Art Walk packed with activity today

SARANAC LAKE – This village’s 15th annual Third Thursday Art Walks continue this evening on the heels of the Plein Air Festival’s “Paint the Town” event today.

Downtown parks, businesses, nonprofit groups and galleries will host the talents of regional and local artists and musicians of various genres from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

“Art Walkers” can go to any participating venue, pick up a map and schedule, and experience, at their own pace, established artists’ work and emerging talents from all over the North Country. There are about 30 venues in all, each marked with a festive balloon.

Starting at the intersection of Main Street and River Street (state Route 3), this evening’s Art Walk venues include Riverside Park, The Waterhole, Rice Furniture, Blue Moon Cafe, Adirondack Artists’ Guild, Mark Kurtz Photography, Downhill Grill, T.F. Finnigan, Blue Line Sports, Small Fortune Studio, Upstairs Gallery, Georgeanne Gaffney Studio-Gallery, Berkeley Green, the Community Store and the Saranac Lake Free Library.

New for the Art Walks this season is a concert by young local bands Invasive Species and Mouthbreather at the Riverside Park bandshell to raise money for the marching band at Saranac Lake High School.

Invasive Species is a local progressive rock band made up of Hudson Gray, Travis Buck, Dominique Santiago, Peter Curtis and Cameron Czadzeck. Mouthbreather is a local progressive punk/grunge duo of Joey Burnah and Leo Brill, who will soon be off to Portland, Ore., to sow their musical talents.

Local artist galleries will be open for the evening. BluSeed Studios at 24 Cedar St. will display “Paper Migration,” a cross-border exchange of art, culture and community between BluSeed and a cooperative of artists in Mazatlan, Mexico, including Glen Rogers Studio, Luna: Arte Contemporaneo and the Municipal Institute of Culture, Tourism and Art of Mazatlan (Cultura).

Also two new galleries have sprung up in downtown Saranac Lake since the last Art Walk. Artist Mary Woodcock Johnson’s new gallery on 8 Academy St. showcases her watercolor and oil paintings of the Adirondacks and Maine. And painter Georgeanne Gaffney has re-established her downtown studio and gallery at 82 Main St., into which she has just moved. Both are open to the public and will be open for the August and September Art Walks.

The Pendragon Theatre gallery at 15 Brandy Brook Ave. is hosting the collection of 22 face drawings and paintings by local artist Diane Leifheit, titled “Face It.” Some of the work dates back 20 years while some was made in the last year. Only three of the faces were not known personally by the artist. The work is in keeping with Pendragon Theatre’s summer repertoire theme, “Saints and Sinners,” and is up until the season’s end.

There will be a meet-the-artist reception during today’s Art Walk, and anyone who attends will receive a discount coupon on a theater performance at Pendragon. Following the Art Walk, at 8 p.m., Pendragon will show its final performance of its run of the Tennessee Williams play, “A Streetcar Named Desire.”

The Saranac Laboratory Museum on Church Street will continue its exhibit of “Ursula Trudeau: A Life in Hats,” a collection of the unique hats worn by local artist Ursula Trudeau throughout her life. It will be in the John Black Room. Malone-based acoustic pianist Matt Bullwinkel will entertain outside the museum.

In addition to being the headquarters for the Plein Air Festival kicking off today, the Adirondack Artists’ Guild on Main Street is showcasing the works of fiber artist and member Donna Foley in her show, “Local + Color.” The guild will also display other members’ work as well as the fresh paintings of Plein Air Festival artists who participated in the “Paint the Town” event today.

The NorthWind Fine Arts Gallery will continue to showcase the talents of all its members and feature the current paintings and jewelry work of Lee Ann Sporn in her exhibit “Rearrangements.”

The Saranac Lake Free Library’s Cantwell Room will exhibit the annual summer show of the Paint and Palette Association. They will hold a meet-the-artists reception during the Art Walk.

The visitor can walk down Broadway to see the venues of Twin Crystal Rock Shop, which will give rock-cutting demonstrations and host fused-glass jewelry maker Lauren McGovern. Next door, Two Horse Trade Co. will host functional artist Stephanie DeJoseph and her work. Next door to that at Major Plowshares, fiber artist Marie Despres will display her work.

The Left Bank Cafe will host Middlebury College professor and author Christopher Shaw and Vermont poet Nicholas Spengler, who will read excerpts from their published works.

Local authors Jamie Sheffield and LeeAnne Baker will be on hand to sign their newly published books at Moose Maple Books and More (formerly Books and Baskets) on Olive Street. Moose Maple will also show its handcrafted furniture and other specialties.

Local author, publisher and newspaper editor Andy Flynn will release and sign his latest book, “Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Memories,” in front of Rice Furniture.

Since June, the Piece By Piece Studio quilt shop has moved from Broadway to 30 Bloomingdale Ave., across from Stewart’s Shop and the Adirondack Carousel. Owner Beth Gallagher will demonstrate her quilting talents during the Art Walk.

Romano’s Saranac Lanes, also on Bloomingdale Avenue, will host the band Damaged Goods and provide an interactive bowling pin painting activity and family dinner specials.

The Adirondack Carousel, at the corner of Bloomingdale Avenue and Depot Street, is a piece of art in itself and will be open for the evening, too.

Local photographer Dan Hausner will once again display his work outside the DownHill Grill.

Artists including Sarah Humphreys and Carol Blackmore will display their work throughout the village.

For their final performance in the current configuration, The Lemmon Drops will play at Berkeley Green tonight. Two band members will move out of the area in September.

The Waterhole’s Party on the Patio will feature Charlie Orlando at 6:30 p.m.

All musicians will be outdoors unless the weather dictates otherwise.

For more information, contact Jill Wenner, Art Walk coordinator, at 518-637-2745, or check out the Saranac Lake’s Third Thursday Art Walks Facebook page.