One thing that makes Hammondsport a truly unique village is its love for the arts. No matter what time of year you visit, you'll come across some amazing art scattered across the village and Keuka Lake. Whether you go up to Bully Hill Vineyards to view their incredible collection in the Walter S. Taylor Art Gallery, participate in an artist workshop at Black Sheep Inn & Spa, or stop by the Hammondsport Grocery store to admire local artist Brett Steeve's incredible murals depicting Hammondsport historical heroes and sites, you won't be disappointed with what our local artists have to offer.
Which brings me to my main point: The Palettes of Keuka has arrived for its twelfth summer. If you've visited Hammondsport in the last 10 years, you're probably already pretty familiar with the Palettes of Keuka. But for those of you who don't know - you've gotta make your way over to Hammondsport before the end of August to see just how amazing it is for yourself. Every summer from July - August, you'll find 25+ giant artist palettes painted by local artists on display at Chamber member businesses in and around the village.
Artists are selected and given six months to paint their palette before it officially goes on display. We've seen so many incredible pieces of work throughout the years, many of which are Keuka Lake-focused. You'll see realistic landscapes and nature, eye-catching mixed media works, humorous scenes, and a creative spectrum of other directions. If you’re interested in being considered as an artist for Palettes of Keuka 2020, you can contact the committee via email.
After the palettes go on display, you'll want to come by the Visitor Center to pick up your official Palettes of Keuka Art Tour map where you'll find a list of all of the artists and their sponsored locations. The brochure map also contains a puzzle you can fill out as you go, leading you to the key at each palette location. Return to the Visitor Center for your chance to win cool prizes!
But the fun doesn't end there. If you come across a particular palette that you just adore, then you ought to come back to Hammondsport on Saturday, August 31st for the Annual Palettes of Keuka Art Auction on the village square and bid on your favorite palette(s). Proceeds from the auction fund scholarships for a graduating high school senior and a portion goes to the artists! Visit the Palettes of Keuka Facebook page for more info!
So how did Hammondsport end up with such a cool summer art tour? Well, we have Helen Monroy to thank for that. She brought the idea to the village after visiting a town in Vermont that had huge artist palettes on display at several businesses in the town. After doing some digging and learning how the program was done, she approached the late John Jensen who was actively involved in the Chamber, and artist Brett Steeves, who owned a very popular art / framing shop. The Palettes of Keuka committee was formed shortly after and twelve years later, the program is still going strong thanks to their involvement and many hours dedicated to see this project take off successfully.
We're so grateful to the committee for their hard work in pulling this thing together, to our business sponsors, and of course, to our incredibly talented artists, who make Hammondsport a little more beautiful by sharing their hearts and talents with our community. Hammondsport truly is a better place because of them!