Strohl gallery store offers local, wearable art pieces

Rachael Le Goubin | Staff Photographer
The Strohl Art Center gallery store features a variety of handcrafted pieces from local artists.

The Strohl Art Center gallery store offers an array of handcrafted pieces created by variety of artists. From jewelry to scarves to purses, the store offers unique pieces of “wearable art,” said store manager Lynn LeFauve.

The store is located in the rear of the Strohl Art Center’s first floor and is open for two more days this season, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.

LeFauve said that, sometimes, artists come to Chautauqua and see the store and ask for their work to be sold there. Judy Barie, director of galleries, often finds artists around the Pittsburgh area and refers them to LeFauve, she said.

LeFauve lives outside the New York City area and finds artists from craft shows held in Connecticut, New Jersey and Long Island, she said.

“New York City is a great resource,” said LeFauve, on finding artists that meet her criteria to feature in the store.

The store also features pieces with familiar Chautauqua themes and images of the iconic Miller Bell Tower, many of them made by Chautauquan artists — like the work of Jamie Jamison and Gail Gamble.

“We really do try to spread the wealth around, but we’re very happy to have our local Chautauqua artists represented as well,” she said.

According to LeFauve, jewelry is “without a doubt” always a best-seller.

“It’s about what people gravitate toward or are attracted to,” she said. “Jewelry is very attractive and it’s very easy to take with you and travel with.”

LeFauve is a retired art teacher, a jeweler and a painter, and said her background in the fine arts helps in her decision-making process on what pieces she chooses for the store.

LeFauve said among the most “exotic” pieces the store offers are handmade wooden purses.

“We sold out last year and we’re almost sold out this year, because they’re a specialty item, they’re just not anything you see around,” she said. “They’re very unusual and you’re buying a piece of wearable art.”

LeFauve said her goal is to ensure the store is full of unique and high-quality pieces of such wearable art.

“That’s what we pride ourselves in, that the work that we have is crafted and beautifully designed by excellent craftsmen and its just another form of art,” LeFauve said. “That’s what I love having in the store.”