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Carousel at the end of an Adirondack rainbow

Saranac Lake attraction opens to large crowd

Carl Borst rides the otter on the Adirondack Carousel next to Pam Chapell on the porcupine. Borst carved the  beaver, raccoon, bald eagle and a lot of the bear. Chapell, with her sister and mother (master carver Eileen Fanning), known as the Fanning Garage Grinders, carved the porcupine and the large mouth bass.

Carl Borst rides the otter on the Adirondack Carousel next to Pam Chapell on the porcupine. Borst carved the beaver, raccoon, bald eagle and a lot of the bear. Chapell, with her sister and mother (master carver Eileen Fanning), known as the Fanning Garage Grinders, carved the porcupine and the large mouth bass. Photo by Andy Flynn.

Recently appointed Adirondack Carousel Executive Director Paula Hameline was also introduced to the crowd.

Saranac Lake artists

Saranac Lake artist Sandy Hildreth was in charge of coordinating the artists for the carousel project, which included painting the wildflower medallions and the rounding board panels. She dove into the work herself, painting three of the carved animals (otter, black bear and bald eagle), two of the large rounding board panels, and four of the wildflower medallions. She also did all the painting touch-up work and varnished all the animals before they were placed on the carousel.

“It’s our project. Why not have local artists participate?” Hildreth said. “We just have so much talent here, it just seemed like a good thing to do.”

Hildreth doesn’t see her “artist-in-residence” role going away anytime soon.

“They’re going to get nicks and dings and need repairs, so I will sort of be on hand to do that,” Hildreth said.

Asked what this project says about Saranac Lake, Hildreth said, “It says we are an awesome community, full of people and businesses that are so generous with their time. It’s unbelievable.”

Saranac Lake High School art teacher John “Doc” Ward was inspecting the carousel and its collection of artwork before the opening ceremonies. He got a chance to ride the carousel during the third wave. Ward painted one of the rounding boards. It’s an acrylic painting of Oseetah Lake, as seen in the winter. He took a photograph of the scene and then painted it in the studio earlier this year.

“I chose to do the Saranac River, and then I walked along and I ended up doing Oseetah Lake, which is right along the Saranac River,” Ward said. “I went out about 5 o’clock before the sun came up, and it was like 40 below, and I just walked along until the sun came up and I found the right light.”

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