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TWO NEW AREA GALLERIES OPEN BEAUTIFUL WINDOWS ON WORKS OF LOCAL ARTISTS

Local artists have two new venues in which to exhibit their wares in Niagara County, with the opening of galleries in Lewiston and Wheatfield.

Polonaise Gallery & Gifts at 522 Center St., Lewiston, features works of art from oils and watercolors to painted furniture, pottery and jewelry. Owner Pat Presutti also offers photography, painted and stained glass, clothing and cards. The works range in price from $10 to several hundred dollars, she noted, and are available framed and unframed.

In an unusual twist, a combination bed and breakfast and art gallery also recently opened at 7251 Knoll Drive, Wheatfield.

"This is something I've always wanted to do," said Presutti, a retired Lewiston-Porter French and English teacher, about her Lewiston gallery. "This space became available, so I grabbed it. We have a lot of wall space here and carry a number of Western New York artists and craftspeople. Everything is hand-done."

Presutti is a self-taught artist, working in mixed media, who has earned recognition at the Allentown Art Festival, Lewiston Fine Arts Festival and 100 Craftsmen Show in Lockport.

"We have nothing like this now on Center Street, and I'm tickled about it," Presutti said.

"For many years -- ever since I left teaching -- I've wanted to do something like this," she added. "This was the right time and the right place. I've made a lot of contacts through the art shows I've been in, and about half of the work I have here is from Rochester artists.

"In the future, I hope to acquire even more artists so that I can offer a wider variety in a wide range of sizes and prices," she said.

In Wheatfield, a tri-leSTYL not found vel home dubbed "Upper Gallery B&B" offers patrons a glimpse at the works of three local artists, with the promise of more on the way, according to owners Donna and Chuck Cederman.

Cederman is a retired wine distributor who earned his bachelor of fine arts degree in photography last year from the University at Buffalo.

"Chuck had worked in a number of local galleries and found it very interesting that there are so many good artists out there who aren't shown because they don't know the route to go," said Donna Cederman.

In combining the bed and breakfast, which opened in August, with the art gallery opening last month, "I knew that would solve my problem on how to decorate the bed and breakfast and make it very interesting," she said.

Aside from her husband's photos on canvas, the gallery currently features the works of Lynn Carr, a Niagara County artist working in oils, pastels and pencils, and the Cedermans' son, Michael, who produces photography and sketches.

They have hung the artwork throughout the two bedrooms the couple has designated as its bed and breakfast area, located on the top level of their home, as well as in a lower area of their residence, showcasing about 40 pieces to date, she said.

In an effort to provide privacy for their bed and breakfast guests, the couple invites visitors to see the artwork from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesdays; noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays; and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays, or by appointment (693-5656).

The artworks range in price from $15 to $300, and Cederman said that since their November open house they have heard from a number of interested artists, "so we'll have another open house in April. There are a lot of interesting artists in Niagara County. We'll show at least three artists (at a time). This is a way of growing and changing."

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