Roanoke Blooms with Artists and Craftspeople

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Video by Candyce H. Stapen

Roanoke, VA, is known as a former headquarters for the railroad industry, but the largest city in Virginia’s southwest also gains notice for its art galleries, artists and craftspeople.

Top Stops on Roanoke’s Arts and Crafts Trail

Galleries and Parks

The Market Gallery© Candyce H. Stapen Photography

The Market Gallery

Market Gallery. The cooperative gallery features the work of 30 Virginia artists, many of them local to Roanoke. Peruse paintings, drawings, sculpture, serigraphs, and photographs by talented, often up-and-coming artists. The prices at this gallery are more affordable than at some others.

LinDor Arts. Dorsey and Linda Taylor feature work by well-known local and regional artists, including Dorothy Gillespie’s ribbon-like swirls of enameled aluminum and Greg Osterhaus’s cow canvases.

Elmwood Park.  Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the park, Roanoke’s largest downtown green space. Sculptures line a two-block walkway; the art changes every 18 months. Check the schedule for concerts.


Eye of the Needle© Candyce H. Stapen Photography

Eye of the Needle at The Taubman Museum

The Taubman Museum. The facility’s angular and soaring exterior, suggestive of the region’s surrounding mountains, is the iconic symbol of the new Roanoke. Don’t miss the two site specific installations in Eye of the Needle that use simple materials to create something else. Amanda McCavour employs polyester threads to fashion a 5,000 piece mobile suggestive of clouds and Jonathan Brilliant fashions a tree-like work from 70,000 coffee stick stirrers and 500 coffee cup sleeves. On view through Aug. 28. American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell showcases more than 100 works. Through June 12, 2016.

O. Winston Link Museum. Discover the work of O. Winston Link, the master railroad photographer who spent years chronicling the waning era of steam locomotives. In his carefully arranged and lit photographs, the locomotives look both powerful and already part of the past.


Eric Fitzpatrick's gallery and studio© Candyce H. Stapen Photography

Eric Fitzpatrick’s gallery and studio

Eric Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick’s landscapes display his love of pattern and color. His studio and gallery feature works created during visits to Venice, regions of Maine as well as abstract canvases.

Betty Branch.  A noted sculptor, much of Branch’s work focuses on the female form and she also has a series of works that depict crows. Her sculpture of a girl reading graces the entranceway of the Roanoke library and other of her works appear in public spaces. Her gallery, a former three-story warehouse, showcases her work as well as the sculpture created by some of her children.

Appalachia Press© Candyce H. Stapen Photography

Appalachia Press

Craft Shops

Appalachia Press. Shop Owner and letterpress artist John Reburn designs and creates handcrafted stationery, invitations and note cards by using a 100+ years-old press. The advantage: “You get richer color. We call it a ‘kiss’. Digital printing just prints on the surface,” says Reburn.

Chocolatepaper. Walk straight past the mugs and mini-stuffed tigers to the sweets. The chocolatier gains fame for its five-inch chocolate rendition of the city symbol, the Roanoke Star, as well as for the shop’s delectable truffles with a hint of espresso, pomegranate, sea salt caramel or champagne.

For more Roanoke information, contact the Roanoke Visitor Center.