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Adirondack Folk School

As a Design Tourist, I actively seek out attractions and destinations that preserve and promote the craft and heritage of artisans around the world. While flying out of the Albany International Airport, I discovered a small exhibit promoting The Adirondack Folk School

IMG 1143 2The installation was commissioned by the Albany International Airport Art & Culture Program and  it caught my attention for its handcrafted works and mission statement which read: “Our cultural memory is fragile so the school seeks to be a place of where artistic discovery meets history, sustainability and self-reliance.” 

IMG 1148 The iconic Adirondack chair often comes to mind when we think of craft from this region but the Adirondack’s artistic heritage encompasses an entire style that includes home furnishings, boats, and decor still found in cabins, lodges, and homes today throughout the region.

IMG 1147The Adirondack Folk School promotes and sustains Adirondack crafts by offering classes in the arts, crafts, and cultural heritage of the Adirondack region. The non-profit school resides in the former Town of Lake Luzerne town hall building and is located in Adirondack Park, a six-million-acre state park of protected land, on “the last free-flowing part” of the Hudson River just above Rockwell Falls in New York.

IMG 1141 1Local artisans, craftspeople, and volunteers teach more than 200 classes a year in subjects such as Adirondack chair building, twig and rustic furniture, caning, paddle making, birch bark basketry, fly tying, weaving, organic gardening, fiber arts, soap making, boat building, ceramic arts, and blacksmithing.

IMG 1145The Adirondack Folk School is on my must-see list of authentic experiences that connect travelers with local culture, cuisine, art and craft.  

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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a freelance writer living in Orlando, Florida with many published bylines in magazines, newspapers, and multimedia sites. As a professional lifestyle writer, Karen specializes in art, architecture, design, home interiors and personality profiles. Karen is the writer, producer and host of the streaming series, The Design Tourist ( that brings viewers a global dose of design inspiration with episodes featuring the latest looks and trends from the world’s premiere design events and shows. She also publishes a quarterly magazine on design travel that you can read by clicking the link: Her journalism background includes seven years on-air experience as a TV news reporter and anchor covering a range of issues from education to politics. Her educational credentials include a Master of Arts in Mass Communications from Northeast Louisiana University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Louisiana State University. Throughout her career, Karen has written and produced dozens of documentaries and videos for educational, commercial, corporate, and governmental clients and appeared in many TV and video productions as a professional host.

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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

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