Niagara Gazette

Communities

June 28, 2014

Inspired by the Ontario Plain at the River Art Gallery

Niagara Gazette — NORTH TONAWANDA — Anyone who has spent time in the Great Lakes region knows that there is a lot of beauty there, so it's not really a surprise that so many talented artists have developed throughout the area.

Nearly a dozen of the most seasoned and talented artists from along the Ontario Plain have been brought together for a show of their skills. An exhibit called "The Ontario Plain Group of Twelve" is on display at the River Art Gallery through July.

"They're a collective group of artists from Niagara and Orleans Counties," said River Gallery Manager Cindi O'Mara. "Each (artist) is a little different, some do oil paintings, some do water colors and we also have a photographer. It's a really wide variety of things."

The subject matter in the art varies tremendously from piece to piece. There are landscapes, there are highly detailed portraits of Native Americans in traditional clothing and there are snapshots from along the Erie Canal, among other things.

Dennis Stierer took the Erie Canal photos as part of an Erie Canal Series that he has been working on for several years. What makes his work unique is that he makes use of very early photo developing techniques, even using cameras that would now be considered obsolete.

"I use old wooden cameras and make platinum palladium prints," said Stierer, who had previously worked as a newspaper photographer at the Union-Sun & Journal for 15 years. "I like making things from scratch. I've always worked with large film cameras and large sheets of real film. With just a long and delicate tonal scale, the archivability lasts forever."

River Gallery owner Lisa Langer says that the different ways in which the artists handle their media is what makes this unique show so wonderful.

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