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In an area filled with scenic beauty and creative people, inspiration and arts are deeply rooted in the Whiteface Region. Mountains, lakes, forests, and scenic vistas inspire artists of all kinds, and many make the Whiteface Region their home.

April 1, 2022 marks the 40th anniversary of the opening of Young’s Studio & Gallery, in Jay, New York. I went down to the studio and talked to the owner, Sue Young, about her studio and the local artists shown at her gallery.  

Sue Young  

Ever since she was a little girl, Sue had a love for crocheting and knitting. She was always trying new patterns and using new yarn; it was a peaceful, yet fun, way to pass the time. It wasn’t until later in life, during college, when she started doing pottery. She said once she had gotten into the pottery studio she just thought, “wow, this is it,” and completely fell in love with the craft. She set a goal to become a full-time potter within one year of graduating from college. Sue was able to achieve this goal, and then went beyond to open her own studio and gallery. 

A woman stands in a showroom with a variety of art mediums and colorful yarn
Sue Young at Young's Studio & Gallery

The gallery  

Originally, Sue’s father used the building for his chainsaw business during the 50s and 60s. When he had closed his store, the building sat idle for 15 years until Sue was able to buy the land. Due to not being taken care of for years, part of the building had become damaged and had even started to decay. She tore down the older parts and added an addition, now her gallery, which has lots of natural light that keeps the room bright and more open feeling. In her pottery studio, to the side of the gallery, she kept the old cement floors of the original building that are cracked and uneven, which gives it a unique character and shows the history and age of the structure.  

Birch bark pottery

When setting up her gallery, she was hugely influenced by the Frog Hollow Craft Center in Middlebury, Vermont, which is now located in Burlington, Vermont. It offered a wide range of crafts and artists that inspired Sue to do the same with her own gallery. She does an amazing job showcasing everything from pottery to photography to hats and mittens. She keeps most of the different types of art separate, with some styles overlapping, to keep every inch of the gallery interesting and not limited to just one genre. The wide variety of artwork and crafts keeps it fun to view and there’s something for everyone to enjoy when they visit.  

(Some of) the artists  

Young’s Studio and Gallery is not only for Sue Young’s art, but a space for other local artists as well.

Steve Augers is a local photographer you can find at Young’s Gallery. He has a small collection of beautiful, close-up portraits of birds in their natural habitats that show you another side of nature. He also shows photos of landscapes that capture amazing views and the vibrant colors of the Adirondacks. All of his photographs are printed on canvas, with natural wooden frames that add an extra Adirondack feel to them.

A collection of bird photos and handmade pottery
Steve Augers's photographs and Sue Young's pottery on display at the gallery

The gallery shows multiple jewelers, like Kate Sears, who does amazing designs with copper wire that she wraps to create necklaces and rings. At the heart of each piece she puts anything from crystals to river glass, or even stabilized wood, to give it an extra pop of color and make it her own.

Jewelry made with copper wire twisted around gemstones
Jewelry made by Kate Sears

Young’s Gallery also highlights a huge variety of artists and companies that offer yarn and knitwear, like mittens, hats, or scarves. Blue Pepper Farm, also from Jay, sells yarn made from blending their sheep’s wool and their alpaca fur together to create a soft, animal-friendly yarn that keeps their natural color of whites, grays, and browns. Brown Dog Fiber Arts is another company that sells their yarn at the gallery. They hand-spin and dye their yarns to create vibrant colors that will catch anyone’s attention walking by.

Colorful yarn for sale on display

You can also find Sue’s own pottery, where she shows her bowls, cups, and teapots. Some of her most popular items are the birch tree pieces that she creates. Sue has always had a love for the contrast of the black and white on birch bark. She uses real bark that she finds and presses it into clay to create an impression of each of the knots of the bark. Using this technique gives each piece an ultra life-like image. Originally, she created small pendants for necklaces using this method, but it grew into making mugs, cups, and even teapots. 

Calling all artists!

Sue said that she is always looking for new artists to show. So if you’re a local artist looking to put your art out there, you can always stop by or get in touch.

Young’s Studio and Gallery is open Tuesday - Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Stop by to meet Sue herself and her only worker, Donna Woods.

From shopping to dining to outdoor activities, there is always something to do in the Whiteface Region. However, if you’re looking for amazing art of all mediums, Young’s Studio and Gallery should be your first stop!


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