49th Annual Lewiston Art Festivalby jpauly
Lewiston's reputation as a thriving arts community and cultural epicenter is due in no small part to the annual Lewiston Art Festival (LAF). Sponsored by Lewiston Council on the Arts (LCA) (www.artcouncil.org) and now in it's 49th year, the Festival has been named "Top Cultural Destinations," First Sunday Magazine; "Summer Festival Showcase Event," Bi-National Niagara Tourism Alliance; and "Top 100 Attractions Along the Seaway Trail," by Journey Magazine.
On August 8 & 9 from 10 am to 6 pm, this prestigious event will showcase the work of more than 175 professional
(30 of them NEW!) and student artists from 13 states as far away as Alaska, Florida and Texas. Artists will compete for prize money awarded in 8 categories including; painting, photography, graphic arts, sculpture, artistic crafts (ceramics, wood, fiber, glass) and jewelry. Modern Corporation generously co-sponsors the "Modern Art Awards" totaling more than $5,000.
Back this year is the pedestrian-friendly layout that will close Center St. to cars from 4th to 8th Streets, and fill the Village streets with art and music. On Saturday, watch the chalk fly as 16 teams of talented student artists representing schools from across the region converge for the KeyBank Walk Competition. Watch art being made as they create spectacular murals on the street! The challenge this year is to create a 9" circular diameter coin in the trompe-l'oeil style. Teams will compete for "Arts Are Key" awards, generously sponsored by KeyBank. You get to be the judge for the People's Choice Award, so be sure to vote for your favorite mural. Judging takes place about 4:00 PM on Saturday afternoon. NEW THIS YEAR.... John & Vicki Fuerch of Center St. business "Antique to Chic" have been coin collectors for over 30 years. They have offered to give the gift of an antique, silver coin to the top prize winners in this year's Chalkwalk.
In keeping with our commitment to foster the development of young artists, College Alley will again feature the work of high school and college students in the Frontier House parking lot, and provides them with an opportunity to gain exhibiting experience without adhering to the more stringent requirements for professional artists. Don't miss this chance to start collecting the work of these emerging artists.
In an effort to decrease the environmental impact of the Festival on this historic Village, organizers are stepping up recycling and composting efforts at the event. This year food vendors on the street, as well as Village businesses will be encouraged to use compostable service ware. Plates, napkins, and food waste will be collected and processed into compost in addition to recycling of bottles and cans. Recycling and composting at the Festival have the potential to drastically reduce the amount of waste generated at the event and provide resources to produce new products. Modern Recycling will donate recycling and composting services and Green Team volunteers will encourage and assist Festival goers in the use of this service. "Modern is pleased with the leadership shown by the Lewiston Art Council in moving forward the green initiatives and is excited about the opportunity to take the recycling program to the next level. By composting food related waste, we can help bring back the beauty of nature by creating soil that may help a flower to bloom.", said Katy Duggan-Haas, Modern's Sustainability Coordinator.
To emphasize the theme of recycling and reuse, the Modern ArtZone, a free hands-on art activity area will focus on creating decorative fish from discarded plastic soda bottles. This project will be fun for kids of ALL ages!
Finally, don't forget to visit the Information Booth at 5th & Center to pick up this years colorful Art Festival t-shirt. T-shirt that was inspired by artist Suzanne Todaro's stained glass piece, "Beams". She is the owner of Gleam and Glimmer Glass Studio in North Tonawanda. www.gleamglimmer.com
Street musicians and performers are welcome to add their musical ambiance to the show but should call the art council to register (716) 754-0166.
NEW THIS YEAR! Channel your inner Monet, and come paint among the artists in the courtyard during the Lewiston Art Festival! Whether you are a beginner, or already enjoy painting, instructor Kristen Raimondi will guide you through a creative, colorful and fun painting experience in the courtyard! The class will begin at 2:00 pm, on Saturday August 8, and all canvases, paints and supplies will be provided. The cost is only $15.00 per person. Looking forward to creating our masterpieces together!
ALSO NEW THIS YEAR! Continue your festival experience after 6:00PM. Join the "Spirit of the 80's" at Academy Park and enjoy great food, cold beer and live music including: Wall of Voodoo's Stan Ridgeway on Friday, the English Beat on Saturday. For info visit www.thespiritoftheeighties.com. Proceeds from the event will benefit Lewiston Council on the Arts, Lewiston Alumni Association and Music is Art in Niagara County.
Art Festival Sponsors: Modern Recycling, KeyBank, Mount St. Mary's Hospital, Tin Pan Alley, Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, Arts Niagara Decentralization program via Arts Services Initiative, Joe Cecconi's Chrysler Complex. Special thanks to our friends at the Silo for the College Alley space!
Irene Rykaszewski, Executive Director LCA (716)754-0166
Eva Nicklas (716) 754-0166 (Ask me for photos. I have some gorgeous ones!)
Fay Northrop, Chalkwalk Chairperson - (716) 282-6772
Katy Duggan-Haas, Sustainability Coordinator, Modern Recycling (716)754-8226 X261
In the photos: Lewiston Artist, Kristen Raimonde, 12/8 Path Band, KeyBank Chalkwalk
Competition, 2015 LAF image by Suzanne Todaro, Modern Recycling at the festival