St. Lawrence County Arts Council leaving downtown Potsdam storefront for space in Town Hall and Snell Hall
Saturday, July 20, 2013 - 5:39 pm

By LISA HOOVER

POTSDAM -- The St. Lawrence County Arts Council is shutting the doors at the 51 Market St. location and consolidating to its Snell Hall studios and new digs at the Potsdam Town Hall.

The move will involve the closing of the gift shop, but staff will relocate and the classes offered by the council will remain the same.

The council’s gift shop will permanently close Aug. 16, with a “warehouse” sale Aug. 23 and Aug. 24.

The new gallery, to be located in the town hall, will open in September with a “Peace Framed” mixed-media show celebrating International Peace Day.

The council’s offices and staff will move to downtown Snell Hall, room 231, adjacent to the council’s already existing studios.

“The idea was getting closer to one location, having all of our workshops and offices together. It’s kind of a strain to move back and forth. The idea of a retail space downtown is great, but it’s been kind of a drain financially and as a non-profit it’s hard to sustain that,” said Rebekah Wilkins-Pepiton, executive director at the council.

Wilkins-Pepiton acknowledged the loss of another downtown storefront. “It’s unfortunately going to be another hole downtown, which we hate, but it can’t really be avoided,” she said.

“We are excited to partner with the Town of Potsdam to bring the work of local and regional artists onto the walls of the new town hall building on Elm St.,” said Wilkins-Pepiton.

She explained that as the council has moved toward a greater focus on community classes and events, it doesn’t make sense to maintain the storefront. “We’re going to be focusing on the community programming, we’ve been doing more of that,” she said.

The studio will continue to offer the same type of classes offered in the past, “that and more,” according to Wilkins-Pepiton.

The upcoming gallery season will offer different artistic styles and mediums, with opening receptions with the artists.

“We are thrilled to be joining artists in the beautiful space; working where they work,” said Suzy McBroom, grants and education coordinator.

A list of local artists is available through the council’s directory for those wishing to purchase from local artists.

All council contact information will remain the same, except the mailing address, which will now be PO Box 252.

For more information visit www.slcartscouncil.org.