Almanack Contributor Sandra Hildreth

Sandra Hildreth

Sandra Hildreth, who writes regularly about Adirondack arts and culture, grew up in rural Wisconsin and is a retired high school art teacher having spent 29 years with the Madrid-Waddington School District in northern New York.

She moved to Saranac Lake in 2004 to live where she was spending much of her time - hiking, paddling, skiing, and painting.

Today, Sandy can often be found outdoors Plein air painting - working directly from nature, and is an exhibiting member of the Adirondack Artists' Guild in Saranac Lake. She is also active in Saranac Lake ArtWorks.



Saturday, March 21, 2015

Survival Of The Fittest On The Pinnacle Trail

Coyote Track in WinterThe story was in the tracks. Thursday was cold, but sunny – I’d had a hunch that it might be a good day to get off the groomed trails and do some exploring. There were a couple of inches of fresh powder on top of a hard crust that covered probably two feet of snow, and skies as blue as they could be.

I drove up to Santa Clara and parked on route 458 by the gated road and the Pinnacle trail sign. It looked like two people had skied the old logging road the day before. Possibly earlier in the day, someone post-holing, walked in with a large dog. That person eventually » Continue Reading.


Friday, March 6, 2015

Adirondack Plein Air Fest Growing Fast

PAF2015-ADThis was going to be a post that announced some changes in the Adirondack Plein Air Festival and the fact that registration for the 2015 event opened on March 1. However, by noon on March 2, we had 50 artists registered and had reached our pre-determined limit. The 2015 Adirondack Plein Air Festival will be Aug 17 – 22 in Saranac Lake. Four days of outdoor painting and then a one day Show & Sale of the work produced over those four days.

I am amazed by this phenomenon. We all know the Adirondack Park is a scenic place. Artists in the past, like those of the Hudson River School in the mid 1800’s also recognized that. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, February 5, 2015

TR, T-Rex, Art And More At Paul Smith’s VIC

bullard_barnumbrookStrikingly beautiful photographs, expressive but realistic paintings of dinosaurs in lush green landscapes, a “Touch Table”, live music Sunday afternoons from 1 – 3, and 25 miles of groomed ski trails….. this is the Paul Smith’s College VIC.

It’s really pretty cool to be able to come to a place that offers so much. The current New Moon Art Exhibit consists of photographs by Jim Bullard, of Potsdam, and paintings by Meg Bernstein of Saranac Lake, where she is a member of the Adirondack Artists Guild Gallery. Both artists have a lifetime of experience behind them, but continue to explore, invent, and » Continue Reading.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Sandy Hidreth On Becoming An Art Collector

bernsteinsm2014A few years ago, during the annual Artist at Work Studio Tour, I had a family from Long Lake come to visit my studio. Mom, Dad, and if I remember correctly, “Lily”, who must have been around 8-9 years old. They looked, we chatted, and then the Mom offered Lily the opportunity to pick out a small piece of art that she would like! I was truly astounded – parents offering to let a child purchase art! What a wonderful way to cultivate a life-long love and respect for original, hand-made items. I was very honored to have been a part of that.

Well, it’s » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Adirondack Art: Three Exhibits In Saranac Lake

Oil, 16x20, plein airThree exhibits are coming up in the Saranac Lake area that will provide lots of visual enjoyment.

My own “What the Rocks Remember” and photographs by Karla Brieant, is the exhibit currently on display in the gallery space at the Paul Smith’s College VIC.  There will be a “Meet the Artists” reception on Sunday, Nov 2, from 2 – 5 and the exhibit will be up through Nov 21.

I first met Karla nearly twenty years ago. We both were volunteering at the Paul Smith’s College VIC, » Continue Reading.


Friday, September 26, 2014

Ausable Forks To Coreys Studio Tour This Weekend

StudioTourAd-web2New canoe route or Bike Race? No! It’s the Studio Tour!

The village of Ausable Forks to Stony Creek Road just off the Coreys Road, near Tupper Lake represents the widest distance between artists opening their studios to the public for the 8th Annual Artist at Work Studio Tour.

Artists are also in Gabriels, Onchiota and Rainbow Lake, Black Brook and Lake Placid, and Wilmington, Jay and Upper Jay. With Saranac Lake, the “arts destination of the Adirondacks” as the hub, nearly 50 artists are participating in the Studio Tour on Sept 27-28 with 16 right in the village. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Sandra Hildreth: The Plein Air Phenomenon

N. Brossard in Saranac Lake. M. Kurtz photoAugust 21st through the 24th nearly 80 artists from Washington, DC to Maine, Quebec and Ontario, will be converging on Saranac Lake for the 6th Annual Adirondack Plein Air Festival.

Beautiful August weather (fingers crossed) and all the aspects of our region: mountains, lakes, bogs, waterfalls, woodland trails, panoramic views, rivers, farm land, “Great Camps”, historic sites and our small communities are all part of the attraction.

The other, if you haven’t noticed, is the growing popularity of plein air painting. The Festival concludes with a fantastic Show & Sale on Sunday,  Aug 24th, in » Continue Reading.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Sandra Hildreth: Our History In Art And Music

redTo understand how America was made, one need only go back and look at what people created, their responses to the events and environments they lived in. There are currently two unique opportunities available that will take you back to other times in very different ways. Both are based on things that occurred around 60 years ago – one building on centuries of songs and the other forging a path into the world of contemporary art, ironically, going on at almost the same time.

A one time opportunity to learn about our past through the arts is a performance tonight, (July 14) of “RED”, a Pendragon Theatre production that is » Continue Reading.


Monday, March 24, 2014

A Short List of Adirondack Signs of Spring

"Bartlett Carry, Spring" On the first full day of spring I was cross-country skiing, breaking trail through about 6-8 inches of powder – on top of an 18-24” inch base of snow that’s been here most of the winter. It was warm and sunny, the snow a bit sticky, and as I enjoyed the late winter experience I thought of the ways we Adirondackers know it’s really spring.

So in no particular order, here are some tell-tale signs that it is actually spring in the Adirondacks. They don’t all have to happen – if you notice a few, spring is on the way.

Unlike today, when every little finger of every branch of every evergreen is carrying a » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Cross-Country Skiing:
An Adirondack Nocturne at the Paul Smith’s VIC

Twilight at the VIC, S. Hildreth

Nocturne: a work of art dealing with evening or night especially; a dreamy pensive composition for the piano that has a soft and somewhat sad melody.  – 2014 Merriam Webster Dictionary

It was Valentine’s Day, about 8 pm, and I walked out the back door, stepped into my x-country ski bindings, put on my gloves and slipped my hands through the straps on my ski poles, flipped on my headlight and silently glided into the stillness of the night. As I looked up the trail, snowflakes filtered down glittering into the beam of my light.

It was the » Continue Reading.


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