By Joshua Maloni
Village of Lewiston Mayor Anne Welch’s artist group met Wednesday morning and discussed adding a mural and perhaps 3-D art to the Lewiston Event Center’s exterior. She said she broached the idea to owners Emery Simon and Harold Hibbard, and they were receptive. Hibbard was in attendance at the meeting.
Thematically, those on hand suggested merging together Lewiston’s hi(story) with its recreational offerings; seeking proposals from River Region artists; and working with Lewiston-Porter students.
“The point of having this is to keep it local,” Welch said. “We have so much talent here, I would like to see it local. … We have great artists here.”
Group members lauded the new murals across from the Niagara Falls train station and said a similar project (perhaps more in the Cayuga Street corridor) would be a boost to business – and further stake Lewiston’s claim as an arts community.
Lewiston-Porter High School art teacher Cindy Sanchez suggested adding an element (possibly a blue wave) to all new murals, to create a common thread within their different themes.
Welch wants to hold a student art show/exhibit in Academy Park to showcase the work of Lewiston schoolchildren. Sanchez suggested late spring or mid-summer as better times.
Lewiston Council on the Arts Executive Director Irene Rykaszewski brought a sculpture trail brochure map as a reference point for a new directory. This arts group is considering creating a new paper booklet and/or website/digital app listing art purveyors and works of art.
Artpark & Company Executive Director Sonia Kozlova Clark offered to help with finding and applying for grants.
Welch formed the artist group in July with the intent of promoting Lewiston as an arts destination.
Other members include Trustee Claudia Marasco; artist and Artpark Director of Corporate Sponsorships Maureen Kellick; Gallo Coal Fire Kitchen owner and metal worker Michael Hibbard; Inspirations on Canvas owner and painter Kathy Pignatora; Stephanie Casale of SJC Handmade; artist and mural creator Thomas Asklar; Lewiston Council on the Arts Artistic Director Eva Nicklas; iron artist John Puccio; graphic artist Nick Costrino; and metal workers John Lang (of John Lang Designs) and Dan Buttery.
The group also is working with the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce.