POTSDAM – Artists in the greater Potsdam area have the opportunity to share their opinions on a proposed community work space with a newly released survey. A second survey also seeks opinions from the general public on how they would use such a space.

The survey is offered by local artist Sara Lynch in an effort to evaluate the need for developing a work space that will accommodate the production needs of artists as well as space for classes and workshops.

The effort is a result of her own struggles to find suitable space for her to create in. A Potsdam native, Lynch returned to the area in 2006 after attending Alfred University. She says she has regularly heard other artists ask where they can rent studio space or where they can work in mediums such as clay.

“For the first six years after moving home I didn’t have space to work in clay,” she said.  Lynch has travelled to art centers like the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts in Maine, and even Medalta in Alberta, Canada just to get a few precious weeks of work in a year.”

“I got to see how each studio was set up as well as how immensely beneficial they were to their communities,” Lynch said. She noted that she observed remote towns with dying economies being revitalized by people coming to utilize their facilities. She also noted that historic buildings were repaired and preserved as they were repurposed as artist studios.

“Every time I came home I would look around Potsdam and ask, ‘Why is there not a community work space in Potsdam?’” she said.

Since 2016 Lynch has been working with the St Lawrence County Arts Council to grow a group called North Country Makers Meet Up. The group is open to anyone interested in connecting with other folks interested in creativity in any way. They meet in person once a month and can be found here on Facebook: http://bit.ly/2uDgkzw

“Through discussion at our monthly gatherings and my own need for a work space I am being driven to create a community work space,” Lynch said. “To start with I am looking for input from the community.”

The surveys that can be found here: http://www.saraelynch.com/space-survey/

“I’m looking to hear from everyone and in particular folks interested in taking classes, renting space of any kind, and attending events,” Lynch said. “I want this space to truly serve by fulfilling our needs as well as helping us grow as a supportive and inclusive community.”

For further information, contact Lynch at [email protected]