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Cousins share their love and pursuit of art in North Tonawanda show

NORTH TONAWANDA – Three Western New York cousins went down different paths in their careers, but in their retirement years they have joined together with an interest in art. Their work will be on view in a show titled “Three Cousins” at the Partners in Art Gallery, 74 Webster St.

The show, which features the work of cousins Angelo F. LaDuca, Thomas Insana and Marilyn L. Wilson, opens with a reception Saturday as part of the North Tonawanda Art Walk and will continue through Aug. 23. A second reception will be held from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Aug. 17. All are Grand Island residents.

The Summer Art Walk on Saturday in North Tonawanda will also include “Sojurn” by Bart Taggert to benefit Carly’s Club at Roswell Park, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the River Art Gallery, 83 Webster St.; the Buffalo Society of Artists from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Carnegie Art Center, 240 Goundry St.; and “Mixed Message” by Laura Cott from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Project 308 Gallery, 308 Oliver St. Visitors can get a passport punched at each gallery and receive a free treat at Webster’s Bistro and Bar, 102 Webster St.

“The Three Cousins” will display 35 oil paintings by LaDuca, including still lifes, landscapes, portraits and four studies of famous paintings. Insana will show 22 charcoal, pastel and oil paintings, which include still lifes, trompe l’oeil and two studies of famous paintings. And Wilson will display 15 art pieces titled “Gemme Fatales,” a combination of hand-rendered photo images with jewelry pieces that can be worn.

LaDuca, a graduate of the University at Buffalo Law School and a former real estate agent with Realty USA, began to develop his art skills eight years ago, attending classes at the Partners in Art School. In 2010, he had his first one-man show, with more than 77 of his works on display. He also has also given talks about art for various community groups. His work offers a wide variety of styles, with an emphasis on realism.

Insana, five years younger, began studying art with the encouragement of his cousin at Partners in Art. During his college years, he had considered a career as an art illustrator but opted to pursue a teaching degree, which led to a career in school administration. He became the assistant to the superintendent of schools in Niagara Falls. Afterwards, he pursued a second career in insurance. Upon his retirement, he went back to his first love, dedicating more time to his art interests. His style of painting demonstrates a focus on detail and realism.

Wilson, 67, pursued a career in art, including teaching art in the Buffalo Public Schools and at SUNY Buffalo State. Her husband, Robert Wilson, taught art at the University at Buffalo, and her mother and daughter also have pursued art-related careers, proving that talent does run in the family.

Wilson has expressed her interest through modern art and was encouraged by her cousins to create a body of work to demonstrate her style. Her work in this show depicts the lives of famous women, by combining collage art and jewelry design.

Admission to the gallery is free. The Partners in Art Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.