This past Saturday, we had the pleasure of exploring the new Art Annex, located in Saranac Lake at 52 Main St. The Annex occupies the second story of the building occupied by the Artist's Guild in the historic Green's Market building. What a wonderful addition it is to the arts community of the Adirondacks. Unfortunately, this was not an outing Bear could attend with us - he waited patiently in the car....
The current exhibit in the tiny gallery is Adirondack Bra Art, an exhibit put together to recognize National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It was a very clever idea and the creativity expressed by the artists is amazing. All proceeds of sales and donations benefit breast cancer research through the National Cancer Society. This is a one week only show, so don't put off your visit past this coming Friday, Oct. 29! Show dates are Oct. 22-28 from 1 to 5 p.m. or by appointment. There will be a closing reception and sale, from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday Oct. 29.
One of my favorite bra designs was created by Carmen Ordonez. A bright purple bra was decorated with Crayola Crayons and flowers - very colorful and crative! Others used various forms of decorative processes, including pinecones and other flora, buttons, bows and a plethora of other mediums. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I've included several. But don't let the pictures suffice for actually going to the Art Annex to see the exhibit in person. It's well worth the short trek to Saranac Lake!
We were very fortunate to be greeted at the Annex by Matt Paul, a tenant artist in one of the several small studios that are rented by the month and adjacent to the exhibit space. Matt and his wife, Maria DeAngelo, work out of two of the bright and cheerful studios facing the front of the building. Matt graciously invited us into their studios for a tour. Matt's talent as a portrait artist is exceeded only by his exuberance about his and Maria's work. Several of his portraits hang on the walls, and his working studio attests to the hours of drawing exercises he obviously practices on a regular basis. He demonstrated the tedious practice of measuring and copying from photos and drawings of famous statues to train himself to get the proportions "just right" when he draws from real models. If his portraits are any indication, the practice is definitely working! On display were several individual portraits Matt did of three different families, grouped by family. This unique project had each family member making faces Matt captured on film and then drew in charcoal. A very interesting concept and executed beautifully. The photo doesn't do them justice, so you'll just have to stop in and hope to catch Matt in his studio to show them to you. (Matt works at Adirondack Life Magazine full time as production manager, so you won't catch him there during the weekdays.)
Maria's studio, adjoining Matt's, is bright and cheerful and full of energy. Unfortunately we didn't have the opportunity to meet Maria, but her work is incredibly exciting, and vibrant. Several projects were in the partially completed stages. I hope to someday have a chance to see the completed works on exhibit somewhere. She works in many different media, but her abstract acrylic paintings were my favorites. She does a painting on an entire canvas and then covers most of it with white, leaving portions of the underpainting exposed in abstract lines across the canvas. There were several small paintings like this and one very large canvas in the works. Maria also holds a full time job as the art teacher at the Saranac Lake Middle School. The kids in the Middle School are lucky, indeed, to have such talent for a teacher.
Hopefully you, too, will be lucky enough to meet the artists at work when you visit the Art Annex for an exhibit. There are several small studios in the Annex, renting monthly and even by the hour for music teachers, etc. The Art Annex is sponsored by Borealis Color, owned and operated by Susan Olsen, who purchased the building in August of this year. If it's any indication of the wonderful things to come from Susan and her venture, this first exhibit and the studios are a fresh and exciting addition to the community and there will be much more to come. To find out more about the Art Annex, visit www.theartannex.org.