A Unique Shopping Experience at the Greenbrier's Art Colony Retail Shops - Part 3, Virtu Studio Gallery, featuring handmade jewelry and beautiful and unique works of glass.
Virtu means excellence in craftsmanship….and this is what you will find in this gallery, says owners Alex J. Brand, glass artist and Susan Chapman Thomas, Designer/Goldsmith.
Instead of rebuilding after a fire had destroyed their home in Corning, New York, they decided to move to West Virginia in January 2009. Why West Virginia…..really several reasons…… Susan is from West Virginia; "we both love the climate, and wanted to be closer to family, and of course, to open a gallery at The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs." Alex, Susan, daughter Carly, and dog Mashala moved to Lewisburg in January, 2009.
For the past 25 years Alex has been on the road doing craft shows and he says “it was time for a change”. They opened the Virtu Studio Gallery in April, 2010, at the Greenbrier’s Art Colony on Alabama Row…..a short distance from the hotel. Alex’s hot glass shop is at Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY but plans to get a shop on the grounds of the Greenbrier in the near future.
Alex says, “For me happiness comes from living a creative life, whether I’m making art or making breakfast. I’ve always felt the need to do things differently than they’ve been done before. As a result, a lot of my work begins with trying new techniques, either completely new or at least new to me. I’d rather figure something out for myself than research it. This leaves more doors open; more possibilities, more excitement in the unknown. Often a new idea will yield something very different from what I had envisioned, but be just as interesting. I’ll start with an idea but let the glass have a say in what it wants to be also. I try to stay out of my own way and not take the process too seriously; have fun with it. I enjoy working with other craft media and I am also a poet and singer/songwriter. I want to touch people on an emotional level through whatever I create. “
Susan Chapman Thomas is a designer and goldsmith. “I have been making a living via my smithing for 30 years. While attending Concord College in Athens, WV and majoring in studio Art and Graphics, I created my first pieces in sterling silver and brass. Over the years I have incorporated a love for geology into my work by including gems and non precious materials into the designs that I do. The designs that you see today have a classic yet contemporary look. I strive to make pieces that are durable, comfortable and have a timeless beauty.”
Also displayed in the Virtu Gallery is art by Marsha Heatwole of Lexington, VA.
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Virtu Studio Gallery
Artist Colony at The Greenbrier Hotel
300 West Main Street
White Sulphur Springs, WV 24986
Hours 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
Phone: 304.536.1110 ext 7447
Looking for a special gift for that special person….check the Virtu Studio Gallery, featuring handmade jewelry and beautiful and unique works of glass.
This is the 3rd of the eight retail stores located at the Art Colony Shops at The Greenbrier. Previous posts: