Shop local: Shop Nelson County for the 2020 holidays

nelson countySmall businesses are at the core of every community, and those who participate in shopping on Small Business Saturday not only get a leg up on holiday shopping, but they can feel proud for helping out small businesses.

2020 has been a very different year, so why purchase from the same old department and big-box stores this holiday season? Sharing hand-crafted, local gifts simply mean more- loved ones will delight at one-of-a-kind gifts.

That’s why Nelson County Tourism is participating in Artists Sunday. Resilient Nelson Artisans produce beautiful, functional art. The art and craftsmanship of Nelson weaves itself into the fabric of our community and lives. Art and artisanal goods in Nelson embrace the beauty of the county’s landscape; Nelson Artisans bring the tradition of craftsmanship and the spirit of innovation to their art forms.

Nelson and Albemarle County share The Monticello Artisan Trail. This self-guided trail features art studios and galleries, agri-artisan farms, craft beverage producers, farmers markets, restaurants, other attractions, and lodging.

Many Nelson County craft artisans participate on this trail.

A short list includes:

  • Brian Lacey Pottery: Functional, artistic stoneware and porcelain
  • Buck Island Bay Decoys: Hand-carved decoys and shorebirds created by old-school techniques and methods
  • Hill Girl Crafts: Beautiful, unique, one-of-a-kind copper and sterling silver wire jewelry and accessories
  • Mountain Vision Pottery: Nature-inspired, fun folk and functional pottery, sculpture, and garden art
  • Muddy Creek Pottery: Functional, wood-fired dinnerware and pots

The Rockfish River Gallery of Fine Art and Exquisite Crafts is one place where Nelson artists express their creative energy. The gallery displays two- and three- dimensional work. It’s located at The Rockfish Valley Community Center on Rockfish School Lane.

Local artists sell cards, paintings, photographs, carvings, hand-made furniture, glass-work, scarves, and other handmade items.

There are also a number of independent art studios in the county:

  • Tye Brook Studio in Piney River
  • Feather Stein Art Studio in Afton
  • Inyo Studio in Shipman

Another notable Nelson Artisan includes Penny Sipple Leather, which offers soft, supple, top-grain cowhide shoulder bags and accessories are personally designed and handcrafted.

The heART of Nelson Collective is a recently formed collective that holds pop-up makers market events. There is a core group of about 9 artists, and the market will feature guest artisans as well. The heART of Nelson features locally made jewelry, woodwork, clothing, metalwork, and pottery. Other artisans can join the collective or become a guest artisan simply by making art and loving Nelson County.

The heART of Nelson will be doing a pop-up Nov. 28-29 in front of 611 Front Street for Small Business Saturday and Artist Sunday. The collective will host another open house on Dec. 11, from 5-8 p.m.

Another 2nd Saturday Pop-Up Market will take place on Dec. 12 outside the Front Street location from 10-3.

Nelson County stores and antique shops proudly sell hand-crafted items. Check them out on Small Business Saturday, Artist Sunday, and any day during the year.


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augusta free press news

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