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Art show is a reference to Falls daredevils

NIAGARA FALLS – The Niagara Arts & Cultural Center’s 10th annual “Beyond the Barrel” show, which runs through Aug. 24, features more than 100 works from more than 40 artists.

Named in part as a reference to the daredevils who took on the falls in the past, the exhibit “really celebrates regional artists from Western New York and Ontario,” said Kathie Kudela, the center’s executive director.

The show opened in the center’s main gallery earlier this month.

Jonathan Rogers’ oil painting “Saint Steven” won first prize in the judged show, with Candace Keegan Master taking home second place for her mixed-media triptych “Defining Moments.” Nikki Catalano-Ritchey won third place for her clay sculpture “The Rabbit Died.”

Rogers, a Toronto native, put four of his oil paintings in the show. His winning piece depicts fellow NACC artist Steven Myers, who has a studio down the hall from him. The design is based on a poster Rogers previously made of “Of Mice and Men,” he said.

“I’m St. John, he’s St. Steve,” Rogers said. “It’s because we’re always helping each other out.”

One of Rogers’ other pieces in the show, “The Witch,” is based on “Witch’s Night Out,” an animated Halloween special made for television in the late 1970s, on which Rogers worked on the animation. The late Gilda Radner voiced one of the main characters.

Sculptor Susan J. Geissler, who has a studio in Youngstown and created the “Tuscarora Heroes” and “Freedom Crossing” bronze monuments in Lewiston, has a sculpture on display in the exhibit called “The Dutch Dandy.” She is donating it to the NACC.

Judges for the show were Gary Wolfe, Jay Carrier and Marian Granfield.

The arts and cultural center, the former Niagara Falls High School, is located at 1201 Pine Ave.

The “Beyond the Barrel” exhibit also served to kick off a public art project that will cover all of Niagara County. The “Barrel Through Niagara” project will turn wine barrels into decorative displays to be located at places of interest around the county.

Organizers are looking for artists and sponsors to participate. Artists’ applications are due by Nov. 5. For more information, visit