Art as a community spark in Cranberry Lake

Fiber artists Char Lough and Susan Smith, along with potter Gail Gotham, are organizing this weekend's Cranberry Lake Regional Arts Show. Photo: Todd Moe

A group of artists in Cranberry Lake hopes a local art showcase this weekend will help revitalize community spirit in an often unsung part of the Adirondacks. In recent years the local news has been difficult to stomach - a paper mill failed, grocery store closed, and young people have left to find work elsewhere.

Despite the difficulties, a rich artist community has flourished along Cranberry Lake's shores and nearby lakes, rivers and forests. Famous artists like Frederic Remington and Marc Chagall both spent time in the northwestern Adirondacks.

This weekend, the work of over thirty contemporary artists from the towns of Clifton and Fine will be on display in the Clifton Community Center in Cranberry Lake. The weekend will begin with a reception tonight at 7:30 in the Fire Hall honoring painter Jeanne Reynolds.

Much of the work - artisan furniture, pottery, hooked rugs, quilts and photography - will be for sale and a silent auction will accompany the exhibit to raise funds for next year's show.

Todd Moe visited Cranberry Lake earlier this week as organizers Gail Gotham, Marilyn Zimber, Char Lough and Susan Smith were setting up display tables and arranging art for the two-day show. Gail Gotham says it's time to celebrate what makes Cranberry Lake a great place to live.

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