If you are an art enthusiast, then you need to check out the art scene in Washington.  Whether you are into paintings, handcrafted jewelry, sculpture, or mixed media, the galleries in Washington have something to delight and inspire you.  

Each work of art and each gallery that houses it has its own unique story associated with it.  The Lemonade Art Gallery is no exception.  Co-owner Sue Beck explains that many of their artists were exhibitors at an artisans’ center that was closed several years ago due to measures beyond their control.  So, they got together and decided to create their own gallery; to ‘make lemonade out of lemons,’ and thus, The Lemonade Art Gallery was born.  Beck’s specialty is wire wrapped jewelry.  Her latest creation is the ‘Princess Kate,’ a beautiful necklace that includes 14K gold (she also does sterling silver) and Swarovski pearls.  She also makes convertible earrings with either a fishhook design or a post design with your choice of color Swarovski crystals or pearls and teaches classes on wire wrapping.  Co-owner Carol Mann is an expert at painting with watercolors and teaches classes at the gallery.  Mann oversees an exhibit each year that is composed exclusively of her students’ work.

The beautiful ‘Princess Kate’ necklace

River Walk Gallery and Arts Center can fulfill your desire for beautiful handmade works as well.  Member Lori Champion Melton fashions stunning jewelry by stringing beads, tying knots and soldering silver.  Melton says that she finds much of her inspiration in Sundance catalog:  many of her pieces have a decidedly southwestern feel to them.  She also creates custom pieces and loves to upcycle different materials in her work.  Member Colleen Knight has some striking pyrography pieces, and make sure to check out Carolyn Sleeper’s pottery perfection.

Carolyn Sleeper’s pottery

If your artistic tastes lean toward the avant-garde, explore Lone Leaf Gallery and Custom Framing.  Owners Neil and Meredith Loughlin use film camera, scanning negatives and digital composite techniques to design a truly one-of-a-kind work of art that is both bold and hauntingly beautiful.  Neil has been a working artist for around 15 years and finds that the outdoors and nature inspire him.  

Arts of the Pamlico, one of the oldest arts councils in North Carolina, is housed in the restored historic Turnage Theatre.  Here you can indulge in your taste for the visual arts as well as the performing arts (but that’s a topic for a whole other blog entry.  😉)  The Turnage actually has 3 different art spaces under its roof.  There is the Art Café, the Turnage Gallery, and the Lane Gift Shop.  Thad Aley, Art Exhibits & Events Coordinator, says that many exhibits are open throughout the year such as the Fine Arts Show, the Juried Photography Show, the Little Art Sale, and the Carolina Nature Photography Exhibit, just to name a few.  Art is displayed by perennial favorites such as Jeffrey Jakub and Mike Bennett and newcomers like Karen Warren’s mixed media award winning submissions.

Art by Jeffrey Jakub

At Kay Woolard’s Art on Market you will find acrylic paintings that move you to feel like you have travelled a great distance to exotic and peaceful locales.

Art Tyndall’s studio will delight you with his earthy plein air paintings of the river, local historic buildings, and more.

If you are looking for something original and gorgeous for your home or a special gift idea, or if you just love great art and the emotions that it evokes, you owe it to yourself to experience the art galleries of Washington.  

After all, “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”