Tonawanda News — When Partners in Art Gallery closed this past fall, it left a hole of sorts on North Tonawanda’s Webster Street — not a physical one as much as a lack of opportunities for local artists to display and showcase their work in a gallery setting on the street.
That’s a lack that River Art Gallery and Gifts is doing its best to remedy.
The gallery will host its first member’s exhibition starting today at 83 Webster St., North Tonawanda, beginning with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. The exhibit, which features the work of about a dozen artists in various media, runs through Feb. 15.
Cindi O’Mara, the gallery’s new exhibition director, said the site is going for more of a gallery feel, as well as offering artists the opportunity to become members for an assortment of benefits, including participation in yearly members’, Canal Fest and Winter Walk shows.
“It’s really exciting, just to have another gallery,” she said. “We lost Partners, so this is helping to fill in that void along Webster Street.”
The members’ exhibition features work by a number of artists who have exhibited in the gallery in the past, as well as a few newcomers. O’Mara herself has three colored-pencil works in the show, which also features digital work, watercolors, oil paintings and more. Participating artists include Kathleen Dworak, Simon Faber, Coni Minneci, Jody Ziehm, Margaret Raab, Deanna Weinholtz, Brenda Molloy, Denise Sperry, Bart Taggart, Judie Pufpaff, O’Mara and others.
Lisa Langer, owner of both River Art Gallery and Gifts and Pencil in the River Studio, which is located upstairs in the former Tonawanda News building, said it’s all in support of the arts community. Langer has owned Pencil in the River, which offers a variety of professional services for artists, including museum and gallery giclée reproductions, for about 25 years.