by Mary Fox

Festivals and sports are only part of Ellicottville’s persona. This charming town also has a vibrant cultural side. The Mill Street Gallery shows the work of three local painters – Barb Fox, Sean Huntington and Nance Jackson. Many shops feature items made by local artists, and local churches offer plays, concerts, workshops and speakers.

The Ellicottville Memorial Library also promotes Ellicottville’s cultural side, showing the works of local artists in the Library Gallery, as well as 3-D works on the library’s shelves. Drawing and painting classes are held in the Community Room, along with other activities provided by the Cattaraugus County Arts Council. Speakers from the Historical Society, author’s talks and book signings, children’s programs, free movies and the “Growing With Music” program for preschoolers, are just a few.

Until Sept. 15, a display of paintings by students of world-renowned artist and instructor Todd Plough are being shown. Under his tutelage, five local women have excelled and some have even sold their pieces for a nice profit.

“It’s a fun group and the Community Room has perfect lighting and plenty of space. It’s an asset to the   community,” said Marcy Hazard, a student of Plough.

A new exhibit will be shown after Sept. 15 with works by Judy Leasure from Smethport, Pa. Leasure works in pastels and colored pencil.

She said, “My work is realistic and my subject primarily animals and still life. I enjoy the challenge of creating the illusion of three dimensions on a two-dimensional surface.”

Twice a year, a group called the Royal Acorn Club works in conjunction with the schools and the Griffith Institute to fulfill the vision of Simon Griffith. Together they fill his tree sculpture in the Library Gallery with hundreds of stained glass and metal leaves made by students in metal working classes.

High school students display their work in January, and elementary students’ art is hung for viewing in May.

Librarian Laura Flannigan is very much in favor of providing cultural services through the library. When asked what she would like to see at the library, she said, “I could use event planners, talented people who would be willing to arrange monthly programs, such as classes and speakers from the community.”

Local artist Barb Fox coordinates the library’s gallery displays. If you or someone you know would like to have an exhibit at the library, please call Barb Fox at (716) 699-4145.

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