LEWISTON – Gasport watercolorist Kathleen S. Giles has had quite a year. She won the Best of Show award last weekend at the Lewiston Art Festival – on the heels of winning the very same award, for a different painting, at Buffalo’s Allentown Art Festival in June.

“This is such an honor to get this award,” she said. “It’s difficult to win Best of Show with a watercolor when you’re up against oils and sculptures and all kinds of great things.”

This is the second time she captured top prize in Lewiston. The first time was 2000, which she described as her “earlier days.”

“I’ve been painting professionally for 17 years,” she said.

The painting that captured top prize in Lewiston is “Peonies in the Spotlight.” Giles said she often paints subjects from her own gardens surrounding her Gasport home. Her Allentown winner, “Where’s Lily?,” featured her toddler granddaughter behind a sheer curtain.

Giles maintains an art gallery and studio at her home at 2336 Hartland Road, Gasport ( While this is her final outdoor show of the year, she will hold her 17th annual art studio and gallery open house from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 23-24 and is also open to the public year-round by appointment (795-9368).

The Lewiston Art Festival, sponsored by the Lewiston Council on the Arts, featured the works of more than 175 professional and student artists from 13 states.

Other winners last weekend included Mary Granger, who took top honors in the oil and acrylic painting category for “Undone,” and Susan Miller, who won first place in watercolors for “Before Long.” Photographer Shawn Kosmala earned the top award for “Shell,” and Carol Maltby took top place in graphic arts and drawing for “The Straw Hat.”

In the sculpture category, Mark English earned top marks for “Gourmet,” while Kathryn Nidy Cukier took home first place for contemporary hand-weaving for mixed media. In the Artistic Craft categories, Elizabeth Keil took home the top prize for jewelry with “Midnight Flower,” especially impressive because she was a College Alley student exhibitor. In the Artistic Craft Other category (glass, wood, fiber, ceramics, etc.), Julianna Drumheller earned the top award for her ceramics entry, “Waterfall Bowl” and top prize for Best Booth display went to Robin Strauss.