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Plein Air Festival will continue outdoors, online

Sandra Hildreth made this painting of Baker Mountain in Saranac Lake in the spring. (Photo provided)

SARANAC LAKE — The 2020 Adirondack Plein Air Festival is still on schedule without postponement, but the viewing and purchasing part of the event will go online in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Participating artists are no longer required to physically stay in Saranac Lake for a single week of painting the Adirondacks. Their work is still required to be new, with the Adirondacks as the subject matter, but they may paint in any outdoor location they like within the Adirondack Park between July 30 and Aug. 19. It’s just an honor system ensuring that they follow those rules.

Instead of filling the Harrietstown Town Hall auditorium with fresh paintings, the annual festival’s concluding Show & Sale will go online: on Aug. 22 for those who make a $20 donation to Saranac Lake ArtWorks and Aug. 23 for everyone else. The show will stay on the ArtWorks website for a month.

“This will be a chance for patrons to explore our brand new website, SaranacLakeArtWorks.org,” Sandra Hildreth, founder of the festival and one of the co-founders of Saranac Lake ArtWorks, said in a press release. “We are also on the way to becoming our own not-for-profit organization, which is why we have switched our website name from a .com to a .org.”

Artists from all over the country had started registering for the Plein Air Festival on Feb 1, according to Hildreth.

ArtWorks is looking into the possibility of staging an outdoor Show & Sale for local plein air painters the weekend of Aug. 22-23, but that will be determined later in the season.

Saranac Lake ArtWorks is also the host of Third Thursday ArtWalks and Studio Tours. These events will not be able to function as originally planned, but there will be online alternatives featuring member artists, e-blasts promoting online arts events, and updates on any innovative live and online arts events that might be happening. To get the Saranac Lake ArtWorks online newsletter, sign up at www.saranaclakeartworks.org.

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