map of Lexington va art galleries

Downtown Lexington has gained a reputation among artists and art lovers from around Virginia as having a flourishing art scene. A stroll down West Washington Street between Main and Jefferson quickly makes it clear why that block has become a tourist destination. In-between restaurants, gift shops and a coffee house you will find four art galleries, all on one block. “Gallery Row,” as it is called, has a variety of stores, each offering something different to art collectors and enthusiasts.

Artists in Cahoots: Founded in 1982, Artists in Cahoots is the granddaddy of all the local galleries. It is a cooperative of local artists and craftspeople with expertise in painting, printmaking, silver and gold jewelry, ceramic jewelry, pottery, ironwork, woodworking, photography, sculpture, and fiber arts.  Cooperative members staff the shop, so a visit here will allow you to speak directly with an artist. More than a dozen other guest artists and consignors sell their work there, including fiber art and weavings by Kendal resident Ruth Tafel. Artists in Cahoots is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday at 21 W. Washington Street.

Cabell Gallery of Virginia Art: Founded in 2014 by Cabell Gorman, daughter of Kendal residents Harry and Sis Warner, the Cabell Gallery represents regional contemporary artists, both emerging and established. Original paintings in oil, watercolor, acrylic and pastel, along with clay works, art glass, jewelry, furniture and other artistic objects. A favorite of Kendal residents, this fine art gallery has a carefully curated collection of work from all over Virginia. They specialize, however, in scenes from Lexington and Rockbridge County. Featured artists have included Sudy Dressler, special friend of Kendal resident Uncas McThenia.  One more Kendal connection: The Cabell Gallery is now owned by Susan Groves, wife of Kendal Marketing Associate Kevan Kavanaugh.  Cabell Gallery is open every day except Tuesdays at 5 W. Washington Street.

Earth, Fire & Spirit Pottery: Amber Poole, Daniel Caruthers, and Jessy Poole-Caruthers, co-owners of Earth, Fire & Spirit Pottery, create functional and decorative artistic pottery. They produce handmade, high-fire reduction stoneware, right here in Lexington, with slip trail decoration, copper red, and rutile blue glazes made from family recipes handed down over generations. They have amazing creations in all price ranges. In addition to their beautiful pottery, they feature guest artists of all types, including drawings by Kendal resident Jo McMurtry. Earth, Fire & Spirit Pottery is open 10:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 11:00 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday at 15 W. Washington Street.

Nelson Gallery: The Nelson Gallery features one or more local, regional or national artists monthly, while a group of local painters and photographers display their works on an ongoing basis, including Kendal resident John Winfrey. The gallery often hosts student displays from local school children and does fundraisers for the community. Each fall, the Nelson Gallery hosts an annual week-long “Paint Lexington” plein-air event, attracting artists from around Virginia to paint scenes in Lexington and Rockbridge County, followed by an exhibition of their work. Nelson Gallery is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday at 27 W. Washington Street.

One great time to visit Gallery Row is “First Friday.” This ongoing tradition is held from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on the first Friday of each month, March through November. 
Each gallery debuts a new show on First Fridays, often with visiting artists. You can enjoy complimentary drinks and refreshments, and featured artists are on hand to discuss their work. Many of the retail shops stay open late, as well. The two-hour receptions give you plenty of time to visit each of the galleries, meet the artists and view the new art shows which remain on display for the rest of the month. You can visit to find out more.

Regardless of when you visit the local galleries of Gallery Row, it is a special feature of Lexington that should not be missed. With its convenient, easily walkable location, it is the perfect place to bring relatives and visitors to show off Downtown Lexington, or to buy that perfect gift that represents the town that you now call home!

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Please note: Hours and info may have charged due to COVID-19.