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Group aims to revitalize arts area


Beekman Street is where many of the Spa City’s artists ply their skills, though many emptied out in the recent recession. Now, the Beekman Street Association is working to foster the area’s redevelopment. Photo Submitted.

Beekman Street is where many of the Spa City’s artists ply their skills, though many emptied out in the recent recession. Now, the Beekman Street Association is working to foster the area’s redevelopment. Photo Submitted.

— Saratoga Springs might be known for its vibrant arts scene, but the Beekman Street corridor many local artists call home has undergone changes during the recession. Now, stakeholders are working to ensure a revitalization of the area continues.

The Beekman Street Arts District is a three-block area comprised of art galleries, studios and restaurants and provides a retreat from the hustle and bustle of Saratoga’s Broadway corridor.

In 2000, clay sculptor and painter Amejo Amyot founded the Beekman Street Association in an effort to create a street that was “just art related.” Its mission is to “to form a community to support artists and their work and businesses.”

But since the association’s formation, the arts district has been impacted by the recession. Many tenants have packed their bags, but the group of 13 that makes up the association is looking to revitalize the district once again.

“Last year it started to build itself back up with a lot of talented people coming in,” said Amyot.

Artist Sharon Crute is one of those artists. She has a gallery and studio at 70 B Beekman Street.

“Arts in general have been affected by the recession. Many galleries in NYC went under. There was no artist that wasn’t affected. … But we’re making a comeback,” said Crute.

Crute is best known for her equine paintings, and is the official artist for the 2012 Steeplechase. The inaugural event for that race will be held on Sept. 15. She’ll also be showing and selling her work all season long at the track this summer.

Her husband Michael Bray initiated First Friday Art Walks in the district, something he also started in Ocala, Fla., where they lived until last year.

First Fridays are the first Friday of the month from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. Artists on Beekman Street invite their friends to set up their creations along the sidewalks for visitors to view or buy.

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