Dave’s Diner in Cazenovia underwent substantial changes on Sunday, April 15.
While no adjustments were made to the menu, the artwork displayed on the restaurant’s walls was updated by local group Cazenovia Arts. The art that had been hung for the past few months was taken down by its creators and replaced with about 50 new pieces.
“I think it’s good timing. Spring is in the air, and we wanted to change up the décor. [Restaurant Owner] Bill Tilison has very graciously allowed us to totally take over the diner’s walls, so we try to exhibit as much as we possibly can,” said Cazenovia Arts Director Barbara Cloud Wells. “I’m excited because it gets our local artists some recognition. For such a small town, I’m amazed at the ability of our artists in Cazenovia … I really believe in them. I think they’re wonderful.”
Wells said the works will remain for at least the next couple months, before she starts planning for the next exhibition. The colorful works that formerly occupied the walls are available for purchase, as are the newly-hung pieces. Both art-enthusiasts and patrons of Dave’s Diner can view the art at any time during business hours.
“The artists are great and their work is amazing. I asked Barb a while back if there would be any interest in displaying the art, and the response was overwhelming,” Tilison said. “With more than 1,500 customers coming through the diner a week, it gives the artists great exposure and we have gained new customers who have come in just for the art and stay to grab a bite to eat.”
Established by Col. Jim Ladd in 1973, Cazenovia Arts currently boasts more than 80 members — including Ladd’s daughter Anne Ladd.
Wells co-directs the group with the help of her husband, Chris Nevison, and organizes the large exhibits — which have become an increasingly common occurrence, she said.
Cazenovia Arts used to have two events each year, the Dark Aisle show at Lorenzo and the annual display during Winter Festival. Currently, Wells and Nevison are gearing up for a busy summer. In addition to their two big exhibitions, the local organization will be displaying its works within the showrooms at Johnny Appleseed, at a CazCares benefit on May 12 and during an “Easy Easel” event along Albany Street sidewalks the week of July Fourth.
Cazenovia Arts members’ pieces can also be found in numerous businesses throughout town. Works by Wells and Nevison can currently be seen in Circa, and the organization is working together with local store owners to feature art in their shops.
“We’ve found that many merchants are very interested in having local decoration, and what is a better decoration than some lovely art?” Wells said. “We’re part of them, and the merchants are part of us, so we’re just trying to help bring Cazenovia together.”
Pierce Smith is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at 434-8889 ext. 338 or firstname.lastname@example.org.