So many talented artists and craftspeople find the Greenbrier Valley a muse for their work. They are enduringly inspired, creating furniture, quilts and jewelry. They form beauty from paint palettes, clay and thread. Some chisel. Some weld. Some capture the Valley’s splendor through the lens of a camera.
If you’re searching for one-of-a-kind presents this holiday season, the Greenbrier Valley’s gallery scene is not to be missed. No matter if tastes run from elegant or eccentric, paint or pottery, for the wall or for wearing, you can check several people off your gift list navigating these galleries.
CARNEGIE HALL GALLERIES. You'll find not one, but three galleries with rotating bi-monthly exhibits at historic Carnegie Hall on Church Street in Lewisburg. Paintings and photographs are often on display and for sale. Purchasing these distinctive works means supporting Carnegie’s mission to cultivate appreciation for creativity and the arts.
WV FINE ARTISANS GALLERY. On Washington Street in downtown Lewisburg, 30-plus local and regional artists have joined forces in one central location. Works from every stripe and locus of Appalachian craft including wood carvings and metalwork, paintings and pottery, jewelry and fiber arts. On most days, you can watch one of the artisans at work with others on hand to share their love for the arts and creative process. For the animal lover on your list, talk with Rose Dobbins to commission a painting of their fur baby. Allow two weeks.
COOPER GALLERY. On the corner of Washington and Lafayette streets in downtown Lewisburg, Marilyn Cooper has recently added several new artists to her gallery collection. A talented abstract and realist artist in her own right, she has an experienced eye for “discovering” fine artists with interesting West Virginia ties. Daniel Meyer’s eye-catching sculptures will instantly pull you in to Marilyn’s gallery.
THE ART COLONY SHOPS. Flanking the northern hillside overlooking the Springhouse are some of the oldest buildings at The Greenbrier. Originally constructed in the 1830s, the Alabama Row Cottages were converted into an “art colony” in the 1950s. Today this collection of individually owned and operated shops features unique works from leather goods and repurposed metal art to one-of-a-kind furniture pieces and handmade jewelry.
Located at the end of the row, Virtu is a light-filled studio gallery featuring hand-blown glass, gold-wrapped gems, whimsical paintings and carvings. Susan Thomas is the resident goldsmith, while her husband, Alex Brand, is a talented glass artisan. You’ll likely find one of them in the gallery, sharing their stories and works with visitors.
If you’re inspired by Brand’s work, get a hands-on experience and schedule a one-on-one flameworking (glass bead making) or glassblowing session. Learning the basics to create a unique piece, you may even make a new favorite ornament for your tree.
WALLS FINE ART GALLERY. If you’re looking for expertise -- someone who lives and breathes art -- be sure to meet David Leadman of Walls Fine Art Gallery. A painter, restorer, framer and consultant, his White Sulphur Springs downtown gallery is just a small sampling of the artistic caliber with which he has access. We recommend scheduling an appointment with David if you are in search of a particular one-of-a-kind piece.
WANDERING BIRD GALLERY. Jorn L. Mork, a self-taught artist with deep roots in symbolism, opened a gallery to showcase her breadth of work as well as feature other artists by which she is inspired. Her bright and whimsical pastels will light up any wall.
LEE STREET STUDIOS. Historic-school-turned "art colony," this unique downtown Lewisburg mainstay has been repurposed into working spaces for painters, sculptors, musicians and other artistically-minded visionaries. As a venue where artists can teach, display and sell their work, it continues its history of educating and contributing to the community. The Holiday Artist Market open now through December 21 gives shoppers the opportunity to meet the artists, view demonstrations and be entered in weekly giveaways.
ALDERSON ARTISANS GALLERY. The Alderson Artisan Gallery at 100 Riverview Road in Alderson offers stained glass, fiber art, hooked rugs, jewelry, pottery, furniture and many other treasures. The selections are unusual, eclectic and affordable. Find an array of handmade winter accessories such as cozy hats and scarves for those blustery winter days.