Art Stroll showcases local culture, talent

The Annual Geneseo Art Stroll took place on Friday afternoon and featured work from local artists specializing in a variety of mediums.

Artists displayed their work along the streets for passers-by to view and purchase. There was a wide range of wares including watercolors, jewelry, photographs and ceramics. As an added bonus, several musicians performed and tasty foods were available to sample.

The event helped expose community members to the abundance of local creativity. Photographer David Griffin, displaying a selection of photographs taken around his property, explained the message he wished to convey in his photos. "You really don't have to go far from home to see wonderful things in nature," he said.

He and fellow photographer Dwight Folts were able to name every Western New York location, most of which were in Livingston County, in their photographs.

Local artist Sally Moses captured the same familiar scenes in her watercolors displayed outside Mattie's Ice Cream Parlor. "I always loved drawing," she said, though she did not begin painting until after her kids had grown and moved away. She said she now spends much of her free time painting in her home studio in Geneseo.

English professor Julia Walker promoted some of her original jewelry designs outside of Special Tees. Her work included pins and necklaces featuring historical women such as Elizabeth I and Joan of Arc. Her jewelry line, "smARTgirrrlART" features the tagline "Decorating with and for smart girls of all ages." Walker said she simply enjoys creating the pieces. "It's a lot of fun and it doesn't require a lot of talent," she said with a laugh.

Sporting both abstract paintings and handcrafted jewelry further down Main Street, Kathleen Armitage was amused by compliments on her jewelry designs. "This is what I do for fun," she said. "When I can't sleep, this is what I do."

Music store owner Buzzo, wearing a polka-dotted bathrobe, added a splash of color and sound to the mix, performing with his band on Center Street. Buzzo and company must have drawn the largest crowd of the day. With the road blocked off, the colorful musician and his performers sent vibrations down the length of the street, their powerful blues melodies punctuated by impressive trumpet solos.

Other locations on Main Street featured smaller shows of classic guitar and folk tunes, rounding out a variety of musical styles to enjoy while walking. The Community Steel Drum Band set up on the Southern end of Main Street.

For anyone inspired by the trip through the artistic side of Livingston County, the Geneseo Garden Club provided an outlet in the form of chalk. Anyone who wished could create a chalk drawing inside a pre-drawn "canvas" on the sidewalk, thus covering the street with peace signs, beach scenes and the occasional sports team logo.

The Annual Art Stroll provided Geneseo citizens with a leisurely environment in which to socialize and enjoy aspects of Livingston County life that they might not regularly encounter. The works of the featured artists attested to the beauty of Western New York and provided proof that this area need not look any farther for an abundance of culture and creativity than its own backyard.