Old Car Showroom Reinvented As Showcase For Local Artisans Work
Marlinton, WV – It once housed the latest models of the Nash Rambler automobile. Starting September 1st the old Rambler showroom in Marlinton will showcase works of art by local artisans, under the official moniker of The 4th Avenue Gallery of Fine Arts and Crafts. Elizabeth Lockman, Officer at Large for the Pocahontas County Artisans Cooperative explains.
“I’ve also been part of the team of coop member who’ve been working very hard for the past, oh, about four months to bring the new gallery to life,” says Lockman, “and we’re very pleased to announce the second of our two galleries. It’s located across from the soon-to-be-totally-renovated [Marlinton] Depot, and it’s on 4th Avenue.”
The Coop’s Green Bank gallery, located just down the road from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory has been in business for several years and is doing well. Both galleries are run by the Coop, which is a non-profit organization. Artisans are required to have a West Virginia business license and are responsible for all applicable state taxes.
Lockman says some of the same artists who show their work in Green Bank will also have items in the new gallery. She says they owe a debt of gratitude to long time Marlinton business Mitchell Chevrolet for their new gallery home.
“First of all, we were so thrilled to have the Mitchell brothers offer us the use of that room,” she says. “We could not have done it without them. It’s sort of funny because the Green Bank gallery was originally an automobile showroom; that’s why we have those great big lovely windows! So when we open our third gallery we’ll have to find another automobile showroom.”
She says the showroom did need a bit of sprucing up.
“It needed some work, I have to say,” says Lockman. “We replaced ceiling tile and painted, and a lot of carpentry work; and Ron Radcliff, who’s an artist who recently moved to Green Bank, has painted a beautiful mural on the face of where the cash register is. It’s a mural of the mountains; basically if you could eliminate all the buildings, it’s what you could see from the gallery. So it has a ridgeline, the actual ridgeline and it shows the Greenbrier River, and I think that alone is worth stopping by and taking a look; really proud of that.”
She says both the Green Bank and the 4th Avenue galleries have their own personalities.
“Both galleries have a really different feel to them,” she says. “The gallery in Green Bank has a homey feel that is really that is very nice and very apropos to many of our crafts people and the gallery in Marlinton has more of a contemporary feel; it really isn’t like any of the other shops in Marlinton. It’s interesting because some of the artwork you see when you see it in the setting of the Green Bank gallery, you get one sense of what that looks like. And then in this other setting you see it anew with fresh eyes.”
Lockman says in addition to some of the Green Bank artisans, there will also be works by some new members in the 4th Avenue gallery including pottery hand dyed silk scarves, painting, photography and items from Pocahontas Woodlands and Pocahontas Woods Crafts. Note to tourists, they will also have shipping avail for those who want to make a purchase and have it sent back home. Hours for the new gallery are the same as for the Green Bank gallery – Thursday through Saturday and Monday 10 to 5, and Sundays 11 to 4. For more information on the Pocahontas County Artisans Cooperative, visit their website at www.artisancoop.com.