The Winter Arts Festival is a juried fine art and artisan show and sale happening on Saturday, Nov. 18 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Lodge at Holiday Valley. Here you will find unique, handmade gifts — paintings, prints, photographs, stained glass, pottery, jewelry, wood carvings, purses, scarves, and baskets all created by regional artists and artisans devoted to their crafts and mediums. Their artistic vision and skills have been honed over the years, resulting in fine quality craftsmanship that cannot be replicated by a machine.
Winter Arts Festival potter Elliott Hutten has been working with clay for 35 years, describing the accumulation of her experience this way, “Working as a functional potter for over three decades has taught me to value my use of time. Clay is a simple material which can be easily manipulated while it is soft. Once it dries however, it becomes brittle and fragile. A potter must learn to handle the clay at the right moment, taking care to do each important step at the critical time in order to achieve a successful finished product. Making pottery is much more labor intensive than one might think at first glance!”
Hog-Shed Studio Pottery, Hutten’s business, has many devoted customers who appreciate and value her work. She explains, “It is wonderful to know that people enjoy using the pottery I make. Drinking coffee or tea from a handmade mug is different from using a commercial one that has been manufactured in a factory. There is character in something which has been made by hand — no two pieces are exactly the same.”
Working in a completely different medium, but still very much hand-made, is basket artist Gail Kemp. Kemp has always been interested in nature and using what is available to make into useful and decorative items. She has been working at her craft for 30 years, starting with kits and patterns, then exploring basket books, and taking a few instructional classes. Her baskets are colorful and rustic, sometimes incorporating antlers as handles. Although Kemp has been weaving baskets for thirty years, the Winter Arts Festival is her first formal show and she is looking forward to it.
For stained glass artisan Karen Fitzpatrick, her business, Just Fitz LLC, has evolved from beginning with a stained glass class in 2003, progressing to a custom window for the music room in her house in 2006 and then becoming an obsession with improvisation using glass as a medium. As she explains, “I use my own designs from my own photographs or drawings, but often jump in without a pattern to follow and see where it takes me.”
After participating in a gallery show and joining the Cattaraugus County Arts Council, Karen began to take part in the Routes to Art Studio Tours from 2009-2014, showcasing her beautiful works that play with color and light. She exhibits and sells her work at art shows and festivals and does commission work as well (http://www.justfitzstainedglass.com/).
Come meet these and other artists and begin your holiday shopping. You will bring home some of the most beautiful items you will ever own!
The Winter Arts Festival is produced by the Cattaraugus County Arts Council with special support from Holiday Valley Lodge, the Ellicottville Times and the Cattaraugus County Department of Economic Development and Tourism. There is no admission charge for shoppers, but you are invited to participate in the basket raffle fundraiser for CCAC featuring wares from regional businesses.