Saranac Lake ArtWorks gives $1,000 to art teachers

SARANAC LAKE — Saranac Lake ArtWorks donated $1,000 to the Saranac Lake Central School District Arts Department at Wednesday night’s school board meeting.

The money was raised from the Adirondack Plein Air Festival that Saranac Lake ArtWorks has put on in the summer for the last decade. One element of the festival is that participating artists must spend one day, called “Paint the Town Day,” creating a small work from a vantage point somewhere in the village.

These paintings are put on display for the rest of the festival, available to bid on through silent auction. At the end of the festival, the work goes to the highest bidder — with fifty percent of the proceeds going to the artist.

“For years now, we have picked out an organization, usually an arts organization in Saranac Lake, and contributed that profit to that organization,” said Mark Kurtz, photographer and ArtWorks board member.

In the past, proceeds from the festival have been given to Pendragon Theatre, Historic Saranac Lake and Bluseed Studios, before it merged with Saranac Lake ArtWorks in 2017.

“Art education, and the foundation of what that does for developing artists as well as just creative thinkers, is important,” Kurtz said. “And that’s what led us to make the decision to contribute to the art education program in the schools.”

Kurtz said that ArtWorks also donated a portion of the proceeds to St. Bernard’s School’s art department.