Author: Deborah Kaufman

Allen Blagden: A Living Master of American Realism Featured at The Hyde Collection through April 16th

Marking the Moment: The Art of Allen Blagden opened to the public February 12 at The Hyde and runs through April 16. Allen Blagden (American, b. 1938), Victoria Crowned Pigeons, 1984, watercolor, 22 x 30 in., Private Collection, © Allen Blagden, Photograph by Don Perdue. “It’s the eyes…if you don’t get the eyes right, man or beast…you don’t have it.” by Deborah A. Kaufman Allen Blagden is regarded as one of the most important artists of our time and is often compared to Winslow Homer and Andrew Wyeth for his vividly realistic paintings. They are created with a master’s...

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The Hidden Artists of Washington County

Leslie Parke, Tree in Twilight 67" x 96" Oil, enamel, metal paint on canvas. Photo Credit: Jon Barber “Without great solitude, no serious work is possible.” Pablo Picasso The influx of professional artists to the quiet solitude of Washington County appears to be an emerging trend.   According to Susan Sanderson, volunteer director for the Open Studios Tour of Washington County, “There are over 50 fine artists within the 846 miles of the county…that’s a fine artist every 15 to 17 miles.” And, these are not your typical artists. They are professional artists with deep resumes that tell a...

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Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts Celebrated their Quad-County Decentralization Community Grant Recipients at Saranac Lake

Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts of Blue Mountain Lake, NY (the Arts Center) held a celebration for the recipients of the 2016 New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) decentralization grant awards at the Adirondack Carousel in Saranac Lake last weekend.  As regional administrator for the ADK Quad-County Cultural Arts Grants, the Arts Center supports arts and cultural initiatives in Clinton, Essex, Franklin and Hamilton Counties. According to Christine Pouch, the new Executive Director for the Arts Center, “There are 35 grant recipients under the community programs category this year and another five teaching artist awards for...

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Lake George Music Festival Uses Video to Bring Awareness to its Cultural Renaissance

The Lake George Music Festival (LGMF) is quickly becoming known as the premier music festival in the country with 5,000 visitors making the trek to Lake George each summer to participate in the area’s 10-day, collaborative artists retreat. Alexander Lombard, CEO and Founder of LGMF, began the Festival in 2011 with a razor-sharp focus of creating a cultural renaissance for the arts and music in Lake George. Lombard’s vision is to return the community to its heritage as an arts and cultural destination; reminiscent of the 1920s and 1930s when artists like Georgia O’Keefe, Alfred Stieglitz and Samuel Barber called Lake George home. The Festival’s recently launched video will be used as a catalyst to generate increased awareness for the area’s cultural renaissance, and to help recruit musicians for the Festival from over one hundred identified conservatories. The Festival’s application process for musicians is highly competitive. Of the 300 applications received annually, only a dozen will make the final cut.  Video applications are currently underway with live auditions taking place in New York City on January 31st at the Manhattan School of Music. “Audiences can expect the same level of artistry in 2016 as in previous years. We take our high-level roster of young professionals very seriously,” noted Lombard. The Festival gives young professionals, between the ages of 20 to 35, the rare opportunity to collaborate and play with...

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Artist Profile – Susan Whiteman – Saranac Lake Pastel Artist

“Art keeps you very humble. As I look through the years at my body of work, I see peaks and valleys in my art. I am always challenged by it. For me, art provides an immediate learning experience…and a way to keep learning.” Susan Whiteman, Artist Associate Member: Pastel Society of America Artistic inspiration comes in many forms. For Susan Whiteman, it was time spent walking through the woods with her father growing up in rural upstate New York. “I love the trees and sky. My dad knew trees and whenever we walked through the woods he would identify tree species for me. Trees are so resilient and long lived, with a gracefulness or raggedness that evokes many different feelings….kind of a metaphor for life,” recalled Whiteman. Her childhood doodling and writing emerged as a way to document what she was learning about animals and trees. Her love for nature continued to blossom and by the time she was 8 years old, she had completed her first illustrated book, Pagi the Polar Bear. Over the years, Whiteman’s desire to broaden her artistic talent led her to several great instructors and artists beginning with her high school art teacher, Ms. Barrett, who taught classes on perspective and the technical elements of painting and drawing…skills she continues to use today. Other artists that helped to shape her work include notables such...

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ADK Action’s Cultural Symposium to Highlight the Benefits of Collaboration and Partnerships to Create Increased Bandwidth for Area Arts, Cultural and Heritage Organizations

Using arts and cultural tourism to spark interest in an area is not really a new concept; however, the level of interest from key players within the Adirondacks arts, cultural and heritage community who will be attending the September 10th, 2015 ADK Action’s Adirondack Cultural Symposium at the Olympic Conference Center in Lake Placid is certainly noteworthy, if not unprecedented. According to Lee Keet, President of Vanguard Atlantic Ltd. and ADK Action board member, the event has exceeded its original capacity and had to be moved to another floor to accommodate the over 100 attendees from the region’s visual...

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A Special AITA Thank You to Saranac Lake Artworks

David E. Warner, publisher of Art in the Adirondacks, and editor in chief, Deborah A. Kaufman, were treated to exceptional high peaks hospitality this past weekend by the members of Saranac Lake Artworks during the Art in the Adirondacks ‘presentation of “Marketing for Artists.” The event was held at BluSeed Studios Saturday, April 11th at 6pm. Coordination for the event was made possible through the efforts of people like, Sandra Hildreth, whose passionate drive to support the area’s arts community is extraordinary; and Stephanie DeJoseph’s yeomen work pulling together members, non-members and  the  many details of the evening. The free presentation took artists through a discussion of branding, marketing and advertising with special emphasis on communicating an artist’s story, developing an effective brand strategy, writing an artist’s statement, gallery packaging and incorporating traditional and social media into their marketing plans. The evening was filled with great networking, collaborative discussions and shared tips from career artists and gallery owners. Saranac Lake Artworks hosted the evening as part of their ongoing presentations and workshops for artists and members of the area’s arts community.  Artworks is a collaborative network of 45 artists, arts-related businesses, and organizations with the goal of promoting Visual Arts, Drama, Literature, and Music within the area. Artworks has a well-earned reputation as the powerhouse behind the area’s impressive art scene and its blossoming reputation as an arts destination. ...

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What Does Your Portfolio Say About You?

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” Scott Adams I was listening as Dave was editing one of his live shows the other evening and heard a question come up about how to define creativity. Creativity has always been something hard to nail down in my opinion. It’s subjective and too often a personal perspective, yet it is the key measurement by which all work is judged. I’ve struggled with the concept of creativity and how to describe it for some time. As a fine art gallery owner for a number of years, finding pieces that had the ‘wow factor’ was always a challenge. I needed exceptional pieces in the gallery to keep the high-end collectors interested and the doors open. Selecting work for the gallery was more art than science. I always hated to turn down an artist or photographer because his/her work wasn’t creative enough. I toiled with how to let them down without hurting their feelings, only to realize that I was doing them a disservice to send them out without trying to explain why their work wasn’t measuring up. I began watching collectors and studying their behavior in an effort to better define creativity. What I found was that no matter the genre, great work was like a magnetic drawing people in. It didn’t matter whether they collected...

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Stop Putting Yourself on Sale!

Have you been putting yourself on sale just to get the business lately? How many of you feel that twinge of guilt when you discuss fees with a new client? Feel as if you should apologize for your rate card? In this economy, you’re probably not alone. There is a natural tendency to want to reduce fees in order to accommodate tight budgets. The truth is, however, that when you dramatically reduce your rate (below 10-20%) you are diminishing your brand, teaching clients ‘bad tricks’ that they will use in future negotiations with you, and setting yourself up for failure. Pricing is always a tricky proposition. Customer psychology and market knowledge must be in balance in order for your pricing to work for you, instead of against you. Contrary to what you may believe, the lowest price is not always the most attractive to customers. Some years ago, I owned a health newsletter company built solely on direct-mail marketing. We typically mailed 350,000 pieces each month. The postage cost then was nothing compared to what it is today, but nevertheless, when you’re dropping that many pieces every penny counts. Price was something we tested…and tested… and tested again, before we got it right. The experience taught me a lot about perceived value and pricing. I always assumed that if we lowered the price we would generate more response, after...

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Perceived Value…in the Eye of the Beholder

The photography market is a mature market; and like most mature markets, there is an inherent risk of commoditization. Peter Drucker once said: “In a commodity market, you can only be as good as your dumbest competitor.” While you may get a chuckle out of his statement, there is a thread of truth in it. In a commodity market there is no perceived difference from one business to another, every purchasing decision comes down to price. Chasing price points in order to survive is a brutal way to live. You can only keep it up for so long. The guy with the deepest pockets…the one who can last the longest…always ends up winning. And, to what end? The customer has been trained to respond to ‘deals’ not ‘value.’ At some point, the price pressure on quality and service will be simply not worth the effort. While I don’t think that commoditization is running rampant throughout our industry, you can see hints of it creeping into our market segments. Take the stock image market for example. The tremendous volume of images flooding the market over the past five years has created significant price pressure for those who have made a good living in stock photography for decades. Another example is the senior portrait market; look at how the price structures have changed over the years. And, let’s not forget wedding...

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