New studio and gallery aims to help grow local arts scene

PLATTSBURGH - When Tavish Costello came to the State University of New York at Plattsburgh to study art, it was only a matter of time before he got plugged into the local arts scene.

Through the connections he's made with artists, musicians and people both at the university and in the community, he's learned about the growing desire to build the area into a Mecca for artists and art enthusiasts like himself.

"There's just been this kind of ongoing conversation about how we need to further the arts in the community. We see towns surrounding us, like Burlington, really thriving in the arts, but Plattsburgh isn't quite at that level," said Costello.

Organizations like the North Country Cultural Center for the Arts and the university's arts department have done much to further that endeavor, but Costello said he and many others are looking to take things a step further when it comes to promoting more contemporary artwork and music.

"There's been a need building for a place that's both a studio and gallery and also a music venue for more eclectic kinds of artists and musicians," said Costello. "We want to do that - something new for Plattsburgh or at least something we haven't seen a lot of."

Over the past few years, Costello and a group of his friends and peers have been keeping a serious ear to the ground for ways and opportunities to make that happen. The perfect space became available on Clinton Street in a location that housed the former business "A Different Blend," and, in January, Costello and his friends worked to develop the space into what is known as The ROTA Studio and Gallery.

The idea behind ROTA, said Costello, is to provide the additional space for contemporary artists to perform, create and gather. Ideally, Costello said he envisions ROTA becoming another organization that will help connect artists with art-enthusiasts and do more to establish even more art spaces and displays in the community.

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