By Jill Keppeler
The Tonawanda News
— — There’s a whole lot of art going on in North Tonawanda’s galleries — and those who take part in the first Art NT Summer Art Walk will get the chance to see it all.
The Art Walk will take place Saturday at the Partners in Art Gallery and River Art Gallery on Webster Street, Project 308 on Oliver Street and Carnegie Art Center on Goundry Street. Each location will host a concurrent opening reception for its respective show that evening, with events kicking off as early as 4 p.m. and lasting as late as 8 p.m.
Visitors who take a passport — available at each of the locations — to be punched at all four galleries that night will also be able to stop by Webster’s Bistro and Bar at 102 Webster St. for a free treat.
Mary Simpson, director of the Carnegie Art Center, said the event is meant to cross-promote the city’s artistic offerings to the benefit of each venue.
“I think one of our roles here is to collaborate with other cultural institutions and promote the unique venues of North Tonawanda,” she said. “It’s been successful in other places and it gives visitors a real sense of North Tonawanda’s architecture and offerings.”
The Carnegie’s offering Saturday will be the opening of the Buffalo Society of Artists’ open member exhibition, with work ranging from paintings and drawing to photography and multi-media. The opening will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the center, and the exhibit will be on display through Aug. 23.
At Project 308 on Oliver Street, “Mixed Message,” a collection of work by Laura Cott will have its opening reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Gallery owner Natalie Brown said she was pleased to be asked to take part in the walk.
“I feel like a lot of people know about Buffalo art, and that’s awesome,” she said. “But our town is beginning to expand that idea and show off our talents. We have a nice mix, everything from traditional to modern, from people who have been around for a while to new people.
“It’s a good mix for people and you’re find something you’ll like. I’m just grateful they included me.”
Cott, a soon-to-be graduate of Buffalo State College, is originally from Derby. The exhibit includes mixed media work, paintings, drawings, print-making and sculpture from her four years of college, where she was a fine arts major with a concentration in painting. There are many landscapes and cityscapes, including major inspiration from a semester she spent in Tuscany, Italy.
While helping hang the show this week, Cott said the title of the exhibit represents the mix of techniques she uses as well as a mix of everything she’s done.
“The show is really a metaphor for a giant collage — which is kind of what I’ve been doing lately,” she said.
River Art Gallery at 83 Webster St. will host “Sojourn,” featuring the work of Bart Taggert, with an opening from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the gallery. The exhibit will run through Aug. 31.
The subjects of Taggert’s watercolors include many boats and ships, local scenes and the colorful “Flight of the Butterflies” featuring in the Art Walk passport.
Carolyn Perillo, assistant art director at the gallery, said that Taggart will donate half of the proceeds from the show to Carly’s Club at Roswell Park, which offers support programs for children diagnosed with cancer and their families.
“I think it’s awesome,” she said of the Art Walk. “I know a lot of people haven’t been to all the galleries. It’s a great collaboration.”
The Art Walk and the reception for “Three Cousins: The Work of Angelo F. LaDuca, Thomas A. Insana and Marilyn Wilson” from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday will mark the beginning of the end of an era at Partners in Art Gallery at 74 Webster St. This will be the gallery’s last exhibit before it closes, although future Partners in Art exhibit will take place at the River Art Gallery across the street.
“This is really exciting for us. Years ago I tried to get something like this going, but couldn’t,” said Glenna Sternin of Partners in Art, adding that they were contacted by the Carnegie to take part. “We just happened to have an opening that night, and they do too. ... There will be a lot of different kinds of things to look at.”
The works on displays at the gallery include oil paintings by LaDuca and Insana, with multimedia work by Wilson featuring jewelry items and images of “Femme Fatales” from Mata Hari to Bonnie Parker.
“It just seems to me wonderful that we can have something like this and get people interested in all the galleries in the area,” Sternin said. “They’ll see some wonderful galleries.”