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Essex County Arts Council awards five small grants to artists and artisans

Michael Gray of Lake Placid displays one of his handcrafted banjos in his studio. He plans to add marquetry and parquetry techniques to enhance the artistry of his banjos. (Photo provided)

WESTPORT — The Essex County Arts Council is pleased to announce 2020 grant awards to five artists.

The Artist Career Development grant program is designed to support Essex County artists for specific projects or opportunities that will significantly impact or expand their art careers. Each grant can be for up to $500, although not every grant is for that much.

Michael Gray, a banjo maker from Lake Placid, will apply his grant toward the purchase of a drum sander he will use to enhance the artistry of his instruments, paving the way for his move beyond the craft to the art of banjo making.

Susan Hoffer, a painter from Upper Jay, plans two solo exhibits in 2020: one at Lake George Arts in Lake George and the second at Adirondack Center for the Arts in Blue Mountain Lake. Her “Painted Stories” paintings depict the diversity of ideas and people in the Adirondack Park.

Lucas Tardif from AuSable Forks, specializing in the traditional art of bamboo fly rods, proposes to purchase a Morgan Hand Mill and related accoutrements to provide a much more polished and professional fly rod.

“Open Your Eyes” is a “painted story” by Susan Hoffer, who is scheduled to exhibit her “Painted Stories” series at Lake George Arts in Lake George and Adirondack Center for the Arts in Blue Mountain Lake. (Image provided)

Marissa Jonke’s artist discipline is taxidermy. The ACD award will provide the opportunity for this Jay resident to attend the United Taxidermists of NY Convention and Competition, where she expects to enhance her skill and also compete.

Dolly Sfeir, a choreographer from Essex, will purpose the award for a self-produced, directed and choreographed film, “The Lights Go Out.”

This year marks the third year of the Artist Career Development Grant offering. The specifics of the ACD Grant for 2021 will be publicized in the next few months. For additional information, visit www.essexcountyarts.org.

The Essex County Arts Council is an all-volunteer 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 1983 to promote, develop and sustain the cultural life in the Adirondack region of upstate New York.


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