When I saw the Tamarack sign on my drive to visit family in Virginia I had no idea what it meant. But if a place adopts a quilt block element as a logo, I figure I should probably check into it. I Googled it from my grandparents’ house and decided to make a stop on my way back since it was so close to the interstate.
The main reason I wanted to visit was because they feature products from West Virginia artisans. You can check out their website for more specifics, but it was hard for me to decipher what exactly Tamarack was from that information. It turns out it is a number of different things (gift shop, food court, conference center, artist studios, art gallery, etc.) all under one roof.
If you are driving on I-64/I-77, it’s exit 45 and it’s RIGHT there. At first I thought the very standard looking rest area was Tamarack, but it actually had a very unique design and is located just behind the rest stop.
The building is laid out in a circular design with lots of light and a central courtyard.
I took a few quick snapshots when I was walking around because I wasn’t sure about the photo policy and didn’t want to get hassled. I also wanted to respect the artists’ work since I know they are protective of their creative property.
When I first walked in, there was an extensive gift shop featuring West Virginia made items. I always love glass and these items were no exception.
The item I was most tempted to buy was a mug from Linn Pottery. They are microwave, oven, dishwasher, and refrigerator safe making them very functional and workable for my daily life (where dishes that aren’t dishwasher safe pile up in the sink and on the counter). I made sure to get a business card so I can look them up later.
I always see great single quilt blocks floating around the blog-o-sphere and the idea of framing a single block or two as wall art appeals to me.
Besides the gift shop areas, gallery, theatre, and food court, there are also a number of artist studios around the outside of the circle. My first thought was, “Wow, that would be a great motivation to keep your work space neat and organized!” I’m really not sure how I would work with people able to watch me work. I wondered if the artists come in early in the morning or late at night when the place is closed, but I suppose they get used to (or perhaps even enjoy?) working in a fish tank since that’s what they signed up to do.
I wasn’t there very long, but it was an interesting stop and a good way to break up the monotony of the drive back home. Just another day in the crafty life of photosarah.