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The Plant Shack teamed with Niagara Wheatfield High School for the third annual `Paintings & Pottery at the Plant Shack` event on Saturday.
The Plant Shack teamed with Niagara Wheatfield High School for the third annual "Paintings & Pottery at the Plant Shack" event on Saturday.

The Plant Shack shines light on Niagara Wheatfield student artwork

by jmaloni
Mon, Jun 10th 2024 11:55 am

Article and Photos by Joshua Maloni

GM/Managing Editor

The vivid bright greens inside The Plant Shack were accompanied by myriad colors Saturday afternoon, as the shop hosted the third annual “Paintings & Pottery” event. Creations from 130 Niagara Wheatfield High School students filled the Lewiston store as the culmination of six studio in art and ceramics classes.

Art instructor Kristen Raimondi said, “It's an experience that they can have their work in a public, community setting where they get to share their artwork with the community kind of in a gallery-like setting and get authentic feedback on their work. They also get to work from life, because I came and photographed all the plants for them, and then they use those plants as the inspiration for their work in nature.”

Raimondi said she teamed with The Plant Shack because storeowner Rachel Stepien “is so welcoming. She opens up the beautiful space.

“I like getting out sometimes beyond the school setting. She's super collaborative, and we've talked about even doing future things, at like Christmastime, too. But I just love working with other members of the community. I live in Lewiston and I like to find a smaller type of venue so that we can help each other. A lot of (art show participants) have never been here before, and now they'll come back.

“I love getting my plants here, too (laughs). She's so welcoming that that really made it easy to work with her.”

Stepien said, “When I started The Plant Shack, I wanted it to be very community-oriented. So, when Kristen reached out to me three years ago to start this, I thought it was a perfect opportunity because, not only does it help the kids showcase their work, it also brings people into the store – their relatives, their friends and family – and it just creates a community heart and soul inside the store.

“And for me, I just think it's also cool seeing everything. Every year, it's something different. Every year, there's something of the students that impress me with their work. I just like the community-oriented part of it.”

The Plant Shack is located at 335 Center St.

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