Library director, art gallery owner works to steer Old Forge into the future
By Jamie Organski
Local business owner, director, daughter, friend, volunteer and confidant. These are only a few of the hats that Old Forge library director and Gallery 3040 owner Linda Weal wears on any given day. And while this juggling act would prove cumbersome to many, Weal said life has a way of putting her right into the thick of things; where she is meant to be.
Born in Carthage, NY, Weal spent much of her childhood visiting Old Forge with her parents. Although an affinity for travel and culture led her to New York City, England and Cleveland, Ohio, her heart always brought her back home to the Adirondacks.
Weal’s eclectic work experience is vast, with one common denominator: an adoration for art in all its forms. After attending NYU, she worked for a children’s software publishing company, a NYC gallery, and as a Macy’s Christmas elf. Weal was a security guard at the Cleveland Museum of Art, spent a summer handing out skeeball prizes at Old Forge’s arcade, and served as a curator at View arts center, where she ran the exhibition program.
This spring marks the eighth year anniversary of the Weal family owning Gallery 3040.
“Our local business owners are generous, hardworking, and innovative,” Weal said. “I didn’t set out to own an Adirondack gallery, [but] there is something ridiculously rewarding about succeeding at it, and working to build something that matters to people.”
A believer in maintaining a strong sense of community and a high quality of life through civic participation, WeaI serves on the board of the Central Adirondack Association, a member of LivingADK’s Central Adirondack Regional Corridor Committee (CARC), and a member of the Steering Committee for the Directors Advisory Committee for the Mid York Library System. Weal also took action by assisting with a Central ADK Covid Relief Fund, which raised and distributed about $200,000 to locals with economic hardship for the first year and a half of the pandemic.
“I attend town board meetings and stick my nose into issues like the proposed Dollar General and Stewart’s [stores], [the] short-term rental law, the housing shortage, local access to healthcare and social services, hot issues at the school, etc.,” Weal said. “Whatever everyone is talking about, I am usually lurking around somewhere on the edges.”
Webb officials and residents have countered roadblocks with a culture of self-sufficiency and a can-do attitude, Weal said.
“I maintain relationships with [those at] the food pantry, thrift store, historical association, Living ADK, the town board, the community transport service, the arts center, local police and fire departments,” Weal said. “When a problem crops up, I want to know who to talk to about solving it.”
Don’t miss a thing
Sign up for our “Adk News Briefing” newsletter, a weekly look at the hottest Adirondack stories