Tonawanda News — Despite the blustery weather outside, things are heating up inside at the Project 308 Gallery in North Tonawanda this month.
The gallery at 308 Oliver St., is hosting a solo art exhibit by Buffalo artist Elise Kohler through March 20.
The abstract paintings feature acrylic on plexiglass and rubber stretched over canvas.
“I recently decided to delve into the world of abstract,” Kohler, 23, said. “Coming from a background of realistic art, working primarily with graphite pencil; I found myself tired of black and white and being confined to the constraints of a realistic image.”
Kohler said she had worked in graphite pencil for a long time but has only been doing abstract paintings for about seven months.
“I wanted something more exciting,” Kohler said. “I found abstract extremely appealing. I started experimenting with an array of colors in acrylic paint. Completely enthralled with how the colors popped on various surfaces, I started to paint on plexiglass and rubber. Satisfied with the outcome, I could not stop the urge to keep painting. Every new creation is a freeing experience for me, a perfect creative outlet.”
This is her first solo exhibit at a gallery. She has been doing art as a hobby with her artwork found in restaurants, bars and the College Street Gallery in Allentown, but her success with the show has made her think about it more seriously.
“I would describe my abstract paintings as fun, promoting a good feeling,” Kohler said, adding that she chose to use plexiglass and rubber because they are recycled materials.
“The opening was great. I didn’t know what to expect. North Tonawanda isn’t known as art central but it has been better than I expected and I’ve gotten a lot more exposure being at the gallery.”
Giving local artists exposure is exactly the goal of the Project 308 Gallery.