Wild Renaissance Portrait Exhibition opens March 8

The Cattaraugus County Arts Council (CCAC) is pleased to announce a new exhibition at their Art on Main Gallery at 100 W. Main St. in Allegany. The public is invited to the opening reception of Wild Renaissance: Portraits by Ellen Paquette on Friday, March 8, from 6-8pm.

Inspired by European High Renaissance painting and the fortuitous discovery of a stash of well- worn picture frames in an old family home, this collection showcases Paquette’s skill as well as her keen sense of humor. The ornate antique frames serve as perfect companions to artist’s unique and imaginative animal portraits. Speaking of her collection, Ms. Paquette commented, “Renaissance subject matter varies from the religious to the domestic, but attention to detail, symbolism, saturated color and lushly portrayed surfaces and textures are common throughout. I’m especially drawn in by Renaissance portraiture and the sensitivity and perception of artists like Holbein, Bronzino, Ghirlandaio, van Eyck and Memling.”

Anne Conroy-Baiter, CCAC’s Executive Director says of her work, “We’re very happy to be introducing Ellen Paquette to the region. Ellen is from Warren, PA, but she and her husband, artist Thomas Paquette, have become involved with the arts council during the past year. Ellen’s show here at CCAC is some of the cleverest work we’ve seen in a while. Her sense of humor and appreciation for both history and animals shine through in her series of Renaissance-inspired portraits. I’m also happy to say that Ellen will be participating in the 2013 Routes to Art open studio tour with her paintings, as well as her line of plush toys, The Wee Beasties, which she sells online at”

An accomplished painter in both oil and acrylics, the artist holds a BA in Art and has extensive experience in spot illustration, decorative and trompe l’oeil painting, and theatrical scenic and costume design. She is also a juried Pennsylvania Wilds Artisan and a longtime member of the faculty of the Warren County Summer Music School. Examples of her work can be seen at and

The opening reception for Wild Renaissance is free and open to the public and will feature introductory remarks from the artist as well as complementary refreshments and hors d’oeuvres. The exhibition will remain on display until April 30, 2013.

The Cattaraugus County Arts Council is a nonprofit organization that has served the greater Cattaraugus County region for more than 15 years with quality arts programs and services. CCAC is funded by the New York State Council on the Arts and by members and donors. For information, see