For the past six years, during the middle weekend of May, Cattaraugus County is turned into one of the largest art gallery tours possible. This year is no different. The Cattaraugus County Arts Council will be hosting the annual self-guided tour Saturday and Sunday.
The trip through the scenic parts of the county, even the more metropolitan areas, will host 42 stops. Those stops will feature artists throughout the county, many opening their studios since the beginning of the event. Some of the artists are clustered in one location, others open their homes and private studios to offer a bit of a personal flair.
The northern part of the county features stops in Gowanda, Cattaraugus and nearby East Otto. The trip would not be complete without a stop to visit artists Anne Mormnile, Eileen Weishan, Dawn Lombadi and Micheal Weishan. Each of them offering their own arts, ranging from pottery to photography, beaded work and paintings.
In the southern part of the county, along the Allegheny River, a stop in Salamanca offers painted porcelain by Chris Stark and Jennifer Miller's hand-crafted jewelry. What would a stop in Salamanca be without a cultural experience? Visitors to the Holiday Inn Express and Suites will have the chance to see traditional basketmaker-masters, Penelope Minner and Holly John, as well as the master bead work of Mary Jacobs and Kristina McLeod.
Since it is a two-day event, solid panning will get visitors out for a drive through the county to both, north and south sides of the county. In the process, the roads do go through Ellicottville, right in the middle of the county. A stop at Holiday Valley's Tamarac Club, and a trip to downtown, to the Mill Street Studio, and even out to the Ellicottville Library, will reward art lovers and travelers, the same, with stained glass, paintings by Todd Plough and Betty Meierjurgen on Rockwell Avenue. Master painters, Sean Waterman, Patricia Eckstrom and Mikel Wintermantel will be on hand.
Every stop along the route is completely free to stop in, and works by all participants will be available for purchase.
To plan out your route, go to RoutestoArt.com, or call the Arts Council at 372-7455 to get a map brochure. The brochure also includes profiles of the artists to better aid you in planning the trip according to your tastes. Studios and stops will be open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.