Contributed By: Brittany Sperino Horsford, student journalist at SUNY Oswego
OSWEGO, NY – Zink Shirts packed in the crowd on Feb. 15 for an art exhibit titled, “What Have We Done, This Time?” that showcased the work of local artists.
The artwork lined the walls of the screen printing shop along with the usual merchandise.
People explored the shop, viewing pieces made by Aaron Z. Lee, artist and employee at the SUNY Oswego Lifestyles Center.
Other featured artists included Miles George, a graphic designer and musician, and locals Erik Miller and Breanne Regano.
The free event began at 8 p.m. and lasted well into the evening.
Guests were provided with free food and beverage.
Musical acts Michael Beshures and Cu-Cu performed in Zink Shirts’ new music venue, The Dark Room.
The Dark Room is a separate area behind the shop next to the screen printing press where new apparel is printed every day.
Construction of The Dark Room’s stage finished recently and this was the first official performance held on it.
However, this isn’t the first time Zink Shirts has hosted an event to celebrate local artists.
Shop owner Glenn Zansitis started Zink Shirts in July 2011.
After moving to its current location on 19 E. Cayuga St. in December 2012, he decided to utilize the extra room to hold art and music shows.
The art expeditions started with only Zansitis’ work and the work of his friends.
News of Zink as a venue for art spread via word of mouth.
The number of artists Zink Shirts now features has expanded.
“It gives people who wouldn’t have another avenue a way to display their work,” Zansitis said. “It’s not just for college students or a certain group. It’s for everyone. It’s a learning experience for me too. Everybody has different styles and techniques.”
Around 60 people attended the show.
Zansitis said Zink Shirts has seen an “exponential” increase in attendance at the expeditions since they began in December 2012.
It was an exciting night for 25-year-old SUNY Oswego graduate Breanne Regano, whose art was featured at Zink Shirts for the first time.
Regano experiments with watercolors and link work.
Regano regards her work as “intuitive” and leaves it up to her audience to interpret.
“This is one of the first shows I’ve done since I graduated in May 2012,” Regano said.
Regano holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from SUNY Oswego.
“In this community we have some things, like the college. But the arts here are still very much growing and to have a place like this where people, who don’t even know each other, can get together and celebrate art is great,” she said.
Regano isn’t the only one who commends the work Zink Shirts and Zansitis are doing.
Dan Leo, a teacher and artist, said events like these “revitalize” the community.
“It’s an oasis in a wasteland,” Leo said. “Not that Oswego’s a wasteland, but Glenn has got everything here. He does art openings, music and runs a business. Events like these make me feel young again.”
Zink Shirts is a young company, but it has been actively involved in the community since the beginning.
With each screen print order, Zink Shirts donates T-shirts to Oswego County Opportunities, a nonprofit organization and one of Oswego County’s largest employers.
Zink Shirts participated as a stop on the scavenger hunt for Warm Up Oswego earlier this month.
Most recently, Zink Shirts gave away free shirts at Rail Jam, an event on the SUNY Oswego campus.
The artwork featured in “What Have We Done, This Time?” will be up for the month of February.
Zink Shirts’ next event is Feb. 28 at 8 p.m. in The Dark Room.
Musical artists 23 Psaegz and Primo Ganso will be performing.
Admission is $5.