From the rolling farmlands to the breathtaking Blue Ridge sunsets, the natural beauty you experience when visiting Rappahannock County can almost feel like a work of art. In fact, Little Washington and its neighboring towns are filled with fantastic art galleries, many showcasing works that reflect the area’s natural splendor. Gay Street Gallery, which is just steps from Gay Street Inn, is a must-visit on your next trip to Little Washington.
The Gallery building itself is a historical treasure. Constructed in 1836, it is believed to be one of the oldest, continually operated mercantile buildings in the Commonwealth of Virginia. When the building was converted to an art gallery in 2015, the owners took great care to preserve as many historic elements as possible. For example, portions of a counter that once ringed the main room when it served as a general store have been restored and repurposed as the Gallery’s “floating” counter.
Gay Street Gallery presents the work of select, award-winning artists from Virginia and around the country. With a focus on representational landscape and figurative paintings, the Gallery also shows sculpture and other three-dimensional art, and also hosts exhibitions of contemporary work in various media. Virginia artist Kevin H. Adams, recently selected the Artist-in-Residence for Shenandoah National Park, keeps his studio next door to the gallery, and you can find many of his beautiful works on display, some of which have hung in U.S. embassies around the world through the Art in Embassies Program. Several of Kevin’s paintings also hang in the guest rooms and common areas of Gay Street Inn, which he previously owned. In fact, the Studio building across the street from the inn once served as his artist space.
The spring exhibition at Gay Street Gallery featured paintings by Matt Klos and turned wood by Frederick Williamson. Beginning later this month, the gallery will showcase paintings by Ruthie Windsor-Mann and sculpture by Jan Kirsh, as well as an all-Virginia collection of work by Kevin H. Adams, including both his popular mountain forest scenes and classic Virginia architecture set in the landscape of the Commonwealth.
So on your next visit to Gay Street Inn, be sure to visit Gay Street Gallery to admire this beautifully restored building along with the incredible art inside. You may just end up taking a piece Rappahannock County home with you!
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