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Thursday ArtWalks will return

Wood carver Mark Paul shows off his wares at a Third Thursday ArtWalk in Saranac Lake. (Photo provided)

SARANAC LAKE — The Third Thursday ArtWalks will return this summer, on July 15, Aug. 19 and Sept. 16.

The COVID-19 pandemic halted the festivities last summer, as well as the usual ArtWalk in June, but Saranac Lake ArtWorks and the Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce are partnering to showcase the area’s art community for the next three months.

“We are really excited to provide the community an opportunity to interact with local artists,” Sandy Hildreth of Saranac Lake ArtWorks said in a press release. “The pandemic was a difficult time for the arts, and we are grateful to partner with the chamber to once again provide an outlet for the community to take part in the vibrant art scene that’s waiting to be discovered in our area.”

The arts scene in downtown Saranac Lake was quieter than usual last year. Normally, from June through September, third Thursdays of the month brought artists and performers to the sidewalks and parks of downtown Saranac Lake. With in-person events coming back due to high vaccination rates and low COVID-19 transmission rates, businesses and community members are looking forward to the return of the ArtWalks (now spelled with no space between Art and Walk).

“The ArtWalk is a fantastic community event,” chamber board member and Saranac Lake’s Arts and Culture Advisory Board Chair Kirk Sullivan said. “It is an opportunity for families and friends to reconnect and have fun seeing what our local artists are up to. Downtown is never more alive than it is on the third Thursdays of summer.”

The hours of each ArtWalk are 5 to 7:30 p.m. and are free for the public to participate. ArtWalk maps are available at participating art venues and the Saranac Lake Welcome Center in the Harrietstown Town Hall, 39 Main St., each night of the event. Artists of all genres — visual and performance artists — and all skill levels are encouraged to participate, mixing together throughout downtown, displaying or demonstrating their creative products.

ArtWorks and the chamber are also partnering to host two Saranac Lake ArtMarkets, which was created out of a need for artists to showcase their talent during the pandemic. The first ArtMarket occurred at Riverside Park near the Lake Flower boat launch in fall 2020. The event had 25 artists participate and over 700 visitors go through the market. This year, the ArtMarkets will occur on July 24 and Sept. 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Riverside Park next to the Lake Flower Boat Launch.

“We couldn’t organize ArtWalks last year, so we had to figure out another way to help promote our artists and art community,” Hildreth said. “Our artists enjoyed the event so much that we decided to host a couple more this year.”

Artists or businesses interested in participating in the Third Thursday ArtWalks or the Saranac Lake ArtMarket can contact Patrick Murphy at 518-897-3217 or patrick@murphyminded.com.

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