The Perfect Gifts Are Here!

Is your goal to find a unique gift for each person on your holiday shopping list? Are you tired of the mass produced merchandise from malls? The ideal destination for you to find all your holiday gifts this year is the Winter Arts Festival at Holiday Valley on Nov. 19 and 20. There you will find unique, hand-made paintings, prints, photographs, pottery, jewelry, wood carvings, purses, scarves, and hats, all created by regional artists and artisans. Here are a few of the artists you will find there:

Watercolor artist John Balacki likes the Holiday Valley Lodge for this show and says, “It is a bright and spacious venue.” He brings his large framed pieces, as well as a wide selection of original notecards to the festival. Talking of his work, John says, “Watercolor has always appealed to me. The transparency of watercolor is such a strong factor as well as light and the way it interacts with objects and people.” You will find a wide variety of subjects in John’s watercolor paintings – from seaside scenes to café streets. He finds inspiration everywhere.

Pam Delyannis of Pinnacle Pottery also looks forward to the Winter Arts Festival. “It is a chance to meet the customers and see what the other exhibitors make. And a little visiting as well. It’s a very relaxed environment.” You will find beautiful, as well as useful, items at Pinnacle Pottery. Pam has been creating pottery for 40 years and is always trying new shapes and glazes. When asked what she likes to give for holiday gifts, she explains, “My friends and family have plenty of pottery from me, so it’s always a challenge to find unique items. I like to give baskets filled with handmade things I find at the shows. Also I add baked goods, because I love to bake and the holidays are a good time to indulge in holiday goodies.”

If you are looking for paintings of the natural world, be sure to visit Judson Brown’s booth at the Winter Arts Festival. Nature is Judson’s inspiration for his paintings. “Everyday there is an abundance of scenes that inspire me, from my daily walks through our own woods to the rivers and mountains of the Adirondacks.” He describes his process, saying, “I enjoy pushing the paint around the canvas in the beginning stages of the painting with palette knife, fingers or whatever it takes. As the painting develops, I refine the areas of interest in the scene that first inspired me to paint it. The final details and center of interest must support the whole idea in the end.” As for holiday gift giving, Judson says, of course, “paintings first, and anything handmade by someone is always special, both to give and receive.”

Other participating artists include Evelyn Brumwell (fiber), Charlotte Cappellino (painting, printmaking & photography), Len Curran (jewelry), Bev Fehringer (ceramics), Marshall Green (ceramics), Karen Fitzpatrick (glass), Elliott Hutten (ceramics), Myra Johnston (painting, drawing & wood), Tom Martin (photography), Laura McCormick (jewelry), Keith McKale (wood), Deborah Moyer (jewelry), Rose Nuszkowski (glass), Ellen Paquette (painting & fiber), Carolyn Raine (jewelry), Bobby Sader (wood), Greg Souchik (painting), Jesse Szalc (wood), Eileen Weishan (Fiber), Michael Weishan (photography), Carey Welch (painting), Maria Welka (jewelry & mixed media), Mikel Wintermantel (painting), Lisa Yohon (jewelry) and Robin Zefers Clark (painting).

If you want to stay nearby for the weekend, the Inn at Holiday Valley is offering a special rate for Nov. 18 and 19, just $119 per room, including continental breakfast and use of the indoor/outdoor heated pool and hot tub. Relax and enjoy the beauty of this scenic town. Contact Holiday Valley to book your getaway at (716) 699-2345.

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. The event is free and the hours of the sale are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19 and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 20.