Saranac Lake is a retreat for the creative mind. As many people travel to Saranac Lake they often have the question, “what’s there to do?” In all reality the question should be, “what’s there not to do?” This question of course would finally have us at a loss for words. This is because Saranac Lake has such a wide variety of activities for all ages, and interests. For the outdoor enthusiast there is plenty to do and plenty of miles to explore. Paddling, biking, and hiking are marvelous topics of interests when speaking to visitors and locals in the area. However, Saranac Lake is also a big advocate for those intrigued by history, and especially the arts.
Saranac Lake has an abundant amount of artists, musicians, and actors that live to tell a story. The arts made here in Saranac Lake are truly beautiful and are prized possessions that flourish throughout the area. There are 6-7 galleries in the Village of Saranac Lake alone and several artists' studios, this number astounds people. The question that arises is: why so many? And the simple answer is, "look around.” If you look around this town you’ll see the everlasting beauty of the Adirondacks and the quaint historic village they reside in. How in the world could one not be inspired to create works of art while surrounded by this beauty. The ranges of artistic ability and styles are incredible and they never cease to amaze.
The galleries seem endless and a nice walk down the main street area can help you reach a good majority of them. There is conveniently a Saranac Lake Artworks Directory, that has a map of the galleries around Saranac Lake and the surrounding area. This directory can be picked up at the Saranac Lake Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Center, the galleries, Pendragon Theatre, and the Adirondack Carousel. The galleries are constantly changing exhibits monthly and providing multiple social events for the community. The connection between artists and the community is beautiful.
The glory of the exhibits is they are generally there for a month, even with a busy schedule you're bound to be able to see it at least once. The artwork made here is quite spectacular and unique. I can attest to the fact that the works are eye-catching; every day I walk by NorthWind Fine Arts, a gallery near my apartment. One would think after a few days of walking by the new exhibit, I would begin to ignore the new paintings. However, the complete opposite happened. Everyday I stared at the works of art and found something more and more eye-catching. The beauty of the art spoke to me and always brightened my day. This can be said for all the galleries around town. This is why the arts made here are so inspiring and connect the community.
Every year we hold the Plein Air Festival which consists of 5 days of making beautiful art, “in the open air,” followed by a show and sale. Saranac Lake also hosts the popular 3rd Thursday Artwalks from June through September which are captivating and looked forward to by many. The array of events are endless, and several studios will even hold art classes that are open to the public. The galleries represent a great deal of the artistic community here, but there are several other types of art that are captured right here in this beautiful village.
Pendragon Theatre is another aspect of Saranac Lake that we take great pride in. The theatre is the only year-round professional repertory theatre in The Adirondack Park. The plays that occur here have a wide variety of storylines. Classics are a fan favorite, and the acting is beyond fabulous.
A friend of mine is an actor at Pendragon and I was lucky enough to get his outlook on our hometown theatre. Tyler Nye is the type of guy that can walk into a room and light it up instantly, no matter the crowd. When I first met Tyler I was unaware of his background and participation in the arts. I learned quickly of his passion for them, and was enlightened by his large part in the acting community here in Saranac Lake, NY. Recently I asked Tyler several questions regarding his acting at Pendragon. His answers show you just how important the arts created in the Adirondacks are.
Tyler grew up in Keene Valley, a small town in the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks. He was constantly attending shows at Pendragon, as his school realized the importance of the exposure of the arts to students. However, Tyler had already been appreciating the arts for years. He even stated that it is believed that theatre artists are “hardwired,” growing up he was imaginative, artistic and acting out plays or scenes whenever possible.
Tyler’s passion led him to continue his pursuit of the arts by receiving his theatre degree and participating in an intensive at an acting studio in Manhattan. His roots beckoned him back, he felt compelled to contact Pendragon and become involved in shows there. He quickly felt at home in the theatre environment at Pendragon; they became more like family. He believes this community is where he has done some of his best work. He feels that Saranac Lake, “fosters, inspires and embraces the arts,” which appeases him and warms his heart.
Tyler’s story is heartening and beautiful, a small town boy who went out and chased his dreams. However, it is seen that he always remembered his roots. He has performed on numerous stages, big and small, yet Pendragon here in Saranac Lake always calls him home. This shows how glorious the art made in Saranac Lake is, that it created the baseline for Tyler’s dreams and passions.
The theatre is gravitating and pulls people in from all over, and many different backgrounds. A great acquaintance of mine has attended several plays at Pendragon with her family and friends. She also feels a compelling draw to this theatre - similar to Tyler's - but from a different perspective. She thinks the plays are marvelous and the environment welcoming. She lives over 5-hours away, but during her visits to the Saranac Lake area always tries to see a show if possible. The art created at this theatre is compelling and speaks to the heart. There truly isn’t another place like Pendragon within the Blue Line. So why not visit and catch a show next time you are in the Saranac Lake region?
In addition to the galleries and theatre there are plenty of other places to see or create your own art here in Saranac Lake. The Brushery is a new hot spot downtown where you can enjoy an evening of painting and adult beverages. There is also the Piece by Piece Studio - a place to get inspired by fabrics, books, patterns and more from around the world. Whether it’s admiring a professional’s work from around the area or starting your own project, Saranac Lake is the hub of all things creative. I'd like to say, it is the Adirondack’s masterpiece. So come to town and join the fun, there is a little bit of art for everyone. You will find plenty of places to stay here, along with plenty of restaurants to nourish the body to keep the creative juices flowing.
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