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2015: Downtown Saranac Lake got a little more colorful this summer. Twelve double-sided banners featuring photographs of the work of 24 local artists went up on Church Street, Main Street and upper Broadway last week and will remain on display for the remainder of the season. The banner project was initiated and funded by AdkAction which collaborated with the Village of Saranac Lake and Saranac Lake ArtWorks to create a first-year test of the idea. It is hoped that that the number of banners will increase in subsequent years and that many more artists will participate in the future. 

Mark Kurtz of Mark Kurtz Photography volunteered to photograph original works of art, format them with graphics for the banners and get them printed. Saranac Lake Community Development Director Jeremy Evans worked to secure permission for hanging the banners and asked the village public works department to hang them. “ got this idea from a visiting architect last summer,” said Airlie Lennon, chair of Roger Brown of the Rochester Design Center had just lectured on American Villages at Chatauqua and he was impressed by Saranac Lake and its numerous artgalleries. He suggested the art banner idea -- modeled after a highly successful, similar program in Easton, Md. -- as a way to help brand Saranac Lake as an arts community. We are excited by this launch of the program and hope to help it grow.”  

“We were a bit rushed getting the program going this year, and hope with more planning time for next year that the banners can be located on Main Street near all the galleries,” she said. Others who helped were board member Betsy Minehan, artist and Art Works member Sandra Hildreth and executive director Alice Vera. The arts are represented by painters, photographers, ceramicists, sculptors, printmakers, quilters and potters. The24 artists represented are: Jackie Altman, Meg Bernstein, Nancy Brossard, Maria DeAngelo, Tim Fortune, Beth Gallagher, Phil Gallos, Shawn Halperin, Sandy Hildreth, Mark Kurtz, Rachel Lamb, Suzanne Lebeda, Diane Leifheit, Cat Micheels, Valerie Patterson, Matt Paul, Mary Lou Reid, Peter Seward,Peter Shrope, Eleanor Sweeney, Alice Vera, Carol Vossler, Cris Winters and David Woodward. 

The main road in Keene and Keene Valley is more colorful this summer under an arts project by AdkAction. Twelve double-sided banners featuring photographs of the work of local artists went up this week on Route 73 as it meanders through these hamlets. The banners will remain on display for the rest of the summer. The banner project was initiated and funded by AdkAction which collaborated with High Peaks artists, East Branch Friends of the Arts and the hamlets of Keene and Keene Valley to create these colorful addition to the main road. The banners will also highlight the annual Art Show held each August on Marcy Field. Invitations to submit art work were sent to all 35 artists in the High Peaks group and more than 50 photos of paintings were submitted.

Several AdkAction board members reviewed the submissions and selected those most suitable for banners. If needed, higher resolution photos were requested. George Ludlow, a professional graphic designer and treasurer of High Peaks Artists, then formatted them into the previously agreed on template and they were printed. Pam Gothner, President of East Branch Friend of the Arts arranged for permission from the town of Keene to hang the banners and arranged for the county workers to do the hanging.

“AdkAction got this idea from an architect visiting Saranac Lake in 2013,” said Airlie Lennon, board chairperson. “Roger Brown of the Rochester Design Center had just lectured on American Villages at Chatauqua and was impressed by the art in many of the Adirondack Villages. He particularly cited as an example the nationally known art banner program, in Easton, MD.” Last summer sponsored art banners in Saranac Lake. The non-profit plans to spread the art banner program to many other Adirondack towns and villages, especially Old Forge where, as in Keene and Keene Valley, art attracts visitiors. Others who helped were Amy Ludlow, President of High Peaks Artists and executive director Alice Vera. The artists represented on the banners are: Monica Bradbury, Sarah Britton, Linda Coe, Michael Gaudreau, Peter Goodwin, George Ludlow, Cheryl MacFadden, Ed Bear Miller, Wendy Sheasby, Elaine Wilson, Naj Wikoff, and Balikie Worth.

Want to help support local artists? is a 501(c)3 nonprofit. All donations are deductible. creates projects that address unmet needs, promote vibrant communities, and preserve the character of the Adirondacks.

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