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Western New York Artists Group 22nd Annual Regional Exhibition

60 Artists in One Show

Lots of beautiful and interesting artwork on view at the Western New York Artists Group annual exhibit at the newly named Artist Group Gallery, at One Linwood Avenue. About 60 artists showing about 80 works, including paintings, photos, and sculptures.

Among the high points, Norine Spurling’s superb watercolor in minimal sure-handed pure colors mainly, and darker color blends in shadowy or backdrop areas. The painting is called Three Senoritas and is remarkable for the way it conveys the flesh-and-blood reality of the three subjects in a few deft drawing and painting strokes.

And Jim Pappas’s heroic-looking, large-scale, untitled black and white screen print of textures more than forms, a few inchoate shapes seeming to but never quite emerging from the textures—circles or parts of circles, a hooked bar of some sort, maybe a face. A piece about the screen print medium more than any subject matter.

New Digs for Art Dialogue

No more confusion in the local art world about who or what’s at One Linwood. What used to be the Art Dialogue Gallery, but was always the exhibit location for the Western New York Artists Group, will now be known as the Artists Group Gallery, short form AG Gallery.

Art Dialogue Gallery, which is a business founded and owned and operated by Donald J. Siuta, is moving next door to Five Linwood.

Siuta is also the director of the Western New York Artists Group. He said the idea behind the new arrangement was “to define and enhance each entity as separate and distinct.” However, he said, the two entities would collaborate on arts projects and programming, and would share a common building entrance.

Refurbishments to both spaces are ongoing, and for the AG Gallery will ultimately include a gift shop, a classroom, a kitchen, and air-conditioning.

The target date for the opening of the relocated Art Dialogue Gallery is November 1, and the inaugural exhibit there will feature the work of prominent area artist Edward G. Bisone, a long-time friend of Siuta, who will curate the exhibit.

And Thomas Bittner’s uncommonly lovely inkjet print of gray-on-gray reflections of a uniform row of dark verticals on a placid water surface pattern of off-horizontal wavelets. The piece is called Windows Reflections.

Kathleen McDonnell has a very beautiful pastel and pastel wash piece in tones of gray to blue to green/black, depicting a raised mound of grasses and scrub growth and clump arboreal stand culminating above in wispy bare branches and clinging remnants of summer foliage, it looks like, obscured as to all detail by the morning thick mist and half-light. Everything delicate, quiet, perfect, awaiting bravely the imminent season’s storms and cold.

And Elaine Martynkiewicz two beautiful tile wall surface encaustic works, one in off-white tones, one in egg-tempera blends of spectrum colors over an off-white base.

Donald Sheller has a comic conundrum work built on multiple puns and parodies of artwork of other artists. It’s a kind of Joseph Cornell box in three sections, one about a pear (featuring a painting of this fruit, with the legend, à la René Magritte, “This is not a pear”), one about “pair” (featuring a poker hand containing two pairs, actually, a pair of pairs), and one about “pare” (featuring a paring knife) and illustration of a partially pared citrus fruit). The mind boggles, slightly. The title of the work is Nice Pair! (Which doesn’t quite work, however, given that there are three items here, not two.)

Bill Krause has a couple of cartoonish grotesque biddy types on a bench, with not unintentional incongruous reference in the heavy black drawing outlines and more or less monotone infill areas to stained glass. The piece is called The Gossips.

And Joseph Whalen a mixed-media comical caricature in black outline and blended watercolors of a bunch of old topers in a bar, called Old Men Don’t Sing Young Men’s Songs.

And shades of the 1960s: Donna Jordan Dusel has an inkjet photo of the inside of a schoolbus, in garish psychedelic colors and patterns, including a passing reference to tie-dye. Looking out the front window at a huge image of a flower. The title of the piece is OOOOO, On the Magic Bus.

And from John M. Gerovac, two photos about texture. The one an accidental arrangement of fractured thin ice on a pond or puddle, it appears, juxtaposing a skewed star pattern of the fracture lines, a chaos pattern of trapped air bubbles, flattened and frothed, in the fracture areas, and murky, intense dark blue in an area of integral smooth ice over water. The other a juxtaposition of geometrical regular and rust-deteriorated irregular pieces of sheet iron. Two huge perfect circles drilled in one of the geometrical pieces look like owl eyes. The torn and roughened edges of the rust-deteriorated pieces can look like anything at all, but you can’t miss a horse image, and maybe a pig or two.

The Regional Artists show was juried by Grace Meibohm. The show continues through November 15.

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