Artisans Downtown Gallery is a quaint gallery and gift shop that recently opened in downtown Harrisonburg. Owners Judith Rocchiccioli and LauraLea Marlyn-Spitler expanded their Dayton, Virginia business, Artisans Courtyard of Dayton, to reach a different crowd in downtown Harrisonburg. Already active in the downtown community, they celebrated their Grand Opening on Saturday, November 3rd and hosted a Holiday Open House this past weekend.
The gallery showcases artworks from nationally known to emerging artists and even showcases work by local students at the collegiate level and younger. So far, the gallery is cooperating with about 20 artists and is expecting to add more soon. Judith and LauraLea are always looking for more artists to join their gallery.
“The unique thing about our gallery is that we don’t just sell art, we have gifts too,” said Judith. Artisans Downtown Gallery offers a variety of special gifts carefully crafted by local artisans such as blown glass earrings and other jewelry, felt soaps, hats, clothing, and more. There’s something for everyone, with gifts and artwork ranging from $10-500.
Judith and LauraLea both show off their own work as well. Judith’s specialty is her silk painting, both wearable and decorative. She also makes hats and paints oils and acrylics. LauraLea does detailed charcoal drawings and intricate glass paintings.
In the future, both ladies hope to turn their gallery into an interactive space for more than just showcasing art and gifts. They expressed great interest in offering a full spectrum of art classes to the community as well as getting involved with student artists. They would also like to have a “Student of the Month” beginning in January 2013.
Artisans Downtown Gallery is a great new addition to downtown Harrisonburg. Its friendly owners are excited to share the talents of local artists and artisans, experienced and emerging alike, with the community. The holidays are fast approaching and this gallery and gift shop is the perfect place to find something special for anyone on your list!
Katie Walthall is a writing intern at Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance and a senior Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communications major at James Madison University.