Plattsburgh Duo Connects a Community of Artists
And a new phase of The Link Arts Center was born: a nomadic, interactive and collaborative network of artists co-owned by Megan Charland and Sara Acors.
In the spring of 2021, two ambitious sisters left behind their tiny studio, packed up their supplies and hit the road, holding art workshops across the North Country.
The story really began years earlier when, in November 2019, after living in Rochester for 15 years as an art administrator, Charland phoned her sister to tell her that she wanted to come home and work together. Charland left her position as director of photography and digital arts at Flower City Arts a couple months later and moved back to her hometown of Peru, New York. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Charland and Acors decided to buy a smaller studio and limit class sizes.
“We realized that we spent more time off-site and thought, ‘Why pay for a space we’re not using?,’” Charland said.
The sisters wear many hats. As the co-founders of the Plattsburgh Arts Coalition and co-producers of First Friday and the Lake City Arts Festival, they have a close-working relationship with the City of Plattsburgh. Once every month, downtown Plattsburgh businesses participate in a community event to showcase their art, music and food: First Friday. The Lake City Arts Festival also aims to create a community among local artists, musicians and vendors by creating a platform to share their work.
At the 2022 Tannen-Boom! Winter celebration, the sisters set up a painting pendulum. It swung and splattered vibrant colors on the snow. They also hosted more family-friendly activities at the local beach. The kids used the fresh snow as a canvas and painted little snowmen with supplies provided by The Link.
“We are expected to be at these events; kids will see us and get so excited because they know we provide fun activities for them,” Acors said.
When the sisters left behind their downtown studio, which had been used for art classes and the Zine lab, where they created indie works with a Xerox machine, it was a chance to test their creativity. With their studio going unused, the sisters saw an opportunity to provide artistic activities within the community by going mobile.