Traditional Arts in Upstate New York. Traditional Arts of Upstate New York
53 Main Street
Canton, NY 13617
(315) 386-4289


Unless otherwise specified, events take place at The TAUNY Center.


Stable Views; Life in the Backstretch of Thoroughbred Racetracks
Many North Country residents have enjoyed a day at the Saratoga racetrack, where the spectacle is the excitement of the race and the fancy dress of the spectators. Folklorist Ellen McHale has spent years behind the scenes at the Saratoga and Belmont racetracks, getting to know the workers who care for the horses, out of the public’s sight.

What she found was a tight-knit community, whose love for the animals in their care is the basis for a rich occupational culture. That research is the subject of an exhibit now on display at The TAUNY Center. The exhibit consists of photos, quotes from the workers featured presented in English and Spanish, and artifacts from the backstretch.

The exhibit will remain on display through early November. TAUNY thanks Potsdam Agway for their underwriting support of this exhibit.

Bill Parmer Loves Barns

If you travel the country roads around St. Lawrence County, chances are you may have seen Bill Parmer working on a painting by the side of the road and wondered what he is up to. Now through September 12, visitors to The TAUNY Center can see a display of original oil paintings Bill made along country roads in Waddington, Lawrenceville, Hopkinton, Winthrop, and other nearby locations. The paintings are accompanied by Bill’s explanations of the circumstances and content of the paintings. Bill travels throughout the North Country and into other states to paint, but most of the time you will find him close to his home in Buckton. He paints in all weather except high wind and driving rain.

All the paintings in the display are for sale in the gallery, and some of them are in our online shop here.

Selected Works by Fred Morgan (Case Exhibit)

Fred Morgan (1913-1994) of Norwood, tinkerer and inventor, carved and painted dioramas after a stroke left him partially paralyzed. His pieces represent the history of Norwood, telling the story of the town’s past from his perspective, including the musical life of Norwood, the humor that can be found in contentious political issues, and the communal work and celebration involved in the seasonal rounds of rural life.

This exhibit of selected works, a more complete version of which was first displayed at TAUNY in the fall and winter of 1996-7, celebrates the gift of Fred Morgan’s collection to TAUNY. We are deeply indebted to Mrs. Rena Morgan and her children—Joan, Chuck, Jack, and Fred—for their generosity and confidence. We are committed to preserving the work and to sharing it with the public.



Express Guitar School

Tuesdays July 21, July 28, August 4 

Noon - 1:00pm

Cost: $45.00/$40 for TAUNY Friends

This is a 3-lesson course over 3 weeks to help you quickly learn basic chords and strums. Barb Heller will also teach you some music theory to help you understand how the guitar works, and

help you continue your own education into the future.  Learning guitar is a great way to start playing along with the musical traditions of the North Country.

You must have your own guitar and tuner for daily practice and for lessons. All other materials provided. This streamlined class is designed for ages 16 and up; younger students by permission from the instructor.

The cost of this class is $45 ($40 for TAUNY Friends). Pre-registration is required. To register contact us at 315-386-4289 or

Jam School

Tuesdays August 11, August 18, August 25

Noon - 1:00pm

Cost: $45.00/$40 for TAUNY Friends

This is a 3-lesson course over 3 weeks to help you navigate music reading and group playing. This course is designed as a preamble to our monthly TAUNY jams which begin in September.

Learn about time signatures, repeats, first and second endings, codas, and other musical terms that can befuddle a first-time jammer. We’ll also practice group playing and jam etiquette. Bring any fretted instrument and get set to have fun! To register, email

The cost of this class is $45 ($40 for TAUNY Friends). Pre-registration is required. To register contact us at 315-386-4289 or

Thursday, August 27


Wachtmeister Field Station on the SLU Campus

Bring your guitar and your friends and family for a campfire sing /play-along jam featuring NCPR's Barb Heller. Expertise NOT required--just 4 or 5 basic chords will do it. Barb will guide you through the chord changes, so just come and have a good time. We'll be playing and singing traditional campfire songs, with a few requests added. No pressure--just fun. S'more supplies are on the house as well. Come a few minutes early if you need help tuning up. Pants and long sleeves are recommended because it can be buggy.

To get to the Wachtmeister Field Station head south down Park St. past the campus athletic fields. Cross the wooden bow bridge over the Little River and take the first left into the field station parking lot. Coming from the south, it is the second driveway on the right after the Kunoco station as you approach Canton village.

Contact Jake Malcomb at 315-262-7325 or with additional questions.

herbsCulinary Herbalism: creative cooking with herbs

A Nature’s Storehouse workshop in the TAUNY Kitchen

Tuesday, August 4

5:00 - 7:00pm

Cost: $15

Learn to weave herbs into your daily culinary concoctions beyond a simple cup of tea. This class will cover powders, vinegars, congees, and a host of other ways to use herbs as food. Participants will sample a variety of herbal dishes and preparations and leave inspired to integrate tonic herbs into their diet. Contact Nature’s Storehouse with questions or to register. 315-386-3740


Welcome to the North Country Reception

Thursday, September 10

5:30 - 7:00pm

An Open House for newcomers and old-timers alike. See what makes the North Country so special.

Alex Smith in Concert

Saturday, September 12


Alex Smith is an Adirondack folk singer-songwriter with a resonant voice who is deeply inspired by the region's music, history and landscape. A suggested donation of $5-$15 includes simple refreshments and a cash bar.

Sunday, October 18


Salute to North Country Legends

Our newly-revised annual Heritage Awards program promises to introduce you to some hidden legends and magical places in our community.

Watercolor Circle

Wednesdays and Fridays 10:00am - Noon

A group of watercolorists and other artists gathers at The TAUNY Center each  Wednesday and Friday morning, bringing their own materials and projects, to paint, consult, and converse. The group is open to the public, and you are welcome to bring any kind of art or craft project you’re working on. For more information, call Camilla at 315-384-4289, or email

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