When retirees Diane Mitchell and her husband moved from West Virginia to Pickens, South Carolina, it was the weather and the mountains that drew them. But she was also looking to recreate the artistic community she had enjoyed in Lewisburg, West Virginia. “There was so much going on in the way of art galleries and so many artists living there,” she said. “I was in a group, The Greenbrier Artists, with up to 95 people meeting weekly for socialization, free-paint days, and workshops. It was a fantastic group.”
After the move, she discovered the Holly Springs Center, which offers arts classes as well as space for weaving, woodworking, silversmithing, and pottery. She spoke to the director about a getting a similar group together. “She thought it was a great idea,” said Mitchell, who offered to help. “I ended up being the gallery manager because they also really needed someone to take over their gallery.”
Open about two years, the Birchwood Artisan Gallery features the work of about 40 artists, most of them local. Much of the work is related to Appalachian arts and crafts, including pottery, jewelry, woodwork, and painting. Applications from new artists are welcome, especially those selling smaller items with lower price tags. The gallery takes a 30 percent fee on all sales.
The Birchwood Artisan Gallery is located in the Holly Springs Center at 120 Holly Springs School Road in Pickens. For more information, visit https://www.hollyspringscenter.com/the-birchwood-gallery-at-hsc.html. You can also reach Diane Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org.