The Saratoga Sun -

Toga makes top 12


Art in Saratoga has not always had a large presence, but today, Saratoga’s involvement in art is nationally recognized.

“It’s kind of neat to see it gets to all corners of the United States,” said Saratoga-Platte Valley Chamber of Commerce Director Stacey Crimmins.

Crimmins discovered Saratoga had been recognized as one of 12 small-town art places in the United States after reciveing an email from ArtPlace, the organization that selected Saratoga in its list.

The “America’s Top Twelve Small-Town ArtPlaces” list is a new annual ArtPlace initiative recognizing smaller communities in the country where the arts are central to creating the kinds of places where people want to live, work, and visit, said George Abbott, a communications associate for ArtPlace.

“Sometimes we don’t realize how unique what we have is,” Crimmins said. And what Saratoga has can be described as unique.

Before selecting Saratoga as one of the top 12 small-town art places, officials looked at several statistics like the presence of art non-profit organizations, art-related businesses, those engaged in art and even artists who live in Saratoga.

“It’s such a distinct area,” said Jerry Palen, an artist who built his home and studio in Saratoga. We don’t think as Carbon County as one of the beautiful counties in the state, but really it’s got everything. It’s got the deserts, it’s got the mountains, it’s got the valleys, and it’s a beautiful county.”

Palen chose Saratoga for his studio for that reason. Inside his home, you can find several pieces of art utilizing several different types of mediums. Most of the pieces are inspired by some aspect of Wyoming, Palen said.

It’s hard to come to Saratoga without hearing something about art, Crimmins said. The Valley is packed with visual art, performing arts, literary arts, etc. However, Crimmins noted art in the Platte Valley has not always been this strong.

“We have worked hard to get it to this point too,” she said

In the 90s, some Platte Valley residents formed the Platte Valley Art Council to increase the presence of art throughout the Valley, a council Crimmins was involved in, she said. The council helped host the art show, as well as bring performing artists to the Platte Valley Community Center.

“The reason the Art Council formed was lack of art,” Crimmins said. “Now, there are other organizations that are providing arts and culture. We have a lot more opportunities for the arts here.”


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