By ADAM DRAPCHO, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — Larry Frates, whose art classes have been a mainstay on Canal Street for 28 years, will be moving his operation to the Belknap Mill, the Mill announced this week. Frates will be taking on the role of artist-in-residence and chairman of the Mill's Cultural Committee, as well as using the Mill as the base for his art classes. Frates Creative Arts is one of several Canal Street businesses that has to find a new home due to the renovation project at the Colonial Theatre.
The Mill will host a public reception for Frates on Wednesday, Sept. 7, from 5 to 7 p.m. The event will feature an exhibit of Frates's work.
Frates said he will continue to operate his "Art To You" program, which brings art programs to groups throughout the Lakes Region. He will continue to offer conventional art classes, which will now all be held on Wednesdays at the Mill.
As artist-in-residence, Frates will work with the Mill to develop art and educational programming. He will also spend the lunch hour of the first Tuesday of each month, beginning on Oct. 4, painting at the Mill, a time when the public is welcome to watch and speak with him. A selection of prints of Frates's watercolors will be on sale in the gift shop, with proceeds benefiting the Mill.
"As an instructor and artist, I am passionate about creating opportunities to connect community through art," said Frates. "In this unique collaboration, the Belknap Mill Society and Frates Creates will be a catalyst for the arts in the Lakes Region. Together, we will bring history and art together to explore our shared cultural heritage and celebrate our community's creative spirit."
The art studio was half of the Frates Creative Arts Center on Canal Street; the other half offered dance lessons run by Joan Frates, with the recent addition of their daughter, Amelia. The dance studio will be relocating to the former Citizen building at the corner of Fair and Water streets.
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