POTSDAM The St. Lawrence County Arts Council has a new home.
A financial shortfall prompted the council to move from its more visible 51 Market St. location to an office inside Old Snell Hall, between Main Street and Elm Street, earlier this month.
Were getting settled in and working on some of our upcoming programs, said Director Rebekah L. Wilkins-Pepiton.
The old location cost nearly $15,000 a year in rent and utilities. Profit from the gift shop, membership fees and grant funds were not enough to justify the cost of the building, according to Ms. Wilkins-Pepiton. Rent and utilities in Snell Hall cost less than $3,000 annually.
Snell Hall was already home to the councils artists studios and educational programming space.
The councils art gallery, which shows work by local artists, will be moved to the town hall at 18 Elm St. The first exhibit will open Sept. 20 to honor International Peace Day.
The work on display will change every six to eight weeks, with occasional receptions that will be free and open to the public.
The gift shop, which sold merchandise like paintings and jewelry made by area artists, has been closed.
The council has four employees. A fifths salary was funded through a state grant, but with the expiration of the grant and the closing of the gift shop the position was eliminated.
According to Ms. Wilkins-Pepiton, the councils regular activities are much the same as they were before.
A lot of the day-to-day stuff really hasnt changed at all, its just that we dont have a gift shop to run, she said.
The council has partnered with the North Country Childrens Museum and Clarkson University to remodel Snell Hall and turn it into a regional arts and interactive learning center.
This would include exhibit space for the museum and a gallery for the arts council.
In the meantime, the council continues planning its major events for the rest of the year.
The Remington Festival will return to Canton Oct. 5, with 22 artisans selling their wares. The festival, which celebrates the legacy of 19th-century local artist Frederic S. Remington, is always held along with St. Lawrence Universitys parents weekend.
The councils annual artist studio tour, which sees artists countywide opening their workplaces to the public, will be held Nov. 9 to11.