Tonawanda News — After a year spent highlighting some of the area’s best up-and-coming artists, North Tonawanda’s Project 308 gallery is taking its mission to the streets.
Oliver Street, to be precise.
The first Project 308 Art Festival will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday on Oliver Street, which will be closed between Schenk and Robinson streets. Gallery owner Natalie Brown said about 50 vendors are expected to take part, including artists and crafters with wares that feature jewelry, paintings, blown glass and more
“I want to bring the art closer to the community,” she said. “Sometimes this area isn’t exposed to the art world as much as other areas. I wanted to give them some exposure to local talent and crafts and music and food.”
There will also be food, including Lumber Jake’s Burgers and Shakes and a vendor of homemade pastelillos, and wine tastings from The Traveling Vineyard. Musical performances will be presented by Erin Welsh and DJ Kéh Rahj. Performances will also take place inside the gallery, with dancers from the Marjorie Blakely Dance Studio of Erie Avenue at 11 a.m. and those from Danceamour at 1 p.m. Hula-Hoopers will perform and have hoops for sale, and a children’s station will include activities for younger festival-goers.
Many of the artists involved have been those with past exhibits at Project 308, Brown said.
“I think it’s going to be interesting that it will have both artists who aren’t familiar with the gallery, this is their first time being involved with a Project 308 event, but then we’re going to have a lot of artists that have had shows here,” she said. “That’s what I like about the gallery. One event can lead to so many other things.”
North Tonawanda resident Sherri Marranca’s artwork was featured in the gallery’s first show last year, an exhibit that was, in turn, Marranca’s first time exhibiting her work in a gallery. Saturday, she’ll be one of the artists taking part in the festival with her paintings.