Local artist makes Lewiston bank drive-up a gallery  

Benjamin Joe/contributorCUTLINE: Stephanie Casale stand at her gallery, an old bank drive-thru, to show off some of the work she does called it "Fluid acrylic art."

VILLAGE OF LEWISTON — On the corner of Seventh Street and Cayuga Street the drive-up bank kiosk has found a new owner and the outside is just the beginning.

Stephanie Casale is an artist who formerly had all her work displayed in her basement. When the opportunity came to buy the old bank office, she just knew it was perfect.

“I hand-painted each brick,” Casale said. “I wanted to do tile, put some tiles on the outside … it would be really hard to do, so I brainstormed and decided to paint it.”

Inside the building are various trays, coasters, paintings and a countertop all made the same way through blending acrylic paint with water and another chemical to make the final result flat.

“Get the acrylic paint to the right consistency and then you pour it in a cup and sort of flip the cup,” Casale said. “Then you take the cup off and it spreads around and you move it till you get the design you like it.”

Casale said that she likes to make art that is useful, so she makes trays, coasters, countertops, even a door. She will make paintings if asked but the core of what she makes can be considered utility art.

“I like to look at nature for color references. I had a picture of a beet, yesterday that had yellow, purple, white, so I put those colors together," Casale said. "I kind of look around and see organically what colors go together.”

Casale went to Lew-Port and then studied art at Buffalo State College before deciding to get her beautician license and did hair. Her husband owns a few apartments in Niagara Falls and Lewiston and Casale began picking out colors for the rentals. It was about then when she discovered the process by using it for a countertop. She called it “fluid acrylic art.”

The business tools to promote and sell the art are multi-layered for Casale. She’s shipped pieces as far as Dallas but says that most of her pieces are sold right in Lewiston. 

“I haven’t really built a website to sell stuff because when I do the festivals, it’s like everything is gone,” Casale said. “It does move fast, so, as I make something, I just put it up on Instagram or Facebook and just say ‘available.’ It seems to have been working good that way.”

Casale said that while she isn’t expanding the amount of festivals she’ll go to sell her art, she intends to continue to participate in those she’s already attended. More can be found on her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sjchandmade.