Gallery helps showcase works by local artists | News, Sports, Jobs

Pictured are some of the works on display inside the art gallery.

The gallery opened on Chautauqua Avenue in Lakewood in January 2018. In April of that year, it moved to its new location at 318 N. Main St. in Jamestown.

“I started the Chautauqua Art Gallery in 2018 in Lakewood to create a small art studio for myself and a place to display my paintings”, said Leslie Calimeri. “I was happy to be able to welcome a few other artists to exhibit their work at the gallery as well. Over time, I have had the good fortune to develop wonderful relationships with artists from the Chautauqua area. It quickly became apparent that in order for the gallery to thrive, we would need a larger space to work in and display the artwork these amazing artists were creating.

“In our new space, we have been able to increase the number of artworks we house as well as the variety. Regional Chautauqua artists and artists from our surrounding area have a distinct perspective and beautiful aesthetic, largely influenced by the unique landscape around us. I am delighted to be able to present their work to the gallery.

The gallery houses a variety of regional artwork by local artists that often encompasses local attractions or local wildlife. Items include paintings, photographs, ceramics, jewelry, hand-bound notebooks and note cards.

The Chautauqua Art Gallery is pictured at its new location on North Main Street in Jamestown. The gallery opened in Lakewood in 2018. PJ Photos by Sara Holthouse

The reopening event will take place today starting at 11 a.m. There will be an art-filled raffle all day, a ribbon cutting by the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce at 4:30 p.m., and a reception to follow from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., including drinks, snacks, and talk about ‘art.

For Calimeri, the Chautauqua Art Gallery is an important addition to Jamestown because of its ability to showcase local artists.

“We may be one of the only places to do this in the immediate area,” Calimeri said. “It’s a great way to showcase all the local artists who want to exhibit their work here. There is a lot of talent in our region and it’s nice to be able to experience everything together in one place.

Some items on display in the gallery are also available for purchase.

Additionally, Chautauqua Art Gallery also offers another small business to attract more interested people to the Jamestown area.

“It’s a place where people can gather and see artwork that is informed by the area we live in, but it’s also one more place for people interested in coming to visit, especially during this resurgence of small businesses”, Calimeri said. “Jamestown is a great place to be a part of and it’s a very welcoming community.”

Throughout the moving process, Calimeri said there were many helpers and visitors to the community.

“Dan Gates from the Frame and Glass Shop just across the street gave me directions to this building when we were looking for a space to buy,” Calimeri said. “The building’s previous owner, Tom Mason, looked after the space wonderfully. My husband Joe and I live in Jamestown with our family and are excited to continue the work Tom has done to keep this old building in beautiful condition and preserve our hometown. The building still has beautiful tin ceilings, original tile and hardwood floors, and beautiful built-in displays that were used in the Nords women’s clothing store, which I believe closed in 1983 Lots of people came over and told me they remembered shopping at Nords. .”

In addition, Calimeri also received help from companies.

“When we began modernizing the building, we were fortunate to receive a matching construction grant through the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation,” Calimeri said. “Frank Besse walked through the grant process with us and was exceptionally helpful as we worked to prepare the building for our gallery. We received a warm welcome from other small business owners, the Chamber of Commerce of Jamestown as well as festival and event organizers who plan events near the gallery.We are so excited to help build the community they have created here.

For those who are interested but may not be able to make it to the gallery, Calimeri said all works are available for both purchase and viewing on the website,, although that Calimeri said she always gets new works on there.

“I also look forward to offering a watercolor class in the future,” Calimeri said. “And if any local artists are interested in exhibiting or offering items here for people to buy, they can email me.”

Calimeri can be contacted at

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