‘The Ghost’ is revealed at the Gallo Art Show

‘The Ghost’ is revealed at the Gallo Art Show

Artist Patti Thomas created a series of paintings on display at the Gallo Coal Fire Kitchen in Lewiston on Friday, July 29.  The event was meant to help give Thomas exposure to the Niagara County art scene, according to Gallo's owner Michael Hibbard.  (Photo by Timothy Chipp)

Artist Patti Thomas created a series of paintings on display at the Gallo Coal Fire Kitchen in Lewiston on Friday, July 29. The event was meant to help give Thomas exposure to the Niagara County art scene, according to Gallo’s owner Michael Hibbard. (Photo by Timothy Chipp)

Friday, August 5, 2022, 12:00 p.m

The event raised funds for Heart, Love & Soul

Article and photos by Timothy Chipp

Patti Thomas wished to remain anonymous. It is difficult nowadays to exhibit her works in a museum in one of the biggest cities of the country.

Thomas, who began creating canvas paintings under the moniker “The Ghost” more than a year ago, had no intention of walking into the spotlight created for her at Lewiston’s Gallo Coal Fire Kitchen on July 29. But her secret was also revealed to Michael Hibbard. the owner of the Center Street restaurant, was absolutely convincing.

The opportunity to donate a portion of ticket and artwork sales to Heart, Love & Soul in Niagara Falls sweetened the pot as well.

“When you do well, you give back,” Thomas said shortly after arriving at the party held in her honor. Her husband, Buffalo Bills Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas, a willing supporter along the way.

Patti Thomas called the event “a fun night of art and community.” She said the experience of showing her work is humbling, whether it’s at a restaurant fundraiser or a window display in Miami.

For it all to happen, however, the world had to look into the anonymity in which she hid under her pseudonym.

It took the wisdom, love and encouragement of a friend whose opinion she took into consideration for “The Ghost” to become physical in the art world.

“I trusted her,” Thomas said. “And as a good friend, I heard what she said and realized she was right.”

In addition to Miami, Thomas has exhibited work at Buffalo’s Burchfield Penney Art Center and currently has an exhibit at The Buffalo Club.

But Friday’s event, which sold more than 200 advance tickets after setting a goal of 100, according to Hibbard, could be the start of an annual tradition in late July. If Thomas has anything to say about it.

Susan and CJ Urlaub and Ashley and Dan Misko talk with Patti Thomas at an event featuring Thomas’ paintings as “The Ghost” at Gallo Coal Fire Kitchen, 402 Center St., Lewiston, on Friday, July 29. The four were among more than 200 attendees of the private event, who promised to see a portion of the receipts donated to the Heart, Love & Soul Food Pantry in Niagara Falls. Urlaub is president at Mount St. Mary’s Hospital, while Ashley is the executive director of the hospital’s foundation.


Given the numerous reasons for holding the private party at the restaurant, Hibbard might as well be ready to repeat.

He said his background in the art world as a sculpture artist led him to reach out to Thomas before creating the exhibit. He thought it would be a great way to help Thomas gain some recognition in western Niagara County.

The extra little cherry on top was helping the Heart, Love & Soul.

“And we wanted to exhibit Heart, Love & Soul,” he said. “We’re only eight miles from Niagara Falls, but living in Lewiston, it’s hard to believe it’s so close sometimes.”

At $50 each, those 200 presale tickets raised $10,000. This was before any art sales or other donations were included.

Hibbard did not specify what percentage of the evening’s proceeds will be given to the food pantry.

Meeting the star

Marcia Reed and Marvin McClellan Jr., meanwhile, found Gallo thanks to a Twitter contest. A follower posted a chance to win two tickets to the evening’s event, and McClellan jumped at the chance.

He got a BINGO. Or maybe a Yahtzee!

Whatever he was shouting won the tickets and, about 30 minutes after Thomas arrived, the couple got a chance to love the artist up close and personal.

They talked about art – Reid told Thomas she liked “Gemini” because she’s a Gemini and also a twin. “When I walked in, it caught my eye,” he said.

Thomas posed for a selfie and they broke up.

“It’s an opportunity to say thank you for everything they’ve done,” Reid said.

It was a perfect night for the couple, their first time in Lewiston despite living in Buffalo. The night also capped off a whirlwind week that saw them in New York looking at art in some hallowed spaces.

“Gemini”, a painting by Patti “The Ghost” Thomas. (Photo by Timothy Chipp)

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