Cattaraugus County’s Arts Council has some upcoming events planned for both those who prefer to view the artwork of others or those who would rather produce their own pieces. The annual Routes to Art is a self-guided open studio tour that will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 19 and 20.
“Artists will open their homes, studios and businesses to welcome visitors and present artwork in a wide variety of mediums,” reports Heather Carroll of the arts council. “There is truly something for everyone on this tour,” she said about the fifth annual Routes to Art that she said will feature 45 artists throughout Cattaraugus County and the Seneca Nation of Indians.
“It’s a fantastic way to explore our region and to catch a glimpse of the inner-workings of the art world,” she said, adding visitors can witness artists at work applying paint to canvas, shaping clay on a potter’s wheel or crafting stained glass during their open studio visit. She said visitors can also purchase artwork directly from “the hands that created it.”
“The artists who participate in Routes to Art are always excited to share their work with the public and to engage visitors to help them understand their creative process,” she said. “Routes to Art is a fun event for art appreciators of all ages,” she said. The program began in 2008 when a small group of artists became interested in establishing an open studio tour. It has since grown, with 45 artists participating, including 13 Senecas. Routes to Art was the winner of the 2009 Tourism of Excellence Award in Cultural Heritage form the New York State Travel and Vacation Association.
This year, a participant exhibition preview will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. April 19 at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University when participating artists will showcase work in one place so people can determine which artists they would like to visit during the May Routes to Art. The exhibit is free. Brochures of participating artists on the route are available at the arts council office, 100 W. Main St., Allegany, at area businesses, or by requesting one via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A brochure can also be requested by calling 372-7455. Brochures are being distributed as far away as Pittsburgh, Rochester, Erie and Buffalo. Brochures detail each artist and provide maps to help visitors on their tour. More information about the tour, including full artist biographies, images, maps and more can also be found by visiting routestoart.com.
For those who prefer to learn to produce their own art, a Glass Mosaic class is also being offered from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 26 at the arts council in Allegany. Instructor Courtney Blackmon will teach participants how to create their own glass mosaic by cutting out and arranging pieces of colored glass they can take home. The class costs $40 for arts council members and $45 for non-members. For information or registration, call 372-7455.