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. Peak fall colors are the bonus as artists welcome visitors to come see works in progress, ask questions, and find out how various works of art are created. And of course purchase unique items to take home!
What’s so special about visiting an artist’s studio? It is the chance to see one-of-a-kind items that are made by hand. Some are functional, like pottery or pillows, others purely decorative, like jewelry and paintings. Think back to what you know about life in America 200 years ago – almost everything people used was hand-made: rugs, furniture, tools, dishes, clothing, soap, etc, but things were almost always more than just functional items.
Most of them were also decorated. My mother had an old, antique wooden cutting board that had been carefully hand-cut into the shape of a pig. People grew up learning and using a lot of the skills necessary to make the items they needed, as well as things to make their homes more pleasant or their work easier. Now people have options like paint-by-number and pre-cut stained glass sets.
The average person still can “make” things themselves, but it’s quicker and easier than back in the “old days” and they often aren’t very original. One can find out how to make practically anything on the internet. However our painters, weavers, potters, carvers, photographers and jewelry designers are people who developed a stronger craving to make things themselves.
There is something extremely rewarding in the process of perfecting the skills, developing the knowledge, and making something unique. This is what you get to experience when you visit an artist’s studio. The tour is also a great chance to expose your children to the creative minds of area artists. They will all be happy to explain how they make things and what materials they use.
Saranac Lake ArtWorks sponsors this event and brochures are available at most area arts venues. The Adirondack Artists Guild Gallery, 52 Main St., Saranac Lake, is event headquarters, so if uncertain about where to go – start there. The entire event is organized as a self-guided tour.
Look through the brochure, see the examples of each artists’ work, check their location on the map, and plan your route. Watch for the bold yellow and black “Artist at Work” signs. It is nearly impossible to visit them all, so pick and choose the ones you want to see most. Hours are 10 – 5 on both Saturday and Sunday.
You can also find information online at http://saranaclakeartworks.com/studiotour or contact coordinator Cris Winters at 518-524-0533 if you have questions.