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From the Adirondacks to the Olympics and back

"I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way — things I had no words for." - Georgia O'Keefe

For a small village, Saranac Lake is fortunate to have more than its fair share of talented local artists, plus galleries to view their work. Whether you're interested in painting, photography, jewelry, or simply curious to see some of the local talent, a visit to our galleries is a great way to spend time in charming, historic downtown Saranac Lake. Each space is unique and has something interesting to offer.

NorthWind Fine Arts

Located on Woodruff Street, just off Broadway, NorthWind Fine Arts is a cooperative gallery that features regularly changing exhibitions from member artists, as well as special guest artists. While NorthWind is a relative newcomer on the Saranac Lake art scene, having opened in 2011, it has become known for excellent exhibits and a welcoming atmosphere. Among the works visitors will find oil paintings, fine art photography, watercolors, refined pencil drawings, and more. It also puts on an annual juried show, open to non-member artists. The juried show is a wonderful showcase for talented creators.

On the first Friday of every month NorthWind hosts a (free!) reception from 5 - 7 p.m. to celebrate the opening of new exhibits. These casual receptions are an opportunity for the community to gather, view new art, and interact with the artist. This month's special exhibit features the wood carvings of Rachel Lamb, with an exhibit called "Revealing Visions." Of her craft, Lamb has said, "I carve for the love of the process; for my process is a long and sometimes daunting task. I carve for the sense of calm and focus that lures me to work for hours at a time and for the joy I experience as I watch the curls of wood lift from the board and slowly reveal what is hidden beneath."

During the winter, NorthWind Fine Arts is open Thursday through Sunday. Beginning in April, the gallery is open every day except Tuesday.

Adirondack Artists Guild Gallery

Another cooperative gallery (are you sensing a theme in the collegiality of our local artists?) is Adirondack Artists Guild Gallery, located on Main Street. Formed in 1997, the guild gallery provides an opportunity for member artists to exhibit and sell their work. Shared responsibilities, including staffing the gallery, mean that there is always an artist on site, something that visitors especially enjoy. Who better to learn about the art on display from than an artist? At the guild gallery, find a regularly changing array of paintings, photographs, collage, jewelry, and ceramics, as well as the occasional gallery talk.

In Saranac Lake, spring means the annual juried show, opening March 13 and running through the end of April. This thoughtfully selected exhibit always features excellent works by local artists, many of whom are inspired by the natural beauty of the Adirondacks. If you miss the juried show, you can always enjoy some of the guild's other activities, including the summertime Third Thursday Art Walks and the annual Adirondack Plein Air Festival, held every August. The guild helps keep Saranac Lake's residents and visitors busy with plenty of fun art-oriented events throughout the year.

Small Fortune Studio

It may be small, but Tim Fortune's Main Street studio gallery is mighty and full of the art that has made Fortune locally — and nationally — admired. Fortune works in watercolor and oils inspired by the natural world and painted with incredible attention to detail. From a larger-than-life green frog to the glow of afternoon light filtering through snowy trees, Fortune's work should not be missed.

If you stop by, you just might find Tim at work at a seat by the window. As evidenced with his engagement with the downtown community, Fortune is a great ambassador for the area and for artists.

The art galleries and studios in Saranac Lake have collectively created a dynamic, engaging, and welcoming artistic community. Downtown Saranac Lake, with its bountiful galleries, unique restaurants, and special events, is a great place to stroll, browse, and engage with local artists. Start planning your next visit today!

Author:Aurora Wheeler
From the Adirondacks to the Olympics and back

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