So often you hear about how the arts support a community, but what does that actually mean? In Saranac Lake, NY, the burgeoning Adirondack arts community, it means a check for $2000 from Saranac Lake ArtWorks—a collective of independent art galleries and the Adirondack Artists Guild (of 14 artists), the Pendragon Theatre, and local arts businesses working together to promote local artists—to Historic Saranac Lake.
For the third year, Saranac Lake Art Works has raised money through their annual Adirondack Plein Air Festival to give back to the community. The Adirondack Plein Air Festival, held in mid-August, has become a well-known event in the Adirondack region, drawing artists from all over the east coast.For 4 days, artists can be seen at their easels all over the countryside, and for one of those days, they Paint the Town, in miniature, using 5×7 canvasses that are exhibited at the end of the day for a silent auction. The artists each donate one of their paintings to ArtWorks, and the proceeds are used to support other organizations in Saranac Lake. Each year, the amount has grown, starting with $1000 raised in 2009 for the Saranac Lake Young Arts Association. In 2010, they gave $1200 to help BluSeed Studios, and this year they brought in $2000 for Historic Saranac Lake for their attention to documenting the history of the cure cottage architecture unique to this town.
Throughout the year, Saranac Lake ArtWorks continues to promote local artists and to hold events that bring tourists up to their little village on Lake Flower. In December they will be holding the Art for Under $100 Sale, which provides the unique opportunity to purchase valuable artwork from the local talent at a very good price.
Photos: Above; a painting donated by Sandra Hildreth for the 2011 Paint the Town event.
Linda J. Peckel explores the Adirondacks by following the arts wherever they take her. Her general art/writing/film/photography musings on can be found at her blog Arts Enclave.
Thirty-two artists spent Aug 19 – 22 in the Saranac Lake area and produced over 90 paintings for the annual Adirondack Plein Air Festival. They had three Adirondack summer days to paint outdoors, on location, before the Show & Sale held on Sunday in the Harrietstown Town Hall in Saranac Lake.
While most of the artists focused on village scenes or our beautiful mountain, river and lake views, Peter Seward, of Lake Placid, made a political statement with his painting of the empty Sears parking lot, titled “Don’t Even Think of Parking Here”. Sponsored by Saranac Lake ArtWorks and organized by Susan Olsen, owner of Borealis Color, and Sandra Hildreth, a member of the Adirondack Artists’ Guild, the Plein Air Festival has become a significant event for this arts community. “Plein Air” is a French term that basically means working out in the “open air” as opposed to painting indoors in a studio. Artists came from the Saranac Lake area as well as Plattsburgh, Liverpool, Poughkeepsie, Harriman, Nyack, Tivoli, Burlington, VT, and Milford, DE.
The following awards were given out during the Show & Sale, donated by area businesses and organizations. Anne Diggory, a plein air painter from Saratoga, was Juror of Awards and made all the selections.
Diane E. Leifheit, of Gabriels, received the “Best of Show” Award for a pastel painting of the classic view of some barns in the village of Gabriels with Whiteface Mountain in the background. Donated by Eric Rhoads, she will receive a free 1/4 page ad in the prestigious Artist Advocate magazine, valued at $650.
The Village of Saranac Lake and Mayor Clyde Rabideau donated $400 for the “Mayor’s Award”. It went to Nancy Brossard, of Childwold, for her oil painting of Lower Saranac Lake from Mt. Pisgah. This award was to go to the work of art that best represented the Saranac Lake area.
Cape Air donated $250 and it was awarded to Crista Pisano, of Nyack NY, for her oil painting, “View from the Fish & Game Club”.
The Adirondack Medical Center also donated $250 for a work of art “in the spirit of health and healing in the Adirondacks” and it was given to Tim Fortune, Saranac Lake, for his idyllic painting of the Saranac River.
Saranac Lake ArtWorks donated a $100 award which was given to Margaret Bayalis, of Milford, Delaware, for her oil painting “Reflections”.
Bookstore Plus in Lake Placid gave us an artists’ paint box valued at $89 and it went to Lita Thorne, of Harriman, NY for her painting “Beauty Along Route 3”.
The Lodge at Lake Clear provided a gift certificate for dinner for 2 and it was won by John Bayalis, Milford, DE, for his detailed watercolor “Morning Light”.
The Robert Louis Stevenson Tea Room gift certificate for “the most Romantic” work of art was won by Tarryl Gabel, Poughkeepsie, for her oil painting “Sunrise Over the Marsh”.
A gift certificate from T.F. Finnegan’s was won by Bruce Thorne, Harriman, NY, for his Impressionist style painting “Left Bank”.
From noon until 3:30 both visitors and artists could submit their vote for the “People’s Choice Award”, a $150 gift certificate donated by Borealis Color, and it was awarded to Laura Martinez-Bianco, of Marlboro, NY, for her oil painting “Woodland Interior”.
In addition to the artwork produced for the Show & Sale in the Town Hall, 23 of the artists also created a 5×7 piece during the “Paint the Town” event on Thursday and donated them to Saranac Lake ArtWorks. A Silent Auction was set up at the Adirondack Artists’ Guild and raised $1200, which is being donated to Bluseed Studios to help support their wonderful children’s programs and classes.
With two successful years now and growing in reputation, the Adirondack Plein Air Festival will be scheduled for Aug 18 – 21, 2011. For more information contact Susan Olsen at 518-891-1490 or Sandra Hildreth at [email protected]
Photos provided by Sandra Hildreth: Painting by Peter Seward, Lake Placid (above). Diane Leifheit, Gabriels, and her “Best of Show” pastel painting: “Mid Morning Light” (below).
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