Emily Sola made the new sign now hanging at The Downtown Gallery on Montcalm Street in Ticonderoga. The sign is a result of a community effort.
The Downtown Gallery in Ticonderoga has a new sign thanks to a community effort.
Located at 119 Montcalm St., the gallery got its sign just in time for its one year anniversary celebration recently.
“How that sign came to be reminds me of the very old childhood story ‘Stone Soup,’ which is about making something from nothing,” said Chattie Van Wert, Ticonderoga Revitalization Alliance volunteer director. “A good-tasting soup, beginning with a stone and boiling water, becomes a fabulous soup with the addition of a little bit of this and that provided by individuals in a small community.”
In making plans for the gallery’s anniversary members and volunteers decided a sign was needed to identify the art exhibition hall.
“Nice signs are costly, so it had to be affordable while representing the quality of the local art and craftsmanship found inside the gallery, and it should be installed for the celebration,” Van Wert said.
Fate intervened when Van Wert met Emily Sola in the post office one day. Sola is a retired professional sign painter and artist.
“When asked for her thoughts about a sign at the gallery she generously offered to paint one if we would do the rest,” Van Wert said. “In searching through barns and basements for wood, gallery artisan Jim Barnes offered an oak coffee table-top, which he expertly crafted to the right shape and size, as his contribution. After determining a metal bracket from my barn was too small, Frank Bangma of Bangma Signs, offered to exchange it for a larger bracket of like quality and style.
“With bracket and board in hand, Emily spent days sanding the old table top and preparing the surface with multiple coats of sign paint,” she added. “The day of the anniversary celebration was drawing near when Emily found iron hangers her late husband had made for attaching a wood sign to a metal bracket. After drilling holes in the sign, she completed the fine work of lettering the day before the celebration.”
After Code Enforcement Officer Bill Ball gave approval for the sign, Pete Reale gave permission to drill holes into the brick on the front of his building and Van Wert’s husband Art Hatfield tied up several loose ends. The night before the celebration, Scott Hearburg rounded up Tommy Dedrick with the Dedrick Tree Service bucket truck to safely lift Gary Olcott who anchored the bracket to the building. The next morning and Dedrick returned with his bucket truck and Jimmy Cruickshank to hang the sign.
“The Downtown Gallery now has a beautifully-crafted, hand-lettered, wooden sign, far less common these days of more affordable high-tech vinyl and composite materials,” Van Wert said. “The whole project was completed at the affordable cost of donations and volunteers who are willing to help improve our community.
“So here’s a big thank you and recognition to everyone who helped make something from nothing for downtown,” she said.