Tonawanda News

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October 4, 2013

Skin Art

'Ink Art,' featuring work from American Skin Art artists, opens at gallery

Tonawanda News — The artists involved in the latest Partners in Art exhibition aren’t strangers to having their work on view. In fact, much of it is visible — in one way or another — on a daily basis, and on display in locations throughout Western New York and even the world.

It might be a little difficult to have it keep gallery hours, however.

In “Ink Art,” opening with a reception from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday at the River Art Gallery on Webster Street, drawings by tattoo artists Bob Bieber, Tiara Gordon and Otis Arterberry of Webster Street’s American Skin Art will be on display through Oct. 25. This is the first Partners in Art exhibit to take place since the business’ gallery across the street closed in August.

Glenna Sternin of Partners in Art said similar exhibits had been planned in the past, but fell through. Last year, Bieber approached Partners In Art and said he’d like to try again.

“This worked out perfectly,” Sternin said, “because here it is October and we have all these spooky things up on the walls. It’s a really nice show, very colorful, too. 

“It’s a little far out for us. We’re usually traditional; we have some extreme things sometimes, but these are really different. So it’s different for us, but everything went up nicely.”

The exhibit features about 25 works, all in colored pencil, in the three artist’s three distinct styles. Arterberry’s work in the exhibit tends toward bright colors; Gordon’s, more muted, with Bieber somewhere in between. Themes tend to center on the fantastical and the slightly macabre.

Bieber’s 10 pieces include the larger format “Skull Flower” and “Ship Storm,” with smaller works including Celtic-tinged “Viking” to the downright creepy “Voodoo Prayer.”

“These are what we do in our spare time,” he said. “They’re what we do for ourselves, things we want to do. We’re usually into fantasy and comic book art, just doing fantasy illustrations.

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