Otto Czerepak Memorial Fund

by St. Lawrence County Arts Council (SLC Arts)

SLC Arts is purchasing 6-8 Raymond St, a building in downtown Potsdam that adjoins directly to the North Country Children’s Museum to create the Creative Spirit Community Arts Center, the new home of SLC Arts! You may remember this as The Tile Co. and formerly the Creative Spirit Community Art Gallery, featuring intricate and locally crafted mosaics inside and out.

The basement exhibit hall was well-known as the Creative Spirit Katya Greer Memorial Art Gallery, built by the late owner of the Tile Co, Otto Czerepak and named in memory of his late daughter.

Otto was an inspirational community member who believed in the value of the arts. He set up the Creative Spirit Art Gallery in the basement of his tile business when he saw a need for a gallery and performance space for local artists. He and his business partner Laura Passmore invested time and resources to showcase talented artists’ work throughout the building by creating an intricate mosaic tile facade on the front of the building, inviting muralists to paint expansive murals along the entire exterior of the building, installing tile flooring throughout the first floor of The Tile Co and another intricate mosaic tile floor in the gallery space in the basement.

It is our intention to keep the history of the building and the memory of Otto in this space that he always dreamed would be a community arts center. With love and respect for this incredible man, and with the support his loving family and dear friends, we are creating the Otto Czerepak Memorial Fund to support our purchase of his beloved building and to ensure his legacy as an arts leader and arts lover in the center in perpetuity. 

Please mail checks made out to SLC Arts with the memo "Otto's Fund" to PO Box 252, Potsdam, NY 13676. For questions, comments, or to set up a multi-year gift, please contact our executive director Maggie McKenna at director@slcartscouncil.org or 315-265-6860.

For more information on the arts center plan, visit slcartscouncil.org/artscenter.

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