Art In the Garden

Ellicottville’s Fall Festival has a little something for everyone - food, music, shopping, scenic chairlift rides - plenty of options are available to people visiting the weekend of Oct. 11-12.  Perhaps one of the most interesting venues is an art gallery that offers its visitors a very unique viewing experience.  Take a short walk up Mill Street two blocks, head down Rockwell Avenue and you will find yourself at the home of Darlene Allen and her magnificent garden, which, for one day only will be transformed into an art lover’s paradise.  Welcome to Art in the Garden.

For eight years running, people have been making the short trek to Rockwell Ave. for this event, and upon arrival have been treated to a cornucopia of artistic inspiration.  Not only does Darlene have art on display in her garden art center, there are actual artists doing their thing and making pieces on location throughout the afternoon.

“Fall Fest is always a smorgasbord of people, sights, food, music and art,” stated Darlene.  “We thought it would be fun to offer a little more relaxed environment where people can watch artists working and interact with them.” 

Everything about the setting is focused on inspiration, creativity and serenity.  “At the Art in the Garden event, you can better imagine what a piece of artwork might look like in your home or office space and do it on your terms,” said Darlene.  “The Garden itself is also a very casual and healing atmosphere for the artists while they work.”

Darlene went on to say that one of the things she enjoys most about Ellicottville is the relaxed lifestyle that this area allows her to have.  Being an avid appreciator of art in all forms, she wanted to be able to do her part to help showcase some of the very talented artists in this region.  With that goal in mind, and knowing what a huge draw many of the festivals in this area have, she decided that Fall Festival was an opportune time to facilitate a gathering of artists, who could then showcase their talents to people they might not otherwise ever have a chance to meet. 

Having the ability to meet the artists is instrumental. “All real art has a story behind it, and when you can talk to the artist who created it ... well, that changes everything - maybe even you,” said Darlene.

The artistic focus is primarily on two-dimensional works in both painting and drawing, however, there will also be some fascinating three-dimensional pieces in the garden created by the very talented Ellen Paquette (  Paquette, who specializes in pot illustration, theatrical poster design and illustration, scenic design and costume design, is also a professional Celtic harpist and will be performing in the garden for everyone to enjoy. 

If you’ve visited Darlene Allen’s garden in the past, you probably already have time set aside to visit again on Oct. 11.  If you have not yet been exposed to Art In the Garden, take some time and discover what’s been sitting right around the corner all these years.  You’ll undoubtedly meet some new friends and perhaps even walk away with a great piece of art … an everlasting reminder of just one of the unique things you love so much about Ellicottville in the fall.

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