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Local museums and galleries mark St. Lawrence County as arts hub

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Local museums and galleries mark St. Lawrence County as arts hub
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If you're looking to see some world-class art, it may be closer than you think. Our Barry Wygel takes a look at the effort in St. Lawrence County to solidify its spot as an art hub.

ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY, N.Y. -- Whether it's the world-renowned Frederic Remington museum in Ogdensburg, or a small local gallery, there is art for everyone in St. Lawrence County.

"I was initially blown away by the number of working artists, who are working at such a high capacity," said Rebekah Wilkins-Pepiton, the new executive director of the St. Lawrence County Arts Council.

Just last month, Rebekah took over the St. Lawrence County Arts Council, which provides a number of services to artists in the area.

"We offer workshops and support for artists, we try to do professional development for artists working through how to frame and mat your pieces, how can you market your work online," said Wilkins-Pepiton.

But St. Lawrence County being known for its high-caliber art isn't a new phenomenon. In fact, it's been that way for over 100 years, when a local artist gained worldwide recognition.

"Remington was one of the most famous artists of his day, he worked primarily as an illustrator for most of his career," said Laura Foster, curator of the Frederic Remington Arts Museum.

Frederic Remington, a St. Lawrence County native, had the highlight of his career in the late 1800s. His wife started the Frederick Remington Art Museum in Ogdensburg when she died in the early 1900s.

"We have people visit from all over the world," said Foster.

But in addition to hosting the Remington collection, the museum also has contests that local artists can take part in.

"We have several juried shows that have been very popular, this summer we will have our annual members' exhibit," said Foster.

Those contests offer cash prizes to local artists.

"It's just a unique sort-of set up with a rural area with the four universities we have in Canton and Potsdam, and then the Remington museum and just all the ways we connect," said Wilkins-Pepiton.

Whether you like contemporary or classic art, or maybe something a little bit off the beaten path, you can probably find it in St. Lawrence County.

For more information on the museums and programs mentioned in this story, please visit:

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