New event hits Chautauqua area

The Chautauqua Art Challenge, an event inspired by the Ridgway Chainsaw Carvers Rendezvous, is scheduled to hit Mayville, N.Y. on Sept. 24-29.The weeklong event, conjured up by Rendezvous genius Rick Boni, will feature a painting competition, clay competition, cardboard/fabric sculpture competition, ice carving competition, and wood carving competition."It's a wonderful opportunity," said Liz Boni of Appalachian Arts Studio. "It was probably a couple of years after the Rendezvous where Rick [Boni] thought it'd be really neat to have an event where you're really challenged. "He came up with this idea and we were contacted by the Chautaugua Suites [Hotel] right before the last Rendezvous to see if there was something that we could do for them up at Chautauqua."The Chautauqua Art Challenge will feature 16 artists from around the world competing against each other in multi media art forms."We contacted some carvers that are very versatile and in the carvers that we've met over the years, we've found out that many of them are multi-talented," Liz Boni said. "We contacted several carvers and we have one coming from England, one from Germany, we have Washington state, Colorado, Oregon, California, Pennsylvania, New York, and Delaware."Also in the mix is Chris "Snuffy" DeStefano of Ridgway."I'm going to do my best but I'm going to be challenged in all these events," DeStefano said. "There are a lot of very talented people coming from all over the world and I know some of them, and I'm looking forward to making new friends as well."