Visual art is king in Fredericksburg, Virginia. The LibertyTown Arts Workshop in the heart of this beautiful historic town is two floors of juried, working artists who display and sell their wares. There is enormous variety – mosaics, paintings, glass, ceramics, sculpture, and my favorite, recycled art. One artist used bottle caps and discarded paper to create whimsical jewelry.
Fredericksburg comes alive on the “First Friday” of every month, so try to schedule a trip to Fredericksburg around this event. Residents and tourists socialize and appreciate their local artists by hanging out in their studios in the historic district, including Art First Gallery on Caroline Street. The galleries serve free refreshments, and the participants often craft around a theme, like food for example. Then watch and be amazed at how many ways these artists can make an inanimate object resemble food!
In almost every restaurant in Fredericksburg you’ll find work by local artists on the walls. Many feature the picturesque architecture and streets of Fredericksburg. Fredericksburg impressionist Gari Melcher’s home is a Virginia National Historic Landmark. Although relatively unknown today, he was a celebrated American painter in the early 1900’s. The house is maintained as it was in 1920, offering samples of some of his greatest works. The duPont Gallery at University of Mary Washington also has regular exhibits by artists, students and faculty.
Many stores have handmade jewelry. If you love interesting, original pieces, you won’t have trouble finding them here. There’s everything from vintage to modern to precious metals and gems. I had trouble resisting the many exotic, eclectic, transformative and endearing art that I found in Fredericksburg, only an hour south of Washington DC.
LibertyTown is also a great place to take a class in various artistic mediums. Some of the more unusual classes include Cookies with Canvas, Travel Journaling, Blacksmithing and Chinese Brush Painting.