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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

First Rustic Artisans Gallery a Success

Yesterday, Kate, ANCA's executive director, and I attended one of the events at the First Annual Rustic Artisan Gathering at the Lake Placid Lodge. Caroline Welsh, director of the Adirondack Museum, gave a short powerpoint presentation illustrating the roots of rustics in the Adirondacks.

Among many orginal photos depicting the many styles and trends leading to Adirondack Rustic it was fascinating to learn that an Englishman wrote a book about the Chinese art of rustic furniture making in the late 1700's.

The presentation ended with painter Rhea Costello offering Caroline a deep felt thank-you with a gift of a print of one of her original works celebrating last year's exhibit celebrating the modern in rustic. The rustic makers are deeply appreciative of the importance of the Museum's annual Rustic Fair in renewing interest in the genre since its first year in 1987.

The artists I spoke with; Larry Post, Barry and Darlene Gregson and Michael Ringer enjoyed the appreciation and recognition shown to them by the Lodge during the four day gathering. All expressed a belief that as an annual event it could only become bigger and better. All rooms were booked at the Lodge for the weekend.

After the presentation, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres were served on one of the Lake Placid Lodge's balconies. The afternoon light of the late June sun changed into evening over the lake's mountain views.

It was a delight to meet Larry Post, who with his large detailed furniture pieces has rapidly achieved a rare level of recognition and appreciation among collectors.

Darlene Gregson was happy to say that their gallery on Rte. 9 in Schroon Lake continues to be open to feature the works of her husband and other fine makers who have been with them since the first year which is at least 10 years ago. For those looking for a fine gallery building it is for sale.

Barry's tall two tier table of cross cuts of root base was soft and silky to the touch with a wonderful dark hue to the interior wood complemented by his trademark gnarly, curly legs.

Michael Ringer took the time to show me the process of "lost wax" sculpture creation. Having known him particularly for his timeless scenes of the St. Lawrence River, it was, as usual, wonderful to realize that for many years Michael has been creating sculptures of breathtaking beauty as well.

I asked him how his gallery in Clayton was doing to find out that not only was that gallery now 10 years old surviving the recession well but also his original gallery in Alexandria Bay and the one, run as a franchise, in Fort Lauderdale, FL since 2003. Out of the galleries in the neighborhood of the Fort Lauderdale one, it is the only one still open. Michael made sure to say that is, in part, because of the owner running some 150 events each year, many as fundraisers for charities.

I wish the best to the Lodge, the Museum and the represented artisans in growing the annual gathering.

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