Business and Art make a good mix in Floyd

(This was originally written for the Floyd Press and appeared in the Thursday, September 24 issue.)

Art at Oddfellas

A number
of local Floyd VA businesses display art by local artists on their walls.
Are they just being public spirited or have they discovered a way to
harness artistic talent for the benefit of their customers? It appears
that their generosity is paying off in unexpected ways.

Tuggles Gap art

According to the business owners who display local art, it started
with their desire to support local artists but it has become a vital
benefit for their customers and staff as well.

enlightened business include restaurants, financial advisors, health
care professionals, and coffee shops which have adopted a business
model where they provide free display space for local art and accept
payment for art on behalf of the artists. They do not charge a
commission for this service and the artists are responsible for
recording the sale and paying taxes.

Gary Stone-Gretchen StLawrence-Brecc Avellar-Cheryl Mackian

One of the recent additions to the ranks of art-supporting
businesses is the Avellar, Stone, & Houston Financial Group whose offices are shown in the picture above. They
have made almost a hundred feet of wall space available for displaying
the work of local artists. The display space will include their lobby,
the main hallways and their conference room. Currently, art has been
hung in the lobby and one hallway with more to be hung in the coming

John Paul Houston with art by Ron Campbell

Gary Stone, Brecc Avellar and John Paul Houston (shown in the picture above) are enthusiastic
supporters of local artists and invite visitors and tourists to come in
and view the art on display. They are also planning to join the ranks
of businesses that are open to visitors on First Fridays.

Floyd businesses have been supporting artists in this way for many
years. The Barter Clinic, The Blackwater Loft, Oddfellas Cantina, Cafe
del Sol, and Tuggles Gap Restaurant are among those that exhibit
different local artists every month.

Pat Woodruff hanging art at Cafe del Sol

Customers make a point of looking at the art on display and often
provide feedback on how much the art contributes to their enjoyment of
doing business in such pleasant surroundings. Employees in several
businesses mentioned their enjoyment of the artwork as well.

Employees of one business confided that customers are so used to
seeing art that they will actually complain when there is no art on
display. Fortunately this occurs only during the brief intervals
between exhibits.

This continuing cooperation of business and artists has a positive
effect on the viability of Floyd as a destination for potential
settlers and cultural tourists. A town with one art gallery is not as
desirable for a weekend visit as a town with multiple galleries and
showplaces for local artists.

Art in Floyd is an integral part of local community life, not just
a commodity that is sold only in our fine gift shops and galleries.
People visiting Floyd get an unusual opportunity to immerse themselves
in the local art and music community. It leaves them with a lasting and
favorable impression.

Floyd's galleries also support local artists and have become a
significant tourist attraction. The best known are the Bell Gallery and
Garden, the art galleries at The Station on Locust, Over the Moon Gallery,
Jeanie O'Neill's Gallery and the Jacksonville Center.

Whether you visit Floyd's art galleries or patronize the businesses
which support local artists, you will have a chance to see the latest
works by a growing number of local artists.

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