Can’t-Miss Artists and Art Galleries: Part One

The Adirondack region’s beauty and serenity have inspired generations of artists, writers, photographers, and musicians. Artists of all stripes can find abundant source material in the Adirondack wilderness, the charm of the region’s towns, and the character of its residents.

As Daphne Taylor, Managing Director of the Tannery Pond Center in North Creek explains, “The arts are thriving in our area, and there is something for everyone. The art is so accessible too! The Widlund Gallery at Tannery Pond shows terrific exhibits of both accomplished and emerging artists, but this is just the beginning. See the North Creek Mosaic Project, art on the walls in local cafés and restaurants, for sale in North Creek shops, and in nearby studios.”

In fact, the Gore Region’s arts community is so robust, we’re highlighting its artists and art galleries in a two-part series. We’re kicking off our exploration of Johnsburg’s art scene by delving into the destinations noted by Ms. Taylor, among others:

The North Creek Mosaic Project

The North Creek Mosaic Project is an example of how art in a public space is beneficial beyond offering visual appeal- it can engage and energize communities. A large-scale mural intended to beautify the retaining walls along the entrance to North Creek’s charming downtown, the North Creek Mosaic project is spearheaded by local artist Kate Hartley. The mural depicts an idyllic springtime river and mountain scene to represent the region’s natural beauty.

A group of second graders from Johnsburg Central School, after they installed unique elements they created in spring workshops (Arts-in-Ed grant from LARAC/NYSCA). Says Ms. Hartley, “Their elements will always be recognizable, and a source of pride for generations to come!”

Now in its ninth year, The North Creek Mosaic Project is a collective effort. Volunteers work alongside Ms. Hartley to create and expand the 180-foot-long mosaic. Over 1600 people have participated to date, including the majority of area children, as well as local artists, residents, and visitors. Check out the ​North Creek Mosaic Project Facebook Page ​for updates on when volunteers can join Ms. Hartley to work o the mural.

Widlund Gallery at Tannery Pond Community Center

Located in North Creek, The Tannery Pond Community Center is an oasis of arts and culture. Along with serving as a venue for musical, dance, and theater performances, The Tannery Pond Community Center is home to the ​Widlund Gallery​, a visual arts exhibition space. The gallery is named in honor of Elise and Woody Widlund, Town of Johnsburg residents who spearheaded efforts to build and fund the Tannery Pond Community Center. It’s intended to provide a place for local and regional artists to display two- and three-dimensional artwork, and to give area residents and visitors the opportunity to view original works of art. Exhibits currently change monthly and will move to changing every two months in 2020.

If you’re interested in showing your work at the Widlund Gallery, you can find a Request for Exhibition Form on their website. For those wishing to visit the gallery, the Tannery Pond Community Center’s website also provides a schedule of exhibitions and details on facility location and hours of operation.

Frances Gaffney

Frances Gaffney is a surrealist painter residing in the Town of Johnsburg. Below, Ms. Gaffney describes her approach to her eye-catching artwork:

“I paint about the energy landscape. I travel to the realm of causation – a mostly unseen space. The paintings created as a result of this non-local exploration are artifacts, much like everything experienced in the natural world.”

Her work has been shown extensively in and around Upstate New York’s North Country region. Among her many achievements, Ms.Gaffney served as a Juror for both the 2016 and 2018 Saranac Lake Plein Air Festivals in Saranac Lake, NY, as a Visiting Artist at the ​The Wild Center​ Natural History Museum in Tupper Lake, NY from 2015-2016, as an Artist in Residence at theState University of New York, School of Environmental Science and Forestry in Newcomb, NY, in 2014, and as an Artist in Residence at the ​Adirondack Experience​, a museum in Blue Mountain Lake, NY, from 2011-2013.

More information about Ms. Gaffney and her artwork can be found on her ​website​, ​and on her blog​.

Marjolaine Arsenault & Marjolaine’s Touch

Marjolaine’s Touch​ is owned and operated by Marjolaine Arsenault, a feltmaker and fiber artist who creates wearable art from Nuno felt. Her studio is located in North Creek, above ​Cafe Sarah​. Ms. Arsenault travels across the country to sell her work at Juried Fine Craft Shows and to teach workshops. She’s received several awards, including the Collector’s Award at the Palm Beach Fine Craft Show in 2013 and the Outstanding Achievement Award at the Chicago Botanical Garden Fine Craft Show in 2014, and her creations were exhibited at Kent State University Fashion Museum in the show Entangled: Fiber to Felt to Fashion in 2014-15. Ms. Arsenault is also a member of the Northeast Feltmakers Guild.

Check back soon to learn about more great artists from Gore Region, and to find out where else you can view their breathtaking work!