Fall theme in works

The Transit Art Gallery and Gift Shop in downtown Oil City is celebrating the onset of the autumn season with a special display.

“We’re using the theme of ‘Fall in Love with Art’ at the gallery and we’ve put in a lot of fall-themed items,” gallery coordinator Lena Wheeler said. “Plus, there’s a large variety of all art and gifts – it speaks to everyone.”

The gallery, located in the National Transit Building on Seneca Street, operates under the auspices of the Oil City Arts Council. The operations were sizzled up two months ago in an effort to offer “a revamp, a fresh look,” said Wheeler, an artist and Arts Council member.

Shut down in March as a result of the coronavirus health directives, the gallery reopened in August under a management plan that was directed by a membership-driven organization.

Artists became members of the gallery by paying a small monthly fee to have their work displayed and put on sale. They also volunteer time to staff the gallery, which is marking its 25th year of operation this year.

There are 29 artists now displaying their work

The Fall in Love with Art theme will be observed now through the end of November.

To mark the Halloween holiday, the gallery artists are turning their talents to making one-of-a-kind Halloween masks.

“They offered to make them and they will be unique masks,” said Wheeler. “We’ll have about 10 of them and we want people to vote for the best one.”

The winning mask, chosen by tickets offered to gallery patrons visiting the gift shop, will be presented to a winner on Oct. 25. Voting for the mask contest will be done during gallery hours of noon to 6 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 9-11, 16-18 and 23-25.

The array of artists’ work at the gallery includes handmade soaps, jewelry, sculpture, paintings, handmade cards, photography, stained glass, woodworking, baskets and more exhibited throughout the spacious two-room gallery. Exhibit and sales space is open to professional as well as amateur artists.

The gallery also serves as the headquarters for the Oil City Arts Council. It works in conjunction, too, with the Oil Valley Center for the Arts in the National Transit building.