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A Harmony of Art and Charity in the Garden

By Eva Potter


Viewing beautiful art is a gallery setting is inspirational, but when fine art is showcased in an idyllic garden setting with gurgling stone fountains, cushy seating under the shade of patio umbrellas, colorful summer greenery, the harmonious tinkling of relaxing music, a good cause and a few sips of delectable wine, you know you have entered a thought-provoking corner of paradise right in the charming Village of Ellicottville.

On Saturday, June 30, 2012, enjoy a day of Art in the Garden hosted by Darlene Allen and Todd Plough at Allen’s home at 11 Rockwell Ave. From 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., visitors can view and purchase art from some of the area’s premier artists. This event is free and open to the public.

Allen is hosting Art in the Garden at her home with the help of fellow artist Todd Plough. This art event has been part of the House and Garden tour for years, which was a ticketed event, but Art in the Garden is now a public event.

I’ve been involved with the Ellicottville House and Garden tour for quite a few years,” said Allen. “For the last few years, I’ve been organizing this event.” A self-taught photographer, she has been making thought-provoking images since childhood.

Artists will line the winding stone walkways and grassy areas of Allen’s immaculately landscaped backyard, the serene setting complementing fine artwork like paintings, photography, jewelry, sculptures, carvings, handcrafted furniture, stained glass, pottery and basket making.

Allen said, “There will be a variety of good, local artists who are going to be showing and selling that day.”

Visitors will enjoy works by Sherri Antle (dichroic jewelry), Elliott Hutton (functional pottery), Pat Eckstrom (paper sculpture), Karen Fitzpatrick (stained glass), Betty Meierjurgen (paintings and painted porcelain), Penny Minner (basket making), Joan Pingitore (paintings), Todd Plough (paintings), Mat Snyder (stained glass), Bill Steckman (antler carving), Dug Stein (wood sculpture), Mike Trainer (furniture), Mikel Wintermantel (paintings) and Darlene Allen (photography).

As a Copley Master who is noted for his landscapes, Wintermantel hasn’t shown in Ellicottville in over a decade, but decided to participate this year to support a local cause after spending a few days with Allen and Plough painting in the Finger Lakes Plein Air Festival.

He said, “I had known Todd for some time now but never had the pleasure of knowing Darlene until then. After fascinating conversations, seeing Darlene’s design sense in her photos, in her culinary presentation and her eclectic wardrobe, I decided it would be a great venue to showcase some of my paintings along with others in her garden.”

In discussing Plough, an impressionist oil painter and Copley Master, Wintermantel commented, “To me, Todd is a ‘painter’s painter.’ He is consumed by art. He looks totally at ease behind an easel.” Plough’s nature landscapes go beyond art and into the spiritual realm as he pushed his medium to new levels.

Art browsers and wine sippers will be entertained by the piano melodies of Ted Seuss. In attempt to describe his musical style, he said, “I am always improvising. Though based on riffs and progressions I’ve been playing around with for years, I still never know what’s happening next, until just a quick moment before each note.”

Build an artistic stop at Rockwell Ave. into your weekend of music and touring and experience Ellicottville’s rich, cultural side.


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