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Colin Toomey "Believe in Boxes" Exhibit

Colin Toomey shows his personal story at the solo exhibit. PHOTOS BY JASMINE WILLIS

By Jasmine Willis

DANSVILLE — A unique artist has taken over the solo exhibit this month at the local art center.

Visual Artist, Colin Toomey has created something that interprets personal storytelling in his work at Dansville ArtWorks. His work will be on display this month in the solo exhibit room.

Believe in Boxes comes alive in the art center. PHOTOS BY JASMINE WILLIS

“Believe in Boxes” came to life over the long months of quarantine. When the country was in turmoil over the Covid 19 Pandemic artists were locked away to create.

Toomey said this is the first time he had an entire exhibit devoted to his work. It took him about eight months to do the work on display.

ISOLATION 2020 is Colin's favorite piece and took the longest. PHOTOS BY JASMINE WILLIS

“I came up with Believe in Boxes after my character Box Head. It all came together around him. I did most of my work during the quarantine. I only did a couple of these before the Covid 19 happened,” he said. “I felt like I could be more creative during quarantine. I had large parts of uninterrupted time to work on my art. I don’t know many young artists like myself who get to have their own solo exhibit. I was glad to have such a nice turnout on the opening night.”

Toomey said there are a few of his pieces that really speak to him personally and tell a specific story.

“I usually come up with an idea for a piece and it will turn into something completely different when I am finished. I have made up my own website and businesses cards now to show off my work after getting this exhibit,” he said. “I fell in love with the idea of showing my work after the winter exhibit last year. I really loved being part of that. It was the first time I ever had my work in a gallery. I want to be part of more group shows like that in the future. I really enjoy being in group shows and seeing other people’s work. I learn a lot from other artists in those exhibits.”

The dog tells the story about his childhood dog. PHOTOS BY JASMINE WILLIS

Toomey has always been inspired by the 1970s and 80s artists, but he still likes to keep his own voice and style in his work.

“There are a few that really speak to me in this exhibit. Isolation 2020 is my favorite one. I took a long time on that one. The dog one is about my childhood dog we had to put down recently. The skull one is about the pain and anger I was going through when I broke my jaw. I had to have three plates put in my face,” he said. “The screaming head one was a challenge since it was the first time I ever did a series. The goldtooth one is the biggest painting I ever did. People can get a lot out of these paintings. I am just trying to find my own style.”

Every piece is different and unique in its own story. PHOTOS BY JASMINE WILLIS

Toomey said he enjoys the story coming alive as he paints his work on the canvas.

“Sometimes the story is simply the painting itself. Sometimes they come from real life experiences. I am proud of the process. I have learned a lot during this solo exhibit,” he said.

Dansville ArtWorks located at 153 Main Street in Dansville. Visit Toomey work at They are open Wednesday to Thursday from noon to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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