Tom Toles' editorial cartoons gathered in a fine art gallery. That's almost a punch line by itself.
The work of Toles, The Buffalo News' editorial cartoonist for 20 years before leaving for the Washington Post in 2002, will be celebrated in a Burchfield-Penney Art Center exhibit opening Friday.
Toles is "not known for his elegant strokes of the pen," as one critic put it. But the impact of his images -- the pen as blunt instrument -- resonates far beyond his little square of newsprint in the Post and other newspapers nationwide.
Current Buffalo News editorial cartoonist Adam Zyglis, who credits the Pulitzer Prize-winning Hamburg native as a career inspiration, describes Toles' style as a message from the head that lands in the gut. Toles taught him to find his own path to an issue, Zyglis says, even if "I looked up to his mind more than his hand."
In the halls of the Burchfield-Penney, viewers can decide for themselves whether Toles belongs.
-- Andrew Z. Galarneau
"Caustic Ink: The Political Cartoons of Tom Toles"
Friday through March 25
Burchfield-Penney Art Center
1300 Elmwood Ave.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Admission: $5 adults; $4 seniors 65 and over.
Information: 878-6011 or www.burchfield-penney.org