Here in Saranac Lake, we are all about art. Even when it escapes the gallery and flutters around everywhere. It can turn up in unexpected places.
Our downtown area is a great place to hunt for it, too. Along with the hot beverages and fresh, made-on-the-premises, pastry, there's plenty of "food for the soul."
Our collection of galleries and shops live to set free a creative spirit. Here's some of the ways we can do that for you.
Our gorgeous Adirondack vistas are an endless source of inspiration for our painters and photographers. Love that view? Maybe it can be taken home.
The Adirondack Artists Guild is a gallery run by the artists themselves. That painting, photo, piece of jewelry, or ceramic piece might have been made by the person who approaches to offer help. It's wonderful to get a backstory on our new acquisition.
Don't forget the flip racks: most artists put unframed pieces in their sections, so there's usually a bargain to be found if we love a certain artist.
The artisan jewelry is another modestly priced bit of art we can gift others, or let them know how much we like it. (I am never above hinting.)
I love stopping by to see what's new, what fires up my imagination, and what has now been sold. Sometimes... I wish it could have been me who got "that one."
NorthWind Fine Arts Gallery is another great place to visit. Their collection of art at my last visit featured winter scenes on watercolor (Catharine Moore, a personal favorite) and more of the found art of Anastasia Osolin (a new personal favorite.)
There's usually a cool mix of traditional and boundary-pushing no matter where we browse, because our local artists are a diverse, and talented, bunch. Many move here for our welcoming atmosphere in the civilized part, and revel in the inspiration of our wild part.
The crossroads of these two areas is where the best art is made.
Combining the traditional with the technological is another outstanding technique, as our artists explore the natural world with the latest in computers, homemade ceramic glazes, and stunning new materials.
Did you know the Village Mercantile has lots of artisan crafts?
Our own "hometown department store" was a labor of love from the entire town. It stocks essentials like frying pans and socks, along with fashions designed for Adirondack living, and some delightful gift goodies. Like featuring our local source for scented candles, which are all organic in origin.
There's jewelry, handbags, books by local authors, and a rainbow of yarn for our own creative yens. There's even alpaca yarn from Mountain Meadows farm in Ray Brook. My knit and crochet friends tell me there are plenty of other styles and blends to choose from.
The Twin Crystal Rock Shop is a thrilling destination for young or old. In additional to rocks, crystals, and beautiful jewelry made on the premises (they even have classes) there's a treasure box for digging in and a large selection of candy... including, of course, rock candy. The real-life twins in Twin Crystal have had a rock fascination since early childhood.
A good friend and I share a common weakness for the Herkimer Diamonds jewelry the brothers make.
These special rocks began 500-million years ago, resulting in double-terminated quartz crystals of exceptional clarity, known as "water-clear." They are mined from exposed outcrops of dolostone in and around nearby Herkimer County, New York, spreading into the Mohawk River Valley. But calling them "diamonds" is not far off the mark: they have both clarity and natural faceting in their favor, as these crystals have double termination points and 18 total facets (six on each point, six around the center).
This makes for a very reasonable diamond choice.
Every time I go there they have something new, and this time was no exception: they have SoapRocks. These giant, gorgeous, creations "last a long time" one of the twins (I never know which one unless I ask) told me. What a wild idea! This would really dress up that guest bathroom.
Do it yourself
If you now have a yen for creating your own art; we can help.
For music, you must drop by Ampersound. This delightful music store has CDs, DVDs, and sheet music, along with all kinds of musical choices. From the no-talent-needed kazoos to the fine stringed instruments in the back, many of our dreams can get started here.
It's also a great place to find out where the latest live music might be playing, from chorales to the latest fusion band. With more and more places in Saranac Lake featuring live music, and so many great bands putting us on their itinerary, you might want to consult our Live Entertainment page.
The area that draws my husband like a magnet is the guitar room, where we can often find local talent limbering up their fingers on a wide selection of new and used options. This gentleman agreed that there's no such thing as having too many.
Even our youngest aspirants will find plenty to choose from in the magical toy store of Goody Goody’s. Here is shelf upon shelf of craft materials, from fat markers for little fingers to fascinating avenues of science which result in lovely things to display, like the crystal growing kit.
Another specialty of the store is their giant game section, which is all about the interesting and creative. Get the entire family on board with a game night, from an old favorite to a new and fascinating option everyone can agree upon.
From extraordinary souvenirs to support for a lifelong passion, our Historic Downtown has so much to choose from. Shopping, history, scenic walks, and attractions; it's all here. And, you're always welcome.