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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

This Joe Whalen self portrait is one of a number of
items that will be on display at an upcoming exhibit
at Market Street Art Studios. (CONTRIBUTED)
An upcoming exhibit at Market Street Art Studios studies the life and legacy of Joe Whalen.

"Whalen: A Legacy" will explore over 75 years of Joe’s work along with the impact he has had on the community and individuals throughout his career. The exhibit opens Sunday with a kick-off reception from 1 to 4 p.m. and runs through Nov. 14.

Staring in 1939 when Whalen was just 11 and stretching to current times, the exhibit will showcase Whalen's work and his impact — more than just art. His storytelling, humor, and knowledge of local people & history enhance that legacy, but the most important aspect of what he has given is the influence he has had on others as an artist, a teacher, and a human being.

To that end, the Niagara Art Trail, which is organizing the show, asked the public to submit a short testimonial as to how they have been influenced by Whalen and why they are a piece of his living legacy. Statements should be limited to just a few lines and include the submitter's name. They will be displayed on a bulletin board at the show. Submissions should be mailed to The Niagara Art Trail, Attn: Whalen Legacy, PO Box 1164, Lockport, NY 14095-1164.

Although original paintings and reproductions will be on display, the exhibit will include a wide assortment of Whalen's work in other forms: posters, logos, greeting cards, cartoons, and various advertising pieces will walk you through decades of his influence. Reproductions of several items will be for sale, including a limited number of signed copies.
The historic portion of the exhibit will be from the private collections of Joe, his family, family friends and others.  Organizations including the Kenan Center, The Niagara History Center, The Niagara Art Trail and Market Street Art Studios have all helped to gather artifacts produced for shows, events, and various commercial purposes.

The release of the Whalen 2016 Calendar will take place at the opening as well. Similar to the 2015 version, it will feature works from private collections with one difference. The works chosen will be primarily from the private collections of Joe and his family members.

Market Street Art Studios is located at 247 Market St. Regular hours are 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sundays and Mondays. Admission is always free.

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