BUCKHANNON, W.Va. -- Tom Lynch pointed to a 2008 Sunday Gazette-Mail feature on him and the fine wood furniture he crafts as an explanation for the time he devotes to Main Street Gallery in Buckhannon.
"At the end of the story I say that I want to slow down chair production and encourage other artists," Lynch said.
That's exactly what he and several other people did two years ago when they founded Main Street Arts Cooperative and a gallery, which represents and sells the work of more than 30 regional juried artists. Main Street Gallery is a subsidiary of the arts cooperative, of which Lynch is president.
"We wanted to have a presence on Main Street. We raised funds within the community, who have been responsive and supportive," he said.
The artists represented range from well-established artists -- including glassblower Ron Hinkle, iron sculptor Jeff Fetty and potter Brian VanNostrand -- to emerging artists to schoolchildren whose work is displayed on the Community Art Wall.
The wall serves several purposes. "The students bring their parents in to see their work and it showcases their art. There's never been any public space here for kids to show their work," Lynch said.
Visitors wander around the gallery to see textile, painted and glass creations, as well as jewelry, sculpture, furniture and wooden items, many displayed on shelves that are mounted on slim tree trucks.
Several of the artists participate in the gallery's outreach mission with "Artists in the School," a program in which artists teach their crafts as they spend time in classrooms.