Tour highlights what artists capture on the St. Lawrence River

Published: Jul. 30, 2023 at 5:59 PM EDT
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TOWN OF ALEXANDRIA, New York (WWNY) - Melanie Pyke Hertzog first discovered her passion for painting when she traveled to the St. Lawrence River with her family as a kid.

“I want the ripples to be believable, and the reflections. You get your shadow sides,” said Pyke Hertzog.

She painted her first river wildlife painting at 12-years-old. She is now a year round resident on Wellesley Island and says sunsets are some of her favorite moments to capture.

“I would say that the winter has become my favorite for those sunsets, because the ice starts to form skim of ice, and it reflects the light, and then you get the ice crystals on that first skim ice,” said Pike Hertzog.

Pyke Hertzog is one of 11 artists participating in this year’s Dingman Point River Artists Tour.

Michael Ringer’s St. Lawrence Gallery was one of the stops. He says it is important to paint the lifestyle along the river.

“Paintings are very, very personal. When somebody comes in and they see a painting of something that they know, either that they’ve been through, or seen, or maybe of their island or their place, it becomes very emotional for them,” said Ringer.

Lisa Wagner is another river artist. She says art is a way for the river people to connect.

“It makes a new connection, and especially since COVID, it is nice to have that as jumping off point, so people can start connecting with one another again. I feel like that’s what art is,” said Wagner.

These artists say the pieces are also meaningful for those who move away from their river community.

“Once you’ve been on the river, you’ll never leave the river, maybe bodily you’ll leave it, but never on your mind, you’ll always come back to it,” said Ringer.

The Dingman Point Artists have held this event for nearly 3 decades, and hope to continue to do so. This way, they get to keep sharing with others the beauty in living in a riverfront community.