By Danielle Haynes
The Tonawanda News
Tonawanda News — From pastels of animals to watercolors of nature scenes, the Kenmore Art Society is presenting something for everyone at their 56th annual spring show, opening Saturday at the Partners in Art Gallery in North Tonawanda.
It’s the society’s big spring show, one they’ve held at the North Tonawanda art space nearly every year for about the past 15 years, said Glenna Sternin, proprietor of the Webster Street gallery.
“They’ve been with us pretty much since our beginning,” Sternin said. “They really like our gallery ... perhaps because our dark walls make their pictures stand out so nice.
“They like the way we have all our receptions,” she said, adding the show will open to the public Saturday with an artists’ reception from 4 to 6 p.m., with wine and other refreshments.
New to this year’s reception will be musical entertainment by the band Pro Bono, which is led by the husband of one of the artists.
Kenmore Art Society exhibit chair Sara Rosiek said some 36 members of the society will be represented in this spring’s show with oil paintings, acrylics, watercolor, mixed media, pastels and photography.
“The creativity and the subject matter is wide open and I think it’s an exciting show because of that,” she said. “There’s a little bit of everything for everybody.”
Debra Isula, roughly 15-year veteran of the society, submitted two watercolor paintings to the show. She said she’s inspired by oil painter Thomas Kinkaid in style, but prefers the flexibility of watercolors.
“It’s so simple,” the Tonawanda resident said of the medium. “You always have all your paints right there in front of you on a palette ... you don’t have to open tubes each time and it doesn’t dry really fast.”
“You can do so many different textures with salt and alcohol. You can make it thicker so it looks like oils or thin so it looks like a soft watercolor painting,” she added.
Some artworks on display in the show will be available for purchase, like those by Isula, who has sold some 112 paintings over the course of her 34-year art career. Some of her paintings permanently hang at the Buffalo Zoo — animals are a favorite subject of hers — area restaurants and the Schofield Residence in Kenmore.
A new addition to the Kenmore Art Society spring show this year is Kenmore pastel artist Anne Moot, who joined the group in August 2012. Her very first show was the society’s juried show in September where she won best in show.
“I have no place to go but down,” she said with a laugh, explaining she took up pastel drawing a couple years ago as a way to fill up some free time.
She began by taking continuing education art classes. Her teacher suggested she join the Kenmore Art Society to get a chance to show her work and learn through networking with other artists.
“I haven’t been at this very long so I’m still trying to find my style,” Moot said. Using pastels is “not as simple as it may sound. It’s really quite a difficult medium because you’re working with what looks like a peace of chalk ... you have certain limitations because there aren’t different shapes and sizes of chalk” like with paintbrushes.
Moot will have to wait until Saturday to find out if she’ll have a repeat-performance of her best of show honors from last fall. The spring show is being judged by native Western New York artist Dean Vigyikan, a Utah-based illustrator who works in oils and acrylics and has recently dabbled in sculpture. He will select best in show, first, second and third places, and honorable mention.
“I think people are just impressed with the talent of the Kenmore Art Society” and the variety of media and subject-matter, Rosiek said.IF YOU GO • WHAT: Kenmore Art Society's 56th annual spring show • WHEN: Saturday through May 24; opening reception 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday • WHERE: Partners in Art Gallery, 74 Webster St. • COST: Free • MORE INFORMATION: Visit www.partnersinart.net, or call 692-2141. Contact features editor Danielle Haynes at 693-1000, ext. 4116, or follow her on Twitter at @DanielleHaynes1.