OLEAN — Local artist Victoria Swier will exhibit her work at the Olean Public Library beginning Oct. 2 as the library has been reaching out to area artists to gauge interest in exhibiting in the library’s gallery.
“We’ve been putting out calls to local artists ever since we let the (New York State Coalition on the Arts) grant go,” said Michelle La Voie, library director. “We felt it would be a win-win situation.”
The grant La Voie was referring to funded the opportunity to bring art projects from outside the area to Olean.
“What we were really finding was that the exhibits tended to not be so well attended,” La Voie said.
So she discontinued the grant requests to enable the library to bring in local artists, whose exhibits have been much more popular. It enables the local community to see locally made art and allows artists to promote their work in the community.
Swier was born and raised in Olean and credits her grandfather, Chester “Chet” Swier, who was a painter and art teacher at Cuba Central School, with her passion and talent. She’s now back in Olean.
“While I enjoyed my travels and the art scenes in New York City and Charleston, South Carolina, I have a strong tie to Western New York and life just seemed incomplete without it,” Swier said. “I am very grateful to be able to showcase my work for the community that I love so much. … I hope to continue to bring intriguing art to this part of New York, much like my grandfather did.”
Most of her work on display will be those architecturally-inspired two-dimensional works.
“I have tried many different mediums over the years and while I do get bursts of inspiration to paint, sculpt and photograph, my preferred medium is simple pen and ink,” Swier explained. “This means that a lot of my work is black and white, but when I do decide to add color I usually use a combination of marker/color pencil. Together they creature a very rich and vibrant palette that I am able to blend almost as paint blends.”
She said there will also be several 3D pieces on display that are what she calls “Halloween Houses,” old dollhouses found in various yard sales and antique shops that she reimagined into small, spooky scenes.
“I love working on small-scale projects like these because the work is meticulous and very detail oriented,” Swier said. “I think the public will enjoy seeing tiny worlds where everyday objects are shrunk down.”
La Voie said two scenes will set up in library display cases, with the stories of their inspiration for Swier accompanying them.
The Friends of the Library will host a reception for Swier at 7 p.m. Oct. 10. The public is invited to attend and meet to talk to the artist about her work.