As you weave your way through our roads, sip cocktails slowly by the river, and listen to the hum of birds at sunset, you’ll understand why artists choose to make a home here in the River Realm. Painters, sculptures, wood makers and more are inspired by the nature, the people and the dream of our region. Their perspectives are funny, imaginative, breathtaking and downright gorgeous. Soak up their creations along our region’s artisan trails. Save room in your ride so you can bring a piece or two home.
Get to know our artists and their work at these locations…
River to Bay Artisan Trail
Let’s kick things off with the River to Bay Artisan Trail. This trail weaves through the Middle Peninsula of Virginia. Speckled along the river and quaint main streets, you’ll discover the following galleries to get lost in:
Urbanna Harbor Art Gallery: In the heart of Urbanna, you’ll encounter original paintings, books, antiques and framing services in this 5,000 square-foot treasure trove.
Nimcock Gallery: Emily Chowning curates a magical collection of antique furniture, trinkets, prints, and paintings. Her husband Shep crafts custom frames in his atelier.
Greenwood Stained Glass: Vist Wanda’s private stained glass studio in historic Urbanna, this glass shop will open your imagination. Inside this quaint studio you’ll find church windows and other colorful glass renderings of people, nature and the world beyond.
Antiques, Uniques and More: We won’t blame you if you get lost in this 10,000 square-foot shop in Deltaville. There are 45 vendors under one roof selling art, antiques, furniture and other home decor.
Arts in the Middle Festival: On June 2-3, 2018, is the 4th annual “Arts in The Middle” juried fine arts show. Stroll the beautiful grounds of Hewick Plantation with your wine or champagne in search of your favorite piece of artwork to take home. A hundred artists from around the country will exhibit their creative works in more than seven media categories: paintings, sculptures, jewelry, pottery, textiles .
What Else to Do and See in Urbanna & Deltaville
Next door to many of these galleries, you’ll discover shops that carry locally made jewelry, art, and more. Lowe Tide, River Birch Gifts, Cyndy’s Bynn, and ReSail Boutique are just a few. If you’re with the family, make sure you read our kid friendly travel guide. From camping to baseball to the raceway, you will discover new opportunities to make memories that will stay with you forever.
The Northern Neck Artisan Trail
Take on the other side of Virginia’s River Realm along the Northern Neck Artisan Trail, Where Water Surrounds and Creativity Abounds. You’ll be greeted by friendly faces at these galleries and studios. We recommend asking artists as many questions as you want. They’ll love telling you all about their craft and why they love the River Realm. Just some of the interesting artists and galleries to explore:
Allure Art Centre: Explore a number of our local artists’ original works including painting, sculpture, carving, metal work, wood working, photography, illustration, and mixed media. The 3,800 square-foot building was originally built in 1901 and perfect for some of our town’s music, dance and theater. Come see the amazing iron horse on the lawn crafted by the local blacksmith. Sorry, it’s already sold, but you can commission your own uniquely created piece.
Plus Plein Air Unleashed returns for its second year with an expanded the event. The painting exhibit features artists from across Virginia working in oil, acrylic, pastels and more. The artists will be working outdoors at selected locations throughout the region April 26-27 and then on site at Allure Art Center April 28th doing demos and answering questions. April 29th the created works will go on exhibit.
RAL Art Centre: It’s all about community at the the RAL Art Center. The non-profit is powered almost entirely by volunteers. Enjoy the cooperative gallery space, educational events and programming, and music at this hub for creativity. There are amazing pieces for sale at the Center, plus it’s on Kilmarnock’s Main Street with other adorable boutiques. Why not bring home a memory or two?
Patty Richards Art: You met Patty in our blog post about the Watermans’ Way community art project. Her dreamy studio is located in downtown Kilmarnock. She creates custom portraits, murals, and decorative paintings.
Talulah Design Studio: Jan Dobrowolski is tuned into the local environment. You’ll see inspiration from oysters, pearls, and more wildlife in her one-of-a-kind jewelry. Call ahead for an appointment to see her work. 202-906-9201
What Else to Do in Kilmarnock, Irvington & White Stone
While you’re strolling the streets of Kilmarnock, stop into local shops like Burke’s Fine Jewelers, Kilmarnock Antique Gallery and Rivah Antiques and Accessories. You’ll discover items like vintage oysters plates and custom river-inspired jewelry.
Or try out Objects, Art and More in Irvington, home to the works of 200 artists from around the country. If you’re hungry, get our guide to off-the-radar restaurants and save room to visit foodie gems including Car Wash Cafe, The Local, Sandpiper Restaurant, and quirky Rocket Billy’s.