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ArtWorks showcases new talents

Colin Toomey just started his creative journey. PHOTOS BY JASMINE WILLIS

By Jasmine Willis

DANSVILLE — The latest exhibit is on the walls and ready to be viewed in the local art center.

Dansville ArtWorks mostly has new talent this time around with artists coming from all over to get a chance at the famous art gallery.

Colin Toomey brought the urban scene with his large canvases to the gallery. This is the first time he has worked on paintings.

“I started out in graphic design a couple years ago. I started watching Youtube videos about how to paint, and decided I really loved to paint. I think it is a lot more expressive than graphic design. I am so new to all of this, so it is very cool to be part of the exhibit. I work at Tony’s Pizzeria and Salome (Farraro) told me to come try this out,” he said. “I would like to try and do some landscapes and portraits at some point. Right now, I will just stick to the street art theme.”

Sonja Olbert finds strength in the feather. PHOTOS BY JASMINE WILLIS

Sonja Olbert has been an artist for many years, but just now showcased her work in the gallery.

“I had recently moved to the area, and since I am an artist, I wanted to get more involved in the community. I want to continue to show my work and meet other artists in the area,” she said. “I always do abstract skyscapes. I love doing lots of clouds and sky colors. When I lived in New Mexico for a while I was fascinated with the feather. I did a lot of study on it. The feather is seen in a lot of my work. It came at a transformation in my life, and it means freedom and strength. It was about starting a new journey in my life.”

Andy Hare sold his ocean scenes in street fairs down south. PHOTOS BY JASMINE WILLIS

Andy Hare was a firefighter for 25 years in Batavia before he found his passion for art in Savannah, GA. Down there he worked on a lot of ocean paintings for the street fairs.

“I am new to the area. I wanted to get involved in the art gallery here. I have been an artist for about 15 years now. I lived in Savannah for about seven years on the coast. I was part of the Arts Association that was housed in the old jail down there. I painted a lot of ocean scenes and sold them to tourists in the street fairs,” he said. “I moved to Dansville since my wife got a job in Corning. I looked around for a place to show my work, and I found this art gallery in town. I have my ocean paintings here on consignment as well. All of my paintings are original on canvas work. They are all one of a kind.”

Art can be used for healing old wounds. PHOTOS BY JASMINE WILLIS

John Bunce found a way to heal by getting involved in art a couple years ago.

“I used to be an alcoholic, and this is how I got through it. I have been sober for four years now. A friend of mine told me to show my work, and I didn’t think it was gallery quality,” he said. “A close friend of mine built a guitar and asked me to paint it. The madness painting is how I felt when I was thinking about dark things. The Confusion one is how I feel when I go into the city. The Expression of Pain was done in squares with a knife. I do most of my paintings with a knife or a fork.”

Christine Ferrigno is finding new ways to express her creative soul. PHOTOS BY JASMINE WILLIS

The Student Art Showcase is January to February. The Upcycle Auction is going on until Nov. 30 with online bidding for the lovely art you see in the windows. Call for Artists is up for 2020 season online. For more information on any of these events or workshops go to

Winter Exhibit 2019 artists; John Bunce, Amy Carpenter, Syrena Carver, Ron Cook, Christine Ferrigno, Andy Hare, Laurie MacFarlane, Sonja Olbert, Dick Thomas, Colin Toomey, and Rich Warner. All work is available for purchase until Dec. 21.

Dansville ArtWorks is located at 153 Main St. Open Thurs. Fri. noon to 6 p.m. and Sat. 10 a.m. to

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