Floyd County, Virginia is rapidly achieving world-wide attention as a prime tourist destination, with its Old-Time and Blue Grass music in several venues almost nightly, the increased number of fine restaurants and lodgings, numerous festivals and the outstanding scenery. Rolling hills, lush pastures and spectacular mountains greet tourists from all over the world, almost year-round.
The small town of Floyd itself, with its numerous shops, has an unexpected treasure in it's midst – A New Leaf Gallery. It is located downtown at 203 S. Locust Street, in “The Station”, across from the famous Floyd Country Store, the hub of local Country Music Activity.
The Gallery, entering it's twelfth year, was started by six members of a weekly drawing group in 2007. They worked together to set up a formal business in a renovated space below the Sun Music Hall in The Winter Sun building, complete with large framed panels for showing their work. They were soon offering adult and children's classes, holding receptions with local musicians and exhibiting the work of local guest artists. As new artists joined, they took advantage of the remodeling going on nearby in what became “The Station”and were the first tenants to move in. In subsequent years, they expanded into an additional suite across the hall and then finally into their present, larger location down the hall.
The artistic offerings of the Gallery include only local and regional artists because that is what most Floyd residents and visitors consistently ask for. They are able to invite an impressive selection of guest artists from the area for exhibits that last for two months each. The gallery kicks off these exhibits with an artists reception every other First Friday evening from 5 to 8 pm. These are open to the public and included home-made refreshments. For information about these events, the work of the artists, gallery classes, being a guest artist and directions, please go to our new web site: www.anewleafgallery.com
As the group expanded again this year, they planned an overhaul of the colors and atmosphere of the gallery, opening it up and increasing the light in the large space. They chose some lovely natural shades of paint in light mocha and leafy spring green for the walls and trim. Feeling that it was time to give the gallery a new name in keeping with their new look, they are now known as
“A New Leaf Gallery”
They recently featured the outstanding work of the Floyd County High School Senior art class. Their exhibit included numerous media forms; oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings, pottery, papier mache and sculptures. This is the fourth year that the Gallery has displayed the work of these gifted students and the gallery artists have formed a close bond with the classes and instructors. After the first exhibit, the members learned that the funding for art supplies and teachers' salaries had been severely cut. So, they arranged with the art teaching staff to begin on-going fund-raising for the class supplies. An old milk bottle was stationed on the counter of the gallery and customers immediately began dropping their loose change and even $20.00 bills into the jar. It mounted up quickly and the members are always delighted to pass it on to the teachers.
This led the group to try and think of an event that could boost these donations even further. In 2017, they picked a Valentine Event to brighten up the long Floyd winter. They chose Chocolate as the main theme and “A Chocolate Affair”was born. The main attraction is an enormous table with many spectacular, delicious chocolate items, made by the artists. Visitors can pay for small or large plates of the items of their choosing to sample and take home.
Generous donations of merchandise have been obtained from community businesses to fill two large gift baskets each year with items totally over $500.00 each. These baskets are auctioned off each year, along with door prizes and additional donated items to raise around $1,000 or more each year for the Art Programs supplies.
The 12 or so members are proud of their fund-raising project and look forward to many more “Chocolate Affairs” in the future. They are also thrilled with their New Look and their New Name. They eagerly await visitors each day to share their enthusiasm and talk about all the talented artists that are featured on the walls.
The Gallery displays include paintings in oils, acrylic and watercolors, many of local landscapes, barns and mountain pastures. The artists also include note cards, book marks and prints of their artwork with their work. The gallery features occasional guest displays of local pottery, felting, wood turning, metalwork, leather pieces and other original 3-dimensional work. One of the gallery artists offers handmade silver jewelry in numerous different designs for earrings, bracelets and necklaces.
The gallery invites all visitors to this wonderful area to experience the fine art of our talented local artists and guests. They hope that you can also take in the regular events and new exhibits. For more about these and the work of the artists, check the web site: https://www.anewleaf-gallery.com
Leave your email address at the counter to receive regular information about these events. For more information, the gallery telephone number is 540-745-7367. Email is: email@example.com
Gallery hours beginning this April: Monday Wednesday and Thursday, 11-5; Friday 11-8; Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 12-4.
~ Gretchen St. Lawrence
“A New Leaf Gallery”