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It takes a town to make a sign

Downtown Gallery gets new emblem

Emily Sola made the new sign now hanging at The Downtown Gallery on Montcalm Street in Ticonderoga. The sign is a result of a community effort.

Emily Sola made the new sign now hanging at The Downtown Gallery on Montcalm Street in Ticonderoga. The sign is a result of a community effort.

— The Downtown Gallery in Ticonderoga has a new sign thanks to a community effort.

Located at 119 Montcalm St., the gallery got its sign just in time for its one year anniversary celebration recently.

“How that sign came to be reminds me of the very old childhood story ‘Stone Soup,’ which is about making something from nothing,” said Chattie Van Wert, Ticonderoga Revitalization Alliance volunteer director. “A good-tasting soup, beginning with a stone and boiling water, becomes a fabulous soup with the addition of a little bit of this and that provided by individuals in a small community.”

In making plans for the gallery’s anniversary members and volunteers decided a sign was needed to identify the art exhibition hall.

“Nice signs are costly, so it had to be affordable while representing the quality of the local art and craftsmanship found inside the gallery, and it should be installed for the celebration,” Van Wert said.

Fate intervened when Van Wert met Emily Sola in the post office one day. Sola is a retired professional sign painter and artist.

“When asked for her thoughts about a sign at the gallery she generously offered to paint one if we would do the rest,” Van Wert said. “In searching through barns and basements for wood, gallery artisan Jim Barnes offered an oak coffee table-top, which he expertly crafted to the right shape and size, as his contribution. After determining a metal bracket from my barn was too small, Frank Bangma of Bangma Signs, offered to exchange it for a larger bracket of like quality and style.

“With bracket and board in hand, Emily spent days sanding the old table top and preparing the surface with multiple coats of sign paint,” she added. “The day of the anniversary celebration was drawing near when Emily found iron hangers her late husband had made for attaching a wood sign to a metal bracket. After drilling holes in the sign, she completed the fine work of lettering the day before the celebration.”

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