By Mia Summerson firstname.lastname@example.org
Niagara Gazette — NORTH TONAWANDA — Teachers, students and guests gathered on Saturday afternoon at the Carnegie Art Center to welcome the annual Partners in Art studio exhibit to its new home for 2014.
In previous years the annual show would take place in the gallery across the street from the Partners in Art Complex on Webster Street. When it had to close down because the lease was terminated, it left the Partners looking for a place to have the show. Joan Horn, a co-founder of Partner’s in Art, says she’s happy to be at the Carnegie Art Center.
“I think we’re a perfect fit here,” Horn said. “It’s big enough and it’s right around the corner. The Carnegie Art Center is an integral part of the North Tonawanda art community.”
Partners in Art began when Horn met Glenna Sternin while taking classes from local artist John Yerger in Buffalo. When the two decided they wanted to bring the program a little closer to home, Yerger was on board.
“We found a place in the Tonawandas and we cleaned it up, which was quite a job,” Sternin said. “Then it just kept growing from there.”
The Partners in Art Complex now includes an art supply shop, a teaching studio and is also the base of several other services offered by the Partners such as framing and mounting. The show at the Carnegie consisted of paintings done by both teachers and students.
Teachers at the studio offer classes in oil and watercolor painting as well as classes in landscapes and drawing. Oil painting students Myrna Magliulo and Phyllis Opera, who take classes from Horn, agree that they both have much to show for their time spent with Partners in Art.
“We have both really come a long way,” Opera said, admiring one of Magliulo’s oil paintings at the exhibit opening. “Painting has added a lot of my life.”
The Partners are happy to be able to contribute to the Carnegie Art Center, which they believe to be an important staple in the local art world, and the staff at the Center are just as happy to have them.
“It think it’s great for the Carnegie Art Center,” said Cindi O’Mara, who served on the Center’s board for seven years. “We have a good connection with Partners in Art, it’s a great place to go to learn, to create and to exhibit.”
All the learning and creating has paid off for the students, whose work will be on display alongside their teachers’ until May 2. One student, Leslie Fornalik, has recently been selected as one of 685 finalists out of 2,200 in an international competition through the Art Renewal Center.
“I’ll always be taking classes (with Partners in Art),” Fornalik said. “I’ll never stop learning. I love the creative energy there and how everyone helps each other.”
Horn and Sternin say that while their annual show is calling the Carnegie Art Center home for this year, next year is uncertain. Sternin says that the option of opening up a new gallery is still possible, finding the right location will be a difficult process.
The Carnegie Art Center is open Wednesday through Friday from noon to 3 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. To learn more about Partners in Art visit www.partnersinart.net. For more information on the Carnegie Art Center visit www.carnegieartcenter.org.Contact reporter Mia Summerson at 693-1000, ext. 4313.