Barry Lobdell: ‘12983: Exploring Saranac Lake’

SARANAC LAKE – The Adirondack Artists’ Guild will present “12983: Exploring Saranac Lake,” an exhibit of photographs by Barry Lobdell during the month of August.

The show will open Friday with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m., and run through Sept. 2.

Lobdell is a photographer who lives in Saranac Lake. He is a member of the Adirondack Artists’ Guild, where his photographs are regularly on display in the Guild’s gallery and on their website, He also has a personal website,

“12983 is the postal zip code for Saranac Lake and the immediate geographic area, where the photographs in this exhibit were taken,” Lobdell said. “This place is blessed by natural beauty and deeply etched with the markings of almost 200 years of settled history.

“When my wife Janis and I first came to the Tri-Lakes region 18 years ago looking for a place to settle, we explored Tupper Lake and Lake Placid but didn’t feel a strong connection to either of those villages. Driving through Saranac Lake, we immediately noticed the distinctive and historic architecture of the town and began to feel ourselves drawn into the “vibe” of the place. We contemplated our decision while having brunch one Sunday in the dining room of the Hotel Saranac. Maybe it was because we were moving from the Saratoga Springs area, which also features many historic and beautiful buildings, but whatever it was we felt we’d found our new home.

“The subjects of these photographs range from interior views made in public and private buildings to various elements of the natural surroundings. One cannot contemplate Saranac Lake without considering its location amidst thousands and thousands of acres of wilderness. My efforts were not based on a desire to simply document particular buildings or natural forms but instead to find ways to express my interpretation of those elements from an artistic viewpoint – to bring forth what is hidden from typical viewing by passersby and get to the core of each subject. In essence, the photographs are attempts at reading the spirit and personality of this place its past and its present.

“The idea behind this exhibit came from my viewing a collection of images of Malone, New York by photographer Michael Hart, who showed his work at the Pouring Light Gallery in Malone last year. I was inspired to attempt a similar effort here in Saranac Lake.

“Whether the past or present is grander may be debatable but there is eloquence in these towns. Sometimes the past has kept its secrets hidden from us but in many ways it continues to live through the architectural structures and certainly through the natural environment which surrounds us.”

The Adirondack Artists Guild is a cooperative retail art gallery representing a diverse group of regional artists residing and working in the Tri-Lakes region of the Adirondack Park. The gallery is located at 52 Main St., Saranac Lake, and can be reached at 518-891-2615.