A Unique Shopping Experience at the Greenbrier's Art Colony Retail Shops - Part 3, Virtu Studio Gallery

Real Estate Agent with Vision Quest Realty WV0026375




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 Gallery


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.



Carly, Susan, Alex and Mashala


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.”


Virtu Gallery hand-made jewelry


Also displayed in the Virtu Gallery is art by Marsha Heatwole of Lexington, VA.







View Larger Map


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:


Mackenzie-Dow Fine Furniture

Joseph Mendel, Furniture Maker




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Your Real Estate Connection for Lewisburg, WV and the Greenbrier County




If I can assist you in any way with your real estate needs in Lewisburg, WV, Greenbrier County or the surrounding areas, please feel free to contact me by phone at
(304) 520-2133
, email
or visit my website at



 Vision Quest Realty

Martha Hilton, Broker



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handmade jewelry
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Kathy Knight
Intracoastal Realty Corp - Wilmington, NC

Thanks Rebecca will have to check out the gallery next time i come to Greenbriar county...

Sep 23, 2010 04:07 AM #1
Jeanean Gendron
The Address Realty - Redding, CA
Specializing in Selling Unique Properties

Rebecca, you've really set the bar on this hyper local post. I love the slide show and the close ups of the jewelry and the story of how it has evolved. Wonderful work. Thanks for a nice little visit this morning.

Sep 23, 2010 04:09 AM #2
Mary Kay Hopkins
Mary Kay Hopkins, LLC e-PRO, GRI, CRS, CRB - Lake Charles, LA

Rebecca, a post about a local shop does not get much better than this.  I will be checking out the first two soon.  Beautifully prepared!

Sep 23, 2010 04:11 AM #3
. 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC
What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779


Beautiful post, Beautiful concepts. Beautiful art forms. Thank you. I'm "suggesting" this one ..

Sep 23, 2010 04:56 AM #4
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

Beautiful works of art Rebecca...............great place that Greenbrier and such talented artists.

Sep 23, 2010 05:53 AM #5
Mickey McCoy
Coldwell Banker Stuart and Watts - Lewisburg, WV

Rebecca, beautiful art glass and love the jewelry. Will have to visit this shop sooner than later, and since I am near by it will be sooner.

Sep 23, 2010 08:14 AM #6
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Kathy, yes you gotta check these shop out the next time you are visiting the Greenbrier.

Jeanean, thank you for the nice compliment.

Mary Kay, WOW that is also a very nice compliment, thank.!

janeAnne, I appreciate the suggestion and your kind remarks.

Roger, yes I can't believe this place...the Art Colony...so much fun!

Mickey, visit soon...I'll go with you!

Sep 23, 2010 08:47 AM #7
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Rebecca, what a great way to feature this business!     Great slideshow!

Sep 23, 2010 10:10 AM #8
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Thanks, Joan!

Sep 23, 2010 10:29 AM #9
Ellie McIntire
Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate - Ellicott City, MD
Luxury service in Howard County & Catonsville

You are very lucky to have such an amazing group of talented artists in your area.....and you are only on number 3.

Sep 23, 2010 01:57 PM #10
1~Judi Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK

What a talented couple and I bet he is glad to be off the tour scene and stationary with his work.  Those are beautiful pieces. 

Sep 23, 2010 02:31 PM #11
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Ellie, I am writing 4 and 5 now...whew takes a while.

Judi, for sure and thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Sep 23, 2010 06:28 PM #12
Bob & Leilani Souza
Souza Realty 916.408.5500 - Roseville, CA
Greater Sacramento Area Homes, Land & Investments

Rebecca, I'm really impressed with your localism post as well as the goodies that Virtu Studio Gallery offers! Wish I lived closer to Greenbrier County, West Virginia...I could probably spend a solid hour in Virtu admiring everything and deciding which pieces to take home with me! :)


Sep 23, 2010 07:34 PM #13
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Leilani, thanks for your kind remarks, they are very much appreciated.

Sep 23, 2010 07:57 PM #14
Renée Donohue~Home Photography
Savvy Home Pix - Allegan, MI
Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer

Their art is amazing!  Your presentation is very classy too - just like their handmade jewelry.  Love your buying local series!

Sep 24, 2010 06:48 AM #15
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Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®

Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate
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