Five artists selected for local residency programs

SARANAC LAKE — Pendragon Theatre and BluSeed Studios announced Wednesday that five North Country artists have been selected for their new National Endowment for the Arts “Our Town” Artist Residency program in Saranac Lake.

BluSeed Studios will host David Woodward, Jazen Reuss and Britt Sternberg. Pendragon Theatre will host Glen McClure, Karen Lewis and a third artist to be named.

Woodward hopes to produce a 10 foot tall iron sculpture in front of the Saranac Lake Free Library. This iron sculpture would be of a child reading a book with various book themes and characters flying out of the book towards the sky. This sculpture will represent the importance of books in our society. The project is currently awaiting official approval.

This past fall, Sternberg joined a discussion with David Epstein-HaLevi of the Adirondack Diversity Initiative, and Rachel Karp, the executive director of the Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, about creative ways to encourage college students to interact with the community. From that initial conversation, an idea began to take shape about a mural that could reflect this community back to itself, while fostering a sense of inclusion, welcoming and belonging. The goal of the mural is not just to create a work of art, but also to include input from the community into the design. The mural will be created in small sections, with open conversations from the specific populations we are trying to reflect. Sternberg will launch a women empowerment piece. Discussion dates to be announced.

“We Are Mountain” is a ceramic bead mural project by Reuss and Armstrong that invites the Saranac Lake and North Country communities to create a mural. A mountain, made of many layers of sediment, symbolizes the people and parts that make it what it is: Strong, solid and lush. Reuss will hold bead making workshops throughout the year to make beads with the community. Armstrong will hold a workshop on how to assemble the mural as well as have open artist hours for the community to see the construction of the mural between June 3-17, 2024.

McClure will use the residency to develop music to discuss social issues, including disability in relation to the Adirondacks. McClure will create a 20 to 30 minute musical conversation between disability and the wilderness. One singer will voice disability and four singers (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) will play the role of the forest. Three instrumentalists (fiddle, guitar, banjo, hammer dulcimer, flute and percussion) will provide a folk/classical music setting. The new work will open with a person with a disability waking up, lost in the forest. The ensuing dialogue will follow his or her transformation from wanting to flee to wanting to stay.

Lewis will focus on the creation of a new play with the working title “The Pathless Woods.”

The artist residencies will be dedicated to both the visual and performing arts, bringing in both a diverse and intergenerational set of visual and performing artists to Saranac Lake in order to create new artwork within the community, provide free performances and installations and address challenges in the community through artistic engagement.

For more information, visit www.pendragontheatre.org or www.bluseedstudios.org.


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