Saranac Lake ArtWorks, a collaborative group of artists, galleries, theatre and art-related businesses, is moving into it's fifth year of operation and is currently seeking new members.
"Our mission has always been to promote the community, the Saranac Lake area, through the arts," photographer Mark Kurtz said. "One of the best ways to do that is to pool resources and do joint advertising."
ArtWorks does charge $150 a year for a professional level membership, but that produces about $5000 in advertising each year - much more than most individual artists can afford to do on their own.
"We have such a large number of talented artists, writers, and performers in this area, many inspired by our beautiful environment, and our ArtWorks advertising is a way to bring attention to this abundance of creativity," ArtWorks secretary Sandra Hildreth said.
The "arts" have proved that they can be an attraction for visitors, as well as enriching the lives of the people who live here, and have a positive economic impact. This is, in fact, why the village of Saranac Lake has applied for a National Endowment for the Arts grant. The "arts," combined with the outstanding outdoor recreation opportunities, the small town atmosphere, events like Winter Carnival and a friendly community can attract significant numbers of visitors. There are also many people who look for vibrant arts communities when seeking a place to live, work or retire.
Saranac Lake ArtWorks, which certainly is indebted to and follows in the tracks of prior "revitalization through the arts" efforts, already has a good track record. The Cabin Fever Film Festival and the 3rd Thursday ArtWalks have morphed into ArtWorks supported events, entertaining and attracting hundreds of visitors a year. The Adirondack Plein Air Festival is drawing both artists and buyers from all over the country. Hobofest, created by two ArtWorks members, continues to entertain residents and visitors alike. The Artist at Work Studio Tour, originally started by the Adirondack Artists Guild, is now a regular fall event and pulls several hundred people into the region to visit studios and galleries.
Among its members, Pendragon Theatre has been pleasing audiences for more than 30 years; Tim Fortune started painting in the window of his studio on Main Street in 1994; the Adirondack Artists' Guild has been exhibiting the work of area artists since 1997 (and has served as a model for other new co-op galleries); and BluSeed Studios has provided classes, studio space, great live music performances and art exhibits for 10 years.
The Adirondack Carousel and the Paul Smith's College VIC are new members and ArtWorks helps to promote their art related events. Visit SaranacLakeArtWorks.com and learn about events and activities.
In addition to seeking new artist members, Saranac Lake ArtWorks also welcomes Business Sponsor members, whose membership fees show their support of the arts in our region. Supporting memberships at $25 are also available to people who simply wish to help out in their own small way.
To learn more or request a membership form, contact Sandra Hildreth at 518-891-1388, or download one from