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The December Art Market On Amherst Street

When Sue ‘Frenchy’ Cholewa first purchased the old Howie’s Appliance building on Amherst Street, she knew it was going to be an uphill battle to get people to believe in her decision. Why would shoppers go to Amherst Street when Hertel Avenue and Elmwood Avenue were both right around the corner? Those questions didn’t stop her from purchasing the building, and those questions didn’t stop her from testing out a few different scenarios. First, the thought was to host some artistic parties in order to draw attention to the space. That worked. It wasn’t long before the folks from Lightmakers were circling. Eventually Lightmakers bit and set up shop, if not just for a year.
After that first year in which the shop became more of a storage unit than an actual interactive operating business, Frenchy and Lightmakers went their separate ways and once again the storefront was empty. It was then that Frenchy decided to take advantage of the growing artistic community in the neighborhood. She sent out a call for artists and opted to turn her old world storefront into a cooperative art market. Thankfully, she has been overwhelmed with responses and over the last few days she has enlisted the artists, her friends and students in her North Tonawanda high school French class, to help pull the art market together.
I popped in yesterday to see what all of the fuss was about. Do you remember when Tom Sawyer enlisted his friends to help him paint the fence (his chore) by making it look like the job was fun? Soon, Tom was sitting under a nearby tree while his friends painted the fence. That was the scene that I came across when I walked into the whirlwind of activity – except that Frenchy was right there helping, alongside all of her friends. The crew was working hard to prepare for Saturday evening’s opening reception of the December Art Market. I took a look at the art and the handmade gifts and was honestly impressed with the quality of the items for sale.
I would imagine that the overall intention of this art market is two-fold. The more visitors that get to visit the space the better. It’s a beautiful interior that people just need to see and the added exposure for Amherst Street is key. As a matter of fact, the market is located next door to Artsphere Studio and Gallery. Second, I would hope that a few of these artists decide to call this gallery/studio/market ‘home’ in the future. The location is perfect as an artist incubator site. And now that I have seen it as an art market, I can’t imagine it as anything else.
Be sure to stop by Saturday evening (November 29th) from 6pm-9pm to see what it’s all about. The gallery is located at 464 Amherst Street between Elmwood and Grant.
Post reception hours are (November 28th through December 28th): T-F 11am-7pm | Sat 10am-6pm | Sun 11am-5pm

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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