Sarnicola: Shutter and Finger Lakes Art Council advance the creative cause | Lifestyles

Joe Sarnicola special for the citizen

“I’ve been interested in art ever since I was able to color when I was a young girl,” said Sandy Shutter, recalling her first box of 64 pencils with the built-in sharpener. Shutter is a local artist and the current Co-Chair of the Finger Lakes Art Council. “I like working with acrylic paints and textiles. I paint in oils now, and I would like to improve myself in this area.

There are significant differences between oil and acrylic paints. Acrylics work well on many surfaces, but dry very quickly, so the artist also needs to work quickly. Oil paint dries very slowly, giving the artist more time to work, but it must be applied over a primed surface due to its corrosive nature. And there are differences in the appearance of the two paints when dried.

Shutter developed as an artist from his early days of coloring, and his work has not gone unnoticed by the art community at large. She said, “My first exhibit was a national exhibit at the Women’s Rights National Historic Park in Seneca Falls. I heard they were looking for an artist to showcase, so I submitted samples of my work and got selected.

People also read …

She also has a mural on display in this same museum which was inspired by a sketch of the signers of the Declaration of Sentiments. This historic document was signed at the Seneca Falls Convention, the first conventions on women’s rights, in July 1848. Signatories included Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

Speaking about the painting, Shutter said, “The mural faces the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, the site where the convention was held. I used gold and purple because they are the colors of the women’s rights movement. As a defender of women’s rights as human rights, she makes jewelry and clothing art on the theme of women’s rights, and she has given jewelry-making workshops.

Her line of crystal grids is tied to her jewelry making, artistically fashioned using very small, colorful crystal shards meticulously mounted on matching pattern grids, many of which can be worn as necklaces. “I started working with crystals because they make me happy to work with them. I can focus the energy on something that is both beautiful and useful, and that others can relate to as well. Different patterns and crystals manifest different feelings and emotions.

Shutter was also commissioned for a special project at the Willard Memorial Chapel. The roof of the chapel is slate, and as the building has aged, pieces of slate have fallen off. Staff have been collecting them for years and Shutter has been commissioned to reproduce the many mosaics and stained glass on the slates.

Shutter described his involvement as a founding member of FLAC in 2013: “A few other local artists and I thought that a full arts council would be a good resource for artists in the community. Since then, the dedication of the board members and volunteers has kept it going.

According to the FLAC’s Facebook page, the organization’s mission is to “create an environment that supports, fosters, provides and promotes inclusive artistic programming open to all residents, artists and visitors to the Finger Lakes region.”

FLAC has sponsored local art events such as Art in the Park and has hosted several art festivals at the Presbyterian Event and Retreat Center at Case Mansion on South Street. FLAC is now partnering with the Downtown Auburn Business Improvement District, the New York State Equal Rights Heritage Center, and the City of Auburn on events that give local artists the opportunity to create, show and sell their work. We will post these opportunities as they are scheduled or scheduled.

For more information on Sandy Shutter and his works, visit For more information on FLAC and its events, please visit its Facebook page.

There are many local artists who deserve to be exhibited, and the Finger Lakes Art Council board members are grateful to The Citizen for this new monthly platform to promote local art and artists.

Joe Sarnicola is a craft artist and a member of the board of directors of the Finger Lakes Art Council.

Norma D. Ross