Crozet Artisan Depot opened on July 1
Crozet is now home to a new art gallery – Crozet Artisan Depot – that opened on July 1 in the former train station at 5791 Three Notch’d Road that was previously occupied by the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library from 1984 until it moved into its new building in 2013.
A group of artisans in Crozet decided to band together last fall and start a shop that was so successful, and they have had such great community support, that they approached county supervisors with a vision for the old train depot.
The Crozet Artisan Depot features the works of several local artists in the area, allowing them to become a bigger part of the creative community in Central Virginia. There are 23 artist exhibits, with eight of the artists from Crozet, offering a range of items from photographs, paintings, jewelry, bowls, to clothing items, woodwork and more. The depot will also host workshops and other community events.
The gallery is the newest addition to the Artisan Trail Network of Virginia, which people can use to locate different galleries across the commonwealth. Later in July the space will also house the Albemarle County Tourism and Adventure Center.
The Crozet Artisan Depot was founded by seven local artists with a broad range of artistic talents. Their proposal for the use of the train depot as a local gallery was approved in June by the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors.
It’s led by Kathleen Mistry, a local artist living in Crozet, who views the Crozet Artisan Depot as a community place where local artists and creative people will assemble. The proposal approved by the Board of Supervisors was based on the mission that the Depot would be “a venue to showcase and promote local artisans”, “provide a platform for” artists to sell their work and establish a “connected creative community”.
The Crozet Artisan Depot plans to participate in Second Saturday, a monthly series of gallery openings in Crozet. It also plans to stage special events featuring regional activities. A room in the rear of the depot will remain available as public meeting space in accordance with county policy.
The gallery will be open from 10 am-2 pm on Sunday through Tuesday and 10 am-5 pm on Wednesday throughSaturday each week.
The seven founding members are (in alphabetical order):
Ben Greenberg – a recognized local landscape photographer and lifelong resident of central Virginia who has captured award-winning photographs throughout Virginia and the nation for more than four decades. His dramatic images celebrating the natural world are well-known throughout the region. Ben recently published “Natural Virginia”, a popular coffee table book celebrating the state’s natural beauty through panoramic landscape photographs.
Fred Levering – who creates tables that frequently feature the “live edge” look by leaving the outside edges exactly the way they grew in the tree. They are often made of local species such as maple, cherry, and walnut. Fred’s bowls, platters, and cutting boards are made in a variety of species from all over the world applied with food-safe finishes. Many pieces combine two or more species and come in multiple thicknesses and shapes.
Kathleen Mistry – who paints portraits of native birds common to Albemarle County. She also makes jewelry in sterling silver and mixed metals, highlighting semi-precious gemstones in the work. Kathleen’s paintings and jewelry reflect her love of nature.
Jennifer Paxton Spears – who has created hand-crafted ceramic jewelry for more than thirty years at art fairs and galleries. Jennifer’s pieces are made of low-fired earthenware clay using many different textures and designs. They are then finished with a wide spectrum of colorful glazes.
Edward Pelton – who is an Artist Blacksmith from Ivy who found his love for working with hot metal from a summer job helping in a blacksmith studio. Much of Edward’s work is large scale, site-specific architectural pieces made from both ferrous and non-ferrous metals such as steel, copper, and bronze. Texture and hand-forged technique and joinery play a large role in the appeal of his work. He also collaborates with woodworkers to design furniture and other pieces for the home.
Gillian Ruffa – who began sewing at the age of eleven and has loved it ever since. For more than 20 years her line of children’s wear has used colorful and whimsical fabrics in 100% cotton that features classic and simple styles. Her love of textiles, patterns and color combinations led her to develop a line of hand dyed silk scarves in 2009. Using her own method of folding and manipulating the fabric, Gillian is thrilled by the surprise of the resulting scarf each time one is opened up.
Karen Yonovitz – creates Rae Design Jewelry in Crozet. Her beaded jewelry is an elegant blend of vintage style and modern chic. Karen often pairs antiqued brass filigree with sparkling Swarovski Crystal glass or freshwater pearls, creating pieces that look like they’ve been handed down through generations.