Be an Artist in Waynesboro

2017 will mark the 45th year Waynesboro hosts the annual Fall Foliage Art Show, which draws over 150 fine artists and artisans from around the country to the City’s downtown in October. But the City is doing more than just bringing artists in; it’s producing artists of its own. A growing number of visual and dramatic arts venues promise the advance of creative expression in a community already rich with that heritage.

The Shenandoah Valley Art Center hosts the Fall Foliage Art Show every year in October. Photo by Norm Shafer

SVAC Opens Second Showroom

For decades, Shenandoah Valley Art Center has been on the front edge of promoting visual arts in the Valley. Situated on the corner of Wayne and Federal streets, the historic brick building with its trademark yellow awnings houses artist studios, a delightful gift shop, and an exhibit space showcasing various local and regional artists on a monthly rotation. In 2016, SVAC expanded its square footage by purchasing a Main Street storefront, which will serve the dual function of providing more studio and exhibit space as well as giving the art center more visibility. Currently, the 416 W. Main Studio is featuring the exhibit Local Landmarks & Landscapes, artists’ diverse renderings of local landmarks.

Visit! The galleries are generally open Tuesday-Saturday. Check out or call (540) 949-7662 for more information about their rotating exhibits.

Be an Artist! SVAC offers an array of classes, from jewelry making to pottery and painting for adults, as well as Saturday art classes and Summer Art Camps for kids. More information.

Jake Johnson at his ceramic studio in Waynesboro. Photo by Norm Shafer.

Make Waynesboro Clay Studio

Jake Johnson‘s dream came true in 2016 when his concept of a shared pottery studio received funding by Grow Waynesboro, an initiative to support new entrepreneurs in the City. He’d been creating clay art since 2002, but now he could share that passion with others in the community. The studio opened this spring in what used to be an old corduroy mill. At almost the same time, Jake received a “Best of Virginia” award from Virginia Living magazine for his unique design of ceramic colanders. Under Jake’s expert guidance, Make Waynesboro Clay Studio offers memberships, classes, and one-day workshops.

Visit! For now, Make Waynesboro does not have a showroom, but owner Jake Johnson’s exquisite pottery can be purchased from SVAC’s gift shop.

Be an Artist! Pottery classes for adults and kids are in full swing, with more sessions starting later in the summer. Find out more.

The Wayne Theatre is offering four summer camps for youth in 2017. Photo courtesy of the Wayne Theatre Facebook page.

Summer Camps at the Wayne Theatre

When the renovated historic Wayne Theatre opened its doors in 2016, it brought new life to the performing arts in Waynesboro. Not only did the City gain a state-of-the-art setting for national acts that would otherwise only stop in larger cities, but local performers, musicians and thespians now had a stage on which to perform their craft. The Wayne has already had success with its workshops for youth on staging and directing plays, so this summer the theatre is offering four, week-long camps designed to ignite young people’s imaginations.

Visit! The Wayne has an ever-changing lineup of musical acts, plays, and movies. They also have an art gallery on the second floor. Click here for their current calendar.

Be an Artist! You still have a chance to join the summer fun! Three summer camps are yet to begin: Dance Theatre Boot Camp, Theatre Makeup Camp, and Fairytale Camp. More details.

Students learn the ancient art of blacksmithing at VIB.

Virginia Institute of Blacksmithing

Ever tried to forge your own spear or helmet using traditional blacksmithing techniques? In Waynesboro, you can! Virginia Institute of Blacksmithing offers classes for beginners, hobbyists, and those seeking certification in blacksmithing. The 4,000-square-foot space includes 12 forging stations with 12 anvils, as well as classroom space. Children ages 10 and up are welcome to take classes, provided they are accompanied by a parent.

Visit! Visitations are arranged by appointment only. Call (434) 960-9718.

Be an Artist! Classes centered on pieces ranging from decorative to adventurous are offered on an ongoing basis throughout the year. Try your hand at making your own hatchet or campsite cookware! More details.

BlueOregano offers one-of-a-kind cooking classes to students of all ages.

BlueOregano Culinary Services

Caitie Maharg knew from the time she was 10 that she wanted to be a chef. Now she’s both Executive Chef and Co-owner of BlueOregano in downtown Waynesboro. Putting a unique spin on culinary services, BlueOregano provides catering, pop-up dinners, and group cooking classes. The meals and classes are held at the Main Street store, where vivid blue walls and a long farm table invite guests to relax. When guests see and taste the creativity of the food placed in front of them, there’s no question why this field is called “culinary arts.”

Visit! BlueOregano’s pop-up meal schedule is posted on its Facebook page, but don’t delay–seats fill up quickly!

Be an Artist! Learn new culinary techniques from Chef Caitie by arranging your own group class. She’ll tweak the menu according to your interests. More details.

Author: Liza Peltola

Liza Peltola grew up in Waynesboro, VA, and after living overseas and on the west coast, returned to the Shenandoah Valley, where rolling farmland and Blue Ridge Mountains foster a thriving arts and agriculture scene.