Palette project will showcase Orleans artists, businesses

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 May 2013 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – Orleans County Chamber of Commerce events coordinator Ginny Kropf, left, and Gaines artist Carol Culhane hold palettes that will be featured in an upcoming Chamber project. Culhane painted a scene of fishermen in the Oak Orchard River by the Archer’s Club. Kropf is holding a blank canvas, one of 50 the Chamber wants to be painted as part of the “Palettes of Orleans.”

ALBION – A new Orleans County Chamber of Commerce initiative will showcase local artists, scenes and businesses.

The “Palettes of Orleans” aims to have 50 palettes painted that will be displayed by local merchants for at least the summer. The palettes will be auctioned off during a celebration in October at Hickory Ridge Country Club in Holley. Some of the proceeds will go towards art scholarships at each of the five school districts in the county.

So far businesses have agreed to sponsor 30 of the palettes, and Chamber officials are confident they will meet their goal of displaying 50. Businesses pay $10 to have a palette displayed in their storefront until the auction in October.

The Chamber will develop a map of the palettes, and will encourage residents and visitors to follow the trail and vote for their favorite piece of artwork.

“We are absolutely thrilled with the reception,” said Kathy Blackburn, the Chamber director.

She learned about the palette project from a similar initiative by businesses at Keuka Lake. Palettes of Keuka has been an annual event the past six years.

In Orleans 20 artists have agreed to paint the palettes for free. The artists will benefit from exposure, said Carol Culhane, an artist from Gaines. She has painted the first palette, fly fishermen in the Oak Orchard River by the Archer’s Club. Culhane also has agreed to paint a Charles Howard-themed palette with the Santa Claus School. That will go inside the Five Star Bank for a few months.

The Chamber has a list of the participating artists. Businesses that join the program will connect with the artist and pick a theme for the palette. The Chamber wants to have all the palettes claimed by June 1. Proceeds form the auction will help fund art scholarships that will be awarded beginning in 2014.

For more information, contact the Chamber at 589-7727.