of: Water, Woodlands and Wanderings, and Winter Dreams. Audrey Kay Dowling, of Westfield, uses many different art mediums to create textures and patterns in her varied works. Jill Matteson, uses paint and ancient mathematical color and design elements for her works. Denise Williams, of Westfield, creates unique glass work on display in her gallery Living Glass & Art Gallery studio in Westfield.
Marcia Merrins, President of the North Shore Arts Alliance and a skilled potter, describes the interactions with her customers during the Art Trail event as “one of the best things about making art.” During the Hub Crawl, she is able to talk at length with those who come through her home studio, which is one of the hubs on the trail, about her inspirations and artistic process. In particular, her pottery serves as an exciting talking point because in her words, “[as opposed to a painter,] …you couldn’t tell how I do it from a bag of clay.”
The event is a unique occasion to get an amazing look into the creative processes of highly skilled and talented artists, all located within the boundary of Chautauqua County. Tourists from nearby states, and local community members are drawn to The Art Hub Crawl for its accessibility and its direct connection to the artists themselves.
The long pandemic has taken a toll on events like this, negatively impacting artists, as visual art really must be seen in person to evaluate colors, textures, discover emotions within the works and simply enjoy the beauty created by others. All the artists are very excited to be able to present this event in person, and hopeful you will take on the adventure of discovering their studio and works. Look for the red Art Trail logo signs to help you find the locations. New this year is our QR code, which, when you point a smart phone at it, you will be transported to the Hub Crawl’s online page with lots of details, pictures, and an interactive map.
Mark your calendar for this event, it takes place rain or shine, support our local art community and take a day to just enjoy! Hope to see you there!