New Chester art gallery sparks activity downtown

CHESTERTOWN - Fine art has a new home in northern Warren County, and it's prompted some excitement.

Northern Warren County's new fine art gallery, "Art in Chestertown," was well received when it opened to the public July 15, featuring the work of local and regional artists.

Almost 100 people toured the new gallery, sponsored by the North Country Arts Center, which has been operating without a dedicated exhibit space for decades.

Artist Heidi Maxwell of Chestertown, who lives a mere two blocks away from the gallery, said it was a welcome addition to town. Maxwell has a large monochromatic pastel work on exhibit in the gallery.

"This turned out beautiful," she said, noting that for hundreds of years, artists have been a prominent element in the Adirondacks. "It's nice to have an exhibit space again for local artists' work, particularly in Chestertown."

Prominent in launching the new gallery was painter Fred Holman of Brant Lake, a board member of the arts center. Holman dreamed up the idea for the new gallery, NCAC board member Jon Segan of Fort Edward said. Segan has works on exhibit in the gallery - novel shadowbox artwork that combines architectural artifacts combined with paintings of women that resemble Renaissance portraits.

"Fred thought, 'Why not get art back into the North Country,' and we said, 'See what you can do,' and the outcome is amazing," Segan said.

Holman and NCAC board president Linda Buerkley arranged the initial exhibit last week, setting the works along the floor of the gallery walls, while some curious passersby walked into the gallery to observe, Holman said.

"Usually, exhibit openings attract primarily relatives and friends of the artists," he said. "But here today, we had people coming in from off the streets and neighboring communities."

Buerkley, who has monotypes on display, said she enjoyed her role in arranging the exhibit.

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