The Daily Star
---- — The Catskill Mountain Artisan Guild recently opened a new location in the village of Delhi, completing another step in the creation of a regional artisans trail, officials said in a media release.
The project is part of an effort by the Catskill Mountain Artisans Guild and the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce to brand the region with an “arts identity” to draw in visitors as an economic stimulus to help revitalize main street communities, the release said.
The opening of the Delhi Gallery at 76 Main St. represents the culmination of an almost two-year effort on the part of the Chamber, the Catskill Mountain Artisans Guild and the Delaware County Department of Economic Development to complete the Delaware County portion of a regional artisans’ trail.
“The arts are a huge part of the tourism industry for Delaware County,” Mary Beth Silano, executive director of the Delaware County Chamber, the tourism promotion agency for Delaware County, said in the release.
“We have such diversity in the arts — visual, literary, performing, and so many talented individuals,’’ Silano said. “The Catskill Mountain Artisans Guild’s new facility will showcase this diversity, but more importantly, it will enhance the lives and engage the community and tourists alike with the arts programming they make available.”
The Catskill Mountain Artisans Guild, which is approaching its fifth anniversary, has a gallery in Margaretville, and more than 50 regional artists are involved with the organization.
“The successful development of the cooperative gallery in Margaretville with annual growth has proven the viability of our concept to shop local and support handmade regional artwork,” Jill Cline, Artisans Guild founder and director, said in the release.
Regional artists are interested in additional gallery locations and an online gallery, according to Cline, and the Artisans Guild continues to research possible sites in Kingston and Phoenicia to further develop a regional artisan’s trail.
The Catskill Mountain Artisans Guild gallery in Delhi is in a prime business location, officials said. With a goal to avoid an empty storefront, Delaware County Economic Development and the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce had facilitated the negotiations for the space.
The renovated 2,700 square-foot space will be well-utilized with the display and sale of locally crafted products, according to officials, with items ranging from fine crafts and art to handmade furniture, books, art card collections and locally produced gourmet foods, among other goods.
“Artisans are really just small businesses, and the development of the county’s small businesses is a primary focus of our office,” Glenn Nealis, economic development director for Delaware County, said in the release. “The development of the arts industry has the potential to be a vital contributor to our local economy.”