Johnstown native, Spider-Man co-creator honored with art exhibit

Local News

CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center will honor, Steve Ditko, co-creator and original artist behind Spider-Man with an eight-week exhibition.

Ditko was born and raised in Johnstown, Pa. before moving on not only to co-create Spider-Man but also make a name for himself in the comic world working for Marvel Comics, DC Comics and other publishers. Ditko moved to New York City to begin his career but continued traveling to Johnstown to visit with family.

Aside from Spider-Man, Ditko also had a hand in designing other comic book characters such as Doctor Strange, Squirrel Girl, The Question, Mr. A and The Creeper. He also wrote, penciled and inked countless stories for leading publishers in the field, constructing a body of work that has influenced generations of comic artists, filmmakers, TV producers and dreams all over the world.

The exhibition entitled, “Hometown Heroes—Steve Ditko,” will run from July 15 to September 11, in the main galleries at the ArtWorks building. This eight-week exhibit will feature artwork from his formative years and decades-long professional career. The show will not only highlight him as an artist, but visitors can learn more about the man behind the art.

“In raising awareness of Steve’s accomplishments, we want to encourage community pride in this hometown hero and to all the local heroes that are yet to come. Steve showed us what we can do, with our shared appreciation of this town and its spirit, to make our dreams come true,” Bottle Works Creative Director Matthew Lamb said, in a press release.

Along with the exhibit, Bottle Works will place Dikto-themed murals at the Stone Bridge Brewing Company and Tulip building of the Bottle Works. Bottle Works will also give an opportunity for artists to express how the work of Ditko has inspired them during the “Ditko Inspired Exhibition.”

Artists are encouraged to create and donate an original piece of work or a high-quality print for the exhibit. Submitted pieces will be displayed in the ArtWorks Activity Center and will be available for purchase. Artists interested in sending in their work can do so by filling out a Google form.

More information on this exhibit and upcoming events can be found on the Bottle Works Facebook page.

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