Editor’s note: This is the first of four articles highlighting the Chautauqua Lake Erie Art Trail Hub Crawl, which takes place in late May.
As artists, we do personal work. The annual Chautauqua Lake Erie Art Trail Studio and Gallery Tour is an opportunity to visit places where we live and create over Memorial Day weekend May 27-28. We find inspiration in one of New York State’s most beautiful and scenic areas. . As you travel to visit us, see what we see every day – verdant vineyards and fields, lush forests, rolling hills and dramatic shorelines along Lakes Erie and Chautauqua.
Using the camera of your mobile phone, take a picture of this QR code to find our website with an interactive map and artists.
This code will help plot a route around the county for the Hub Crawl.
There are 24 artists on the North Shore Arts Alliance Art Trail Hub Crawl.
Today we will present six artists. Find us in next weekend’s edition.
¯ Sherry Nugent (Wayfaring Potter Hub in Fredonia) — I’m the creator of Wildfire Pottery. By trade, I am a restaurateur and chef, so I naturally turn to kitchen utensils. I have a collection of spices, from my travels, that inspire me to create dishes that deserve a beautiful container to serve. Like food, clay is a medium that allows me to create whatever my imagination desires.
I love the idea of my hands creating a container that comes from the ground, just like the spices and food I plant and prepare. Therefore, the jar provides a place to honor the gifts of Earth’s bounty. The circle is complete and brings me great joy.
Much of my work is shaped by nature. I can use stones or wood to shape. I could commemorate a found object brought back from a trip. If you look closely, you will often find something important to you: a footprint, a fingerprint, a seashell.
Most of my work is wood fired. I shoot at Scott Creek Fire Place in Sheridan, New York with an amazing group of potters from around Chautauqua. We have an anagama, a soda oven and a rapid fire oven which we affectionately call, “The rocket”. I prefer the wood fire because it roots me in nature. I love the way the fire licks the clay and leaves its own mark. From start to finish, it’s always about the natural look. It keeps me grounded and focused.
¯ Tim Sivertsen (Portage Hill Gallery Hub in Westfield) — I’ve been working on several different tangents recently. There is a developing series of monochromatic pastel/charcoal landscapes on paper.
There is also an ongoing series of whimsical moving figures (pastel and acrylic). I’ve also pulled a number of older, unfinished (unresolved) pieces from my past and am trying to rework them. It’s very interesting to pick up a piece that was put aside years ago and revisit my thought processes at the time. I also have an ongoing series of monochrome portraits of women in pastel in the works.
¯ Jim and Pat Reno (Reno Pottery, Dewittville) — Jim and Pat Reno have been making pottery for over 40 years at their location at 6007 Centralia-Hartfield Road, Dewittville.
They are open daily by chance or by appointment and can be reached at 716-753-7551 or [email protected] Their website is www.renopottery.com. Stop by to see their new ornate designs, which include woodpeckers, dragons and rhinos.
¯ Susan B. Barnes (Spirit Art Gallery at Lily Dale) – Dr. Susan B. Barnes originally earned an art degree from the Pratt Institute and became a professional graphic designer in New York. She then studied at New York University and obtained her doctorate. within the Media Ecology department. As a professor of communication, she has taught at several universities, including the Rochester Institute of Technology and Fordham University. She is the author of nine books on the topics of Internet relations and visual communication. In 2019, she wrote her first book on mediumship titled: Unfolding Physical Mediumship. Her mediumship studies led her to become a spiritual artist. His works have been exhibited in New York, Jamestown, San Antonio, Virginia, Rhode Island, Great Britain and Switzerland. She opened the Spirit Art Gallery in Cassadaga, New York, to hold classes and exhibit creative spirit-inspired images. Currently, Susan is the host of Spiritual Support with Dr. Sue, Tuesday nights on the Bold Brave Media Network, where she frequently discusses spiritual art.
¯ Kirsten Engstrom (Kirsten Engstrom Sculptures, Mayville) – Evidence of Kirsten Engstrom’s sculptural work can be seen on the grounds of the Chautauqua settlement and throughout the region. Stop by her studio in Mayville to meet Kirsten and ask questions about her creative process. I tell my sculptures as I create them, that they aren’t finished until they spark joy, hope and community in me and all who look at them.
¯ Peter Hamilton (LMNOP Gallery Hub in Sherman, with woodworking/repurposed materials/kinetic sculpture/deco-functional accessories/eclectic furniture/useable pocket items) — Long ago I was apprenticed to a German craftsman/carpenter solid and robust. I learned to set and file a handsaw, the finesse of a chisel, to unwind and close a wooden ruler. Many of my wood pieces have been made from found materials: discarded cherry headboards; table pieces; cabinet doors. Of course, various wood species from a nearby kiln-dried lumber company. A Chautauqua transfer station is ¢ mile from my store/studio and is where I pick up items for my job. The exhaust pipes of the 8 cylinders become the arms of an armchair. Salvaged lamp parts. For the joinery, selection and careful attention to the color of the wood grain are paramount: the tawny swirls of Rock Maple; the purple hue of walnut; vanilla yarn in Ash; avocado and white Poplar. I like to include steam bent components in the work. Much of my work reflects a mood of the time, or a particular detail that carries over to another piece, or a frivolous impulse to make fake sticks of butter, or a representative subject in sculpture. Often vintage hardware is incorporated. Brass copper. Certain themes symbolically express current circumstances – the wooden discs escape confinement. I refrain from using the word “abstract”, but seen in reverse, some works could be. I have works with movement, they turn and turn. All are three-dimensional. The furniture is usable with inventive features: offsets; comfortable angles.