On the rise

Glove City Swamp 5894, regional photography under acrylic glass in wooden art box on reclaimed roof tin by Janene Bouck. Bouck is one of the artists featured in the SVAN Art Trails event being held eac fall. (Photo submitted)

NORTHVILLE — Being within the Great Sacandaga Lake region is always a recreational and tourism boon for a small village in the small town of Northampton.

But the residents of that area are always building on that.

“Northville is a place on the rise, and it’s not just the water,” said its Rotary Club president Ken Adamczyk.

“The numbers [of visitors and new residents] are going up every year.”

Two keys to that are the Sacandaga Valley Arts Network and the way the community groups collaborate.

SVAN is a major part of the glue that pulls the community together and draws in people from outside.

“The cool thing about SVAN is that with the arts, there is always connectivity between people,” he said.

Although many people come to the area to swim, fish, boat, hunt or camp, SVAN offers entertaining experiences with the visual arts, music and the performing arts, which means there’s a lot to do. SVAN is part of the local Collaboration Council that comprises the village and town governments, Rotary, senior citizens and youth commission, schools, businesses and other organizations.

The council ensures that events don’t conflict, but also forms a synergy that benefits everyone, said Carolyn Adamczyk, a visual artist and SVAN board member.

As a result, “Northville in recent years has become more visible,” she said.

“That’s where ideas come up,” said Rick Hasenauer, SVAN president.

SVAN doesn’t think small, according to its website. “We serve the communities which lie all or mostly within the Sacandaga watershed in the south-central Adirondacks, an area covering almost 1,000 square miles and parts of four counties. Included in this region are the communities within the Sacandaga watershed portion of Fulton, Hamilton, Saratoga and Warren counties that include the communities of Arietta, Benson, Bleecker, Broadalbin, Day, Edinburg, Hadley, Hope, Lake Luzerne, Lake Pleasant, Mayfield, Northampton, Northville, Piseco, Providence, Speculator, Wells, as well as Johnstown, Gloversville and Vail Mills.”

SVAN has cooperative relationships with other arts centers such as the Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts in Mayfield, Micropolis Gallery in Gloversville, and the Northville Public Library. Its own galleries are at 303 S. Main St. in the village and at the Fulton County Visitors Center, at 3687 Route 30 in Vail Mills. That way visual art can be circulated, and each venue promotes the others.

While some artists are internationally known, such as John Van Alstine in Wells, others have varying degrees of fame. “I think for a lot of artists SVAN may be the only place they are displayed,” Carolyn Adamczyk said.

Annually, SVAN offers Art Trails, a self-guided tour by map of artists’ studios from the northern towns of Wells, Benson and Hope to Johnstown, Gloversville and Broadalbin in the southern portion. SVAN holds periodic meet-the-artists events that introduces artists not only to the public but to one another. It also participates in the Fulton Montgomery Quilt Barn Trail.

“I love hearing how other artists come up with their ideas,” said Carolyn. Artists are not only inspired by the ideas of other artists, but they like to know “the mechanics” — how the pieces were created “from start to finish,” she said.

The business community is both a beneficiary and promoter of events, such as the Rotary’s Woodworking and Fine Arts Weekend, Winterfest, the Doins and the Christmas parade that draws people far afield from the village. For one, the Adirondack Country Store at 252 N. Main St. brings in artists and authors and sells their work.

Leslie Ford, superintendent of the Northville Central School District, said SVAN collaborates with the district by bringing more types of art to students and giving student artists and art teachers a larger venue. “It adds something to a small village,” she said. “It makes the village a destination.”

What would the world be without music? SVAN has that covered with almost weekly summer outdoor concerts at Waterfront Park and monthly winter-spring concerts, and a sometimes a fall concert, at village venues. Music types cover almost everyone’s interests, such as bluegrass, Irish, jazz, blues and Americana. As Caroga Lake Music Festival was making its rounds of the area this year, it stopped here in August to perform chamber music.

Northville wasn’t born yesterday, so the Northville Northampton Historical Society has provided a brochure for a walking tour of the vintage buildings—making the village itself a work of art. See www.townofnorthampton.com/history/.

Musical theater is a part of SVAN, so SVAN and Sacandaga Musical Theater will present a murder mystery dinner event titled “Boatload of Trouble” at four locations — on Nov. 1, 2, 3 and 15. For more information, go to events at www.svanarts.org/arts.html.

By Kerry Minor

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