Mathews County, known as the ‘Pearl of the Chesapeake,’ has become a hotspot for artists and art-enthusiasts alike.
There are several art galleries and studios in the area where visitors can make their own work or browse the local creations. Bay School Community Arts Center offers a variety of workshops from mommy-and-me classes and beginner wheel throwing to acrylic lessons and even pasta making! It is also home to the Art Speaks Gallery that displays a wonderful array of arts and crafts that are available for purchase. You can check out some of the work here. With over 100 different classes offered throughout the year, Bay School is guaranteed to have something for everyone.
If you are looking for vibrant paintings of Mathews’ scenery to decorate the walls of your home, you won’t want to miss out on Dorothy Fagan’s work. Tucked away by a pond where she does most of her painting, Dorothy’s studio is home to her most breathtaking works. Her pieces are illustrated in oil, watercolor, pastel, and mixed media.
Put-In Creek Carvings is another prominent Mathews gallery that features regional artisans and a variety of mediums including: sculpture, wood carvings, glass, paintings, abstract works, and Native American art. The owner of Put-in-Creek, Ben Richardson, originally started carving duck decoys as a hobby during his years working on tugboats before becoming a full-time artist and gallery owner. If you are interested in something more contemporary, be sure to check out #FFFHEX Contemporary Art Gallery. This local gem features rotating exhibitions of local, national and international artists.
Last but not least is The Poddery. For over 30 years, the pottery studio and showroom has welcomed visitors to see the area’s largest selection of handmade pottery. The showroom is brimming with decorative tiles, functional pottery, sculptures, and Chesapeake Bay themed pieces, and The Poddery’s weekly kiln firings keep new work flowing.
If all of these galleries and studios sound amazing to you (and trust us, they are), be sure to check out the Made in Mathews Open Studio Tour held annually in November. The showcase offers self-guided tours featuring over 60 local artists. It is a unique opportunity for the public to go behind the scenes and experience the creative process that goes into many of the works.