By Danielle Haynes
The Tonawanda News
NORTH TONAWANDA — One might not think digital photo manipulations and Victorian- and 1950s-inspired pill box hats make natural bedfellows, but the two media have come together under the roof of the Project 308 Gallery for an exhibit opening Saturday.
Buffalo State College communication design students Monica Consiglio and Gina Figura have partnered up to feature their at-once very different and very similar designs as part of their senior thesis show.
Consiglio, a 2008 Kenmore East graduate, designs small, pill-box hats she said are inspired by the Victorian era and even 1950s pinup girls. She calls her personal style very eclectic and said most of her hats are made entirely in black or dark jewel tones, though she's also inspired by the pastel colors typical in the Rococo era.
"I'm an old soul so I like a lot of old things," she said. "The way things were made back then, there was a lot of care taken."
The Town of Tonawanda native said in addition to her hats, the exhibit will feature the logo and branding for the new milliner shop she plans to open soon.
"I hope to be a graphic designer, whether its freelance or working at a firm," she said, adding that she'd like to focus on branding and identity.
Figura, who's in the same program at Buffalo State with Consiglio, said their pieces go together well because they have very similar tastes and tend to invoke a vintage feel. Figura creates digital photo manipulations using either existing photographs, or ones she's taken herself.
The images she used for the Project 308 Gallery show are older family photographs from the 1920s. She describes her images as surreal and full of whimsy.
"I want (the pieces) to give (viewers) a sense of me and how I think and how I twist reality in my mind," Figura said, describing her art-making as an internal process.
The Ransomville native said she plans to use her communication design degree to work as a graphic designer in advertising or in package design.
Gallery owner Natalie Brown said she's looking forward to the marriage of the two media in the upcoming show.
"I think they're going to make it cohesive by playing off each others' styles and colors and making sure the works aesthetically go together," she said.
The show's opening reception is 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday. It will be up at the gallery until April 10. The gallery's regular hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday and by appointment.
IF YOU GO • WHAT: Exhibit featuring the works of Monica Consiglio and Gina Figura • WHEN: Saturday through April 20; opening reception 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday • WHERE: Project 308 Gallery at 308 Oliver St., North Tonawanda • MORE INFORMATION: Call the gallery at 523-0068.
Contact features editor Danielle Haynes at 693-1000, ext. 4116.