VACI Gallery Store offers ‘something for everyone’

Handmade art is available for purchase at the VACI Gallery Store. CAM BUKER/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

The gallery store in Strohl Art Center, with its hundreds of artworks and gifts, is like a gallery within a gallery.

Lynn LeFauve estimates this is her sixth summer running the Gallery Store. A retired high school art teacher from Brooklyn, LeFauve was introduced to Chautauqua Institution 37 years ago and has been coming here ever since. She teaches art classes for Special Studies and works at the Gallery Store three times a week.

Managing the shop in the Strohl Art Center keeps her busy during the off-season as well. LeFauve, who does about 90 percent of the ordering for the store, starts looking for new artists to represent as early as December.

LeFauve, who lives outside New York City the rest of the year, makes the rounds of the Union Square Holiday Market, the Grand Central Holiday Fair and the Columbus Circle Holiday Market. She also goes to the NY NOW market at Javits Center.

“It is enormous, and it takes me at least two days to get through it,” she said.

In all, the Gallery Store sells works by 70 artists from across the country. LeFauve estimates that 60 to 70 percents of the artists represented in the store have sold work there before, but every year she aims to find a dozen or more new artists for the summer.

Having a nine-week season is both a blessing and a curse. It takes about two weeks to ready the store for the summer.

“Essentially, we are setting up a brand new store every single year,” LeFauve said. “I have great assistants. I could not do this without them.”

LeFauve takes pride in putting together a store that’s she said has been hailed by visitors as a “museum-quality gift shop.”

“My job is delightful,”  she said. “I love to see the artwork and meet the artists.”

LeFauve said some of the best-selling items at the store are jewelry, scarves, purses, straw baskets, leather purses, wood items, obsidian wind chimes and ceramics. Prices range anywhere from $4 to $400.

“There’s really something for everybody,” LeFauve said. “I want them to come and enjoy.”

Gallery Store hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays.

Tags : Gallery StoreStrohl Art CenterVACI Gallery Store

The author Adrianna Jereb

Adrianna Jereb covers visual arts for The Chautauquan Daily. The Wisconsinite is a rising senior at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, studying English creative writing and Spanish. Her interests include reading, writing, yoga, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and compiling Spotify playlists. After graduation she plans to work as a journalist, think about grad school and adopt a shelter dog.