Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Saranac Lake ArtWorks is trying something different - a new, one day only Summer Studio Tour. 40 some artists are busy getting their studios straightened up, putting the finishing touches on new work, and preparing for visitors.

What's it like to go on a Studio Tour? Well, you get to visit artists where they work - which is usually pretty fascinating. The creative process is different for every single artist, just like their techniques and the tools of the trade.

When you see finished work on display in a gallery, unless you happen to get to be there when the artist is there, you really don't know any of the story behind the work. What inspired them, why did they choose to do what they did? How did they start? Is there more meaning to the piece than what meets the eye? You are more likely to get the answers to these and similar questions if you go on a Studio Tour. Ask questions too!

New ArtWorks Membership/Studio Tour brochures are out and available. Stop in any of the galleries in Saranac Lake or visit the Studio Tour web pages. The Adirondack Artists Guild Gallery is Studio Tour headquarters and several members will be there demonstrating during the tour.

ONE DAY ONLY - Sunday, July 20. 10 - 5 pm. Come see what your favorite artists have been up to and visit some new ones.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

"Red" in Saranac Lake and Washington, DC

Last night we saw the play "Red" at Pendragon Theatre, on the recommendation of - well - everyone!  And it was well worth it. It was like a wild ride inside the head of a fascinating man who thought much more deeply than I ever have about the meaning of art and of being an artist.

It was also fascinating that I entered the theater thinking I knew the actor playing Rothko - my ArtWorks colleague Burdette Parks. But Rothko was played by Rothko! I guess it was Burdette, but he was marvelously transformed into someone I had not met before. Someone who could be loud, opinionated, sometime rude and obnoxious. I loved it!

In May, we visited the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC. We didn't do much homework and had limited time, and we got to the Phillips with only about an hour and a half to explore the whole place before they closed. Not enough to really sit and observe as I would have preferred.

The Rothko Room
As we wandered, we found the Laib Wax Room. It was Experiential Art in a wonderful way! It's a small closet-sized room lined with bees wax (440 pounds worth!) and illuminated by a bare ceiling bulb that provides just enough warmth to enhance the fragrance of the wax. (Go to the link above to learn more, and imagine that fragrance as you read.) The room was inspired by the Rothko Room in the same section of the museum, and that is where we went next. At the time, my only regret about our visit were that we didn't have enough time to sit for long in the Rothko Room. Now my second regret is that we had not seen the play "Red" before being in Rothko's space. It would have added a whole different dimension to have understood the artist as presented in the play.

Posted by Cris Winters 

My Wonderful Studio Tour Colleagues

Artist Directory in new brochure

Yesterday we held the second of two workshops for this year's Studio Tour artists, this one in Saranac Lake at Bluseed Studios. (The first, two weeks ago, was in Jay at Young's Studio & Gallery.) What a great group of artists! They had loads of ideas, questions, and energy. Not only will the 2014 Studio Tour be better than ever but their ideas about the future of our Art Community will lift all of us. Many thanks to all of you!!!

Posted by Cris Winters
One of the Studio Tour maps

Box of new ArtWorks-Studio Tour brochures

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Cartography at Schweinfurth

On our trip back to Saranac Lake from Keuka Lake today we stopped at the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center in Auburn, NY to see the current exhibit "Cartography: The Artist as Map Maker." Nine of us from our village are included in this show. About two years ago, our maps were the brain children of print maker Jess Jeffries for the show "Mapping the Familiar." Here are some of them, as part of a wonderful new show.

The show also includes the art quilt maps of Valerie Goodwin. Here is her Economic Landscape. I love her concepts and her techniques. See more about Valerie and her art.

Posted by Cris Winters
Valerie Goodwin's Economic Landscape

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Art on the Road

Gabriels artist Diane Leifheit shared this New York Times link - a fascinating article about mobile art galleries. Most of the examples are in urban areas, but wouldn't it be cool to bring art to our smaller Adirondack communities this way? Check it out - maybe someone will be inspired to give it a try. "Just Like Taco Trucks, Art Takes to the Road".

Friday, May 16, 2014

HOBOFEST Wants to Get You Covered!

Hobofest, one of our Artworks member organizations, has initiated a Kickstarter project to purchase a large tent. This is not just for Hobofest but their intent is to make it available for other community events.

Learn more about it here:

Hobofest will be Aug 31 this year - a FREE, day-long celebration of American Roots music and the hobo tradition. Next to the train depot in Saranac Lake.

Let's help them out! Spread the word!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

 Have you been accepted in a juried show? Won a prize? 
Are you offering a workshop?
Send it to US so it can be posted here.
Add comments to our posts!
"Quiet" by Linda Sweeney - pastel

Two great exhibits opened this past Friday. Linda Sweene's pastels are at the Adirondack Artists Guild and Cat Micheels has some paintings and unique painted furniture on display at NorthWind Fine Arts. 
Painting by Cat Micheels

At the Paul Smith's College VIC Art Gallery, "Adirondack Mountains & Waters" went up this past week. It consists of photos by Rob Marrone and paintings on birchbark by his son, Dan. All of these exhibits will be up for the full month of May.

Studio Tour Registration is over - we have 37 individual artists signed up and most of them are looking forward to participating in the optional July 20 "Summer Tour". More later.

Framing Business For Sale
Anyone interested in owning a framing shop? Our good friend Margaret Boettcher has put her framing business, North Country Originals, up for sale. You can find out more about it, and other artist exhibit opportunities and workshops on our web site page Classes & Artist Opportunities.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

2014 Studio Tours

Artist at Work Studio Tour 
ARTISTS: This event is for YOU! Please register by April 30. In order to effectively publicize this event - with a new July 20th date as well as the traditional last weekend in September, we need you to register now. We have great plans for printing and distributing the information about this event and would like to keep to a firm deadline. If you have any concerns or questions - please contact Cris.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Are You a Photography Dunce .....

.... like me? I know very little about the history or the technical aspects of professional photography. So when I read about the current exhibits at the Hyde Collection in Glens Falls, the paintings of winter landscapes looked most interesting to me. But the photography exhibits included the early work of Ansel Adams, and you just can’t ignore an icon like Ansel. So we saw it all – and so glad we did!
Early Ansel Adams work
 And you really should see it all too. To check it out first online, go to the Hyde’sCurrent Exhibits page. Some of Adams’ photographs in the exhibit are those we all recognize – clear, sharp, somewhat abstract. But did you know he made an enormous series of soft, “painterly” images printed on parchment early in his career? And that there was a major rift in the world of professional photography when the advocates of the “painterly” style split from the sharper style that Steiglitz and Adams adopted? The exhibit in the other end of the main gallery, Photo-Secession: Painterly Masterworks of Turn-of-the-Century Photography, focuses on those photographers who stuck with that older style, using an amazing array of printing techniques and materials.
Maybe you already know all of this, but it is still worthwhile to see these original works up close and think about what the world of photography looked like 100 years ago. And the winter landscapes aren’t bad either. I picked the one I want for my birthday ….
Another tip: have lunch at Raul’s Mexican Grill in downtown Glens Falls. It is a great little place with creative, fresh, and delicious takes on tacos, soups, and other warming fare and with great service. Maybe go there first, so you can have a Raspberry Margarita.

Friday, March 14, 2014

See the Best Art in the Adirondacks!

Adirondack Artists Guild Gallery
The 16th Annual Juried Show opens Friday, March 14, from 5 - 7 pm, at the Adirondack Artists Guild Gallery. Located at 52 Main St., in Saranac Lake. Two hundred and three works of art were submitted by 85 artists from Lake Champlain to Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River to the Mohawk River Vallery. Ninety-five were selected for the show by Juror Laura Von Rosk, Director of the Lake George Arts Project. Media include wood engravings, ceramics, jewelry, hand-dyed, stitched silk, cast bronze and found object sculpture, pastels, drawings, oils, watercolors and various mixed media. Refreshments available and awards will be announced at 6 pm.

Bluseed Studios, the Paul Smith's College VIC Art Gallery, and NorthWind Fine Arts also have exhibits up - check the ArtWorks Event Calendar for all the details.

Watch for 2014 Artist at Work Studio Tour info any day now and registration is open for the Adirondack Plein Air Festival, Aug 21-24.

Looking for classes or other art events in the Plattsburgh Area? Check out the North Country Cultural Center for the Arts.

Saranac Lake: the "Arts Destination" of the Adirondacks!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Adirondack Art Trail

I had an idea about creating an Adirondack Art Trail - some kind of map and web site that would feature the artists, craftspeople, writers and musicians in our area and help promote their businesses and events.  I saw what kind of projects and activities the Adirondack North Country Association was working on, and so I took my idea to them. ANCA submitted an application for a North Country Economic Development Council grant and it was funded! ANCA, Traditional Arts in Upstate New York (TAUNY) and Saranac Lake ArtWorks are the partners who will work together on this. The initial meeting will be Saturday March 8, at Bluseed Studios, (24 Cedar St., Saranac Lake), from 1 - 3 pm. Please RSVP to Michelle at Bluseed, 518-891-3799. Come and find out about this great opportunity to market and promote what we create. ALL artists are welcome. We choose to live and work here for many different reasons - but sometimes that means we are not very accessible to prospective customers. The Art Trail will help them find us.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Member Art News

 Our ArtWorks members have been busy this winter.
Frozen Erratic, detail by Shawn L. Halperin
Two Collage pieces by NorthWind Fine Arts artist Shawn L Halperin have been selected into the Made in New York 2014 Exhibit at the Schweinfurth Art Center in Auburn, New York. Jurors Michael Sickler and Kim Waale examined 464 artworks submitted for review.  Of these, 73 pieces were selected for the exhibition. Opening reception is Saturday, March 29, 2014, 4-6pm. Exhibit runs March 29-May 25, 2014.

When paging through an Adirondack Life magazine, a familiar image caught my attention. Russ Hartung, another NorthWind Find Arts artist, had one of his photographs awarded a prize in the the 2014 Adirondack Life Photography Contest. The photo is actually on display this month i the NorthWind Fine Arts Gallery as Hartung is the featured artist. "Sunrise from Silver Lake Mountain" won 2nd prize in the Landscape division.
Sunrise from Silver Lake Mountain, by Russ Hartung
Adirondack Artists Guild member Sandra Hildreth has been notified she was one of 13 artists selected to participate in the Aspen Plein Air Festival, July 6 - 13. You'll have to wait until July to see the results of that!

If other members have exhibit news, please send it in to

A former member, Mark Ellis, is having a show at North Country Community College. "New York City: Moments Caught in Time" will be in Hodson Hall and the opening reception is Thursday Feb 20 at 3:30 pm.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Too Much to See - So Little Time!

As usual - when art happens in Saranac Lake - it happens in a big way. This is the 2nd week of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival and there are all sorts of events going on.

Tonight, Friday Feb 7, we have two new art exhibits with opening receptions between 5 and 7 pm.
The Adirondack Artists Guild, 52 Main St., is hosting "Our Kinda Town". Each of the members have created unique works of art related to Saranac Lake's rich history and they have been donated for a Silent Auction. The beneficiary will be Historic Saranac Lake, our local architectural and historic preservation organization. The show will run through March 2, with bidding closing at 2 pm. There will be a slide show on the Guild web site where people can check to see what the current bids are, but interested bidders will need to call the gallery at 518-891-2615 to place a bid in unable to come do it in person.

NorthWind Fine Arts, at 11 Woodruff St., is featuring the photography of one of it's newest members, Russ Hartung. Russ says "My subjects are the scenes that come from an exploration of the back roads, trails, and waterways. Sometimes these images are happy accidents but more often come of repeatedly spending time in a specific area over and over again until that special moment presents itself."

"Abstraction" will still be on display at Bluseed Studios until the end of the month and the current show at the Paul Smith's College VIC, "Old Crows & Other Blackbirds", is well worth a visit! Coming up in March is the Annual Juried Show at the Artists Guild. Pick up a prospectus at the gallery or on their web site.

ArtWorks is still seeking members. You can join as a Professional Artist or just as a Supporting Member. Join online! Be part of the organization that is bringing the arts to the forefront in our area!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Abstract Thoughts

Ken Wiley, of Saranac Lake, was awarded the "Best in Show" Award at the Abstraction juried show hosted by Bluseed Studios. His small painting had a title something like "Tribute to Rinehardt and Kline". Ken is a former professor of art at North Country Community College and is an active, exhibiting member of the Adirondack Artists Guild.

Jess Collins received an award as well as Honorable Mention awards for ArtWorks member Peter Shrope and Artists Guild member Barry Lobdell.

Linda Sweeny, pastel artist from Lake Placid, was the juror. It is really an outstanding show with a nice variety of media and clearly gets across the message that abstract art is alive and well in our neck of the woods. The show will run through Feb 28.

COMING UP: Bluseed is having an "Open Minded Mic Night" Thursday, Jan 30, hosted by Crowfeather. It begins at 7:30 pm.

 Winter Carnival starts Friday Jan 31 - Feb 9. Check out their schedule online and enjoy the beautiful artistry of the Ice Palace. The Chamber of Commerce is hosting a FREE performance by the original members of Inisheer, Sat Feb 1 at 4 pm in the Harrietstown Town Hall, Bluseed is hosting a Winter Carnival celtic music performance by Emish, on Feb 1 at 8 pm.

This Sunday, Feb 2, from 2 - 5, there will be an opening reception at the Paul Smith's College VIC for "Old Crows & Other Blackbirds", a group show of works by: Anne Burnham, Ray Whalen, Geoff Cobb, Rebekah Wilkins–Pepiton, Michael Hart, Noreen Sadue, Linda Sauther, Arnold Sauther, and other friends from the Northern Foothills. It will be up through Feb 28. Come out and ski too - most of the trails are in great shape.

Russ Hartung, a photographer from Morrisonville, is one of the new members of NorthWind Fine Arts and he will be the featured artist in February. The opening reception will be Friday Feb 7 from 5 - 7. At the Adirondack Artists Guild, members have donated pieces for a silent auction to benefit Historic Saranac Lake. Each year the Guild chooses a different, local, not-for-profit group and dedicates a show to them. The reception will also be Friday Feb 7 from 5 - 7. Celebrate Winter Carnival and the arts in Saranac Lake! Full schedule on the ArtWorks "Events" page.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Call Me.....

Classic Ringtone
"Phone Art" - juried show on display at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts. Picture is one of the images that printmaker (and ArtWorks member) Larry Poole got accepted in the show. Larry told me he got an Honorable Mention and Peter Seward, another ArtWorks member, received the "Best in Show" Award.

Way to go guys! Now let's see who get's the prizes in "Abstraction" at Bluseed! Show opens tonight from 5 - 7.

Don't forget - this is Membership Month for ArtWorks - time to join or renew and be part of our great arts organization. JOIN HERE!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Head down to Bluseed Studios this Friday night, between 5 - 7 pm,  for the opening reception of "Abstraction", a Juried Show. We don't all just paint or photograph  lakes and mountains and put them in bark and twig frames here! A leader in bringing contemporary art to our community, Bluseed also hosts concerts, open mic nights, workshops and classes. Check them out online at

Winter Carnival is coming January 31 - our beautiful ice palace has had no shortage of ice this year. Lots of great events are scheduled and can be found on their web site.

Opening on February 7, from 5 - 7 pm, will be "The Photography of Russ Hartung" at NorthWind Fine Arts, and "Our Kinda Town" at the Adirondack Artists Guild.

Russ is one of the newest members of NorthWind. "I have spent most of my 56 years visiting or living in the Adirondack region of New York state. My subjects are the scenes that come from an exploration of the back roads, trails and waterways. Sometimes these images are happy accidents but more often come of repeadedly spending time in a specific area over and over again until that special moment presents itself. My main focus is landscape photograpy but capturing images of wildlife is a growing passion."

The February exhibit at the Adirondack Artists Guild is a benefit show for Historic Saranac Lake. Each of the Guild members has created one or two pieces that relate to the history or unique character of our village. It will be a Silent Auction that will start on Feb 7 and end at 2 pm on March 2. Come discover something new about the community and bid on a piece that touches your heart!

Want your portrait painted? Artists Guild member Diane Leifheit has initiated a portrait project: "Face to Face: Drawn to Saranac Lake. Learn more about it HERE.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2014 ArtWorks Memberships Now Available!

Remember who received the Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce "Business of the Year" Award for 2013? Yes - it was ArtWorks!

You could be part of this awesome organization by joining us in 2014. Our membership year runs Jan 1 - Dec 31. Professional level membership, for artists and arts-related businesses and organizations is $150. This will get you an individual listing on our web site, with an image, contact information, and links to your own web site. You will be included in the marketing and advertising products we produce. We will actively promote your events on our online calendar, other online calendars, our Facebook page, through email announcements, and in posters, flyers, brochures and other printed media. And of course we'd love to have you attend our meetings and events!

We also have a Business Sponsor program. Any business that would like to help support the arts in our area can become one of our Business Sponsors. By making a contribution of $150, or more, your dollars will go towards supporting our events: the Cabin Fever Film Festival, the 3rd Thursday ArtWalks, the Adirondack Plein Air Festival, Hobofest, and the Studio Tour. It can be divided evenly between the 5 events or you can choose which one you'd like to support. In return, we will acknowledge your contribution on our web site and in some of our print materials, provide you with a Saranac Lake ArtWorks Business Sponsor sticker, and we won't bother you the rest of the year for any more donations!

The last option is to just become a Supporting Member with a contribution of $25.

Saranac Lake ArtWorks is becoming a major force in this region. Our members have a significant economic impact through the sales of the products they produce and revenue from the events they organize. That benefit spreads through the community as we attract more visitors interested in the arts and they shop, dine, and lodge here - and Saranac Lake is becoming more and more attractive as a place for artists and arts patrons to live!

If you want to join - contact Membership Chair Sandy Hildreth