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Skaneateles Artisans gather on Fennell Street

Grand opening to be announced later this month.

It has been said that into a rich life a little art must fall. The former McLaughlin's Department Store (clothing) located in the former Bobbett's Implements (tractors) will soon be home to the Skaneateles artisans (artists). A 30-plus person cooperative based on the established Cazenovia Artisans (CA) has signed a one year lease at 11 Fennell St. with property owner Robert Hood. The building will serve as a retail gallery/showroom for the cooperative's members wares.

The Skaneateles Artisans (SA) opened quietly Saturday June 15 to a lot of interest from passerbys and a bit of brisk business. The Patisserie behind the Sherwood Inn and the Skaneateles Bakery sent over welcoming treats. Other shopkeepers stopped by to wish the coop well.

How did this begin?

A few members from the CA proposed the idea to the Skaneateles Area Art's Council (SAAC), which helped spread the word to local artists. Other artits were contacted as well and given an opportunity to join.

The founding artists opened the operation based on the CA model. Each member was required to pay a deposit, a monthly fee and work approximately 15 hours a month in the store.

The membership is presently closed in order to get the operation started, but will open back up in a juried format later this summer. Juried means artist's work is subject to a peer review.

What's in the name?

The term "artisan" before the industrial revolution categorized people that produced goods with their hands or hand tools. The term started to reappear during the later part of the 20th century as a growing number of people desired non-mass produced goods. For example, artisan breads started to rise to displace processed bread. The new cooperative decided to roll with the title established by the CA, considering that an artisan is someone who produces their own work from a place of passion. It is typically a product that is independent in nature and made with quality ingredients or materials. SA includes fine arts, such as paintings in many mediums, but also will have goods and services that cross over the fine arts line that are created with form and function in mind, such as handmade furniture, pottery, photography, spun yarn, needle work, jewelry and interior design, finishes and installation pieces. In essence, it will be goods for ones home or person. The group's participants felt comfortable with the term based on its inclusiveness and success in Cazenovia. The work will be inspired and have that human touch, not exactly the one Bruce Springstein sang about, but close.

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