As I’ve said before, the wonderful Staunton Antiques Center, and the equally lovely Artisans Loft, wouldn’t be possible without the participation of amazing vendors, compelling artists, our fantastic front desk “Register Gals,” and the various curators who help bring our quarterly art shows together.
And on that note, I want to introduce two new helpers, Melanie Colvin, a new Register Gal and vendor, and Brigid Hughes who stepped in for The Artisans Loft to help produce the upcoming show, Art From Our Heart, which opens on Valentine’s Day.
Melanie will soon take her place as a Register Gal at Staunton Antiques Center, but she’s been long been interested buying and selling vintage and antique items.
“I have been interested in vintage clothing, music, furniture, and other things for as long as I can remember,” Melanie told me.
“As a Navy kid, we would reinvent our household with each move. I remember half the fun was the ‘hunt.’ We’d have lists of what we needed and would haunt local thrifts and second-hand stores.”
And it’s not her first time working behind the scenes for a vintage shop. “I worked as a volunteer for 20 years in a non-profit thrift store that used 100% of the profits to supply a food pantry that supported our local community in Maryland.”
But when it came time to sell vintage, Melanie opened her first booth in November 2019 at Staunton Antiques Center.
“We recently retired and down-sized our lives and our house. We had a lot of furniture and even more housewares without a home. I also seemed to have a fair amount of time on my hands. My parents were visiting us in the Valley and I took my mother to the Staunton Antique Center and she looked at me and said, ‘You can do this. You have stuff, I have stuff, your brother has stuff, and you have time.’ And here I am, three months later and enjoying the ride!”
Being a child of the 60s and 70s, Melanie is particularly drawn to the Mid-Century Modern (MCM) style. Her entire house is furnished with Mid Century Modern furnishings and housewares. “I always look for Mid Century Modern furniture,” Melanie said, “and particularly love the dishes and glassware.”
She even lives in a Mid Century Modern rancher near Gypsy Hill Park after retiring in the Spring of 2019.
“My family is from the Lynchburg and Bedford area so this was like coming home to me. And our sons and granddaughters are here. WE love it!”
Melanie particularly loves Staunton and the Shenandoah Valley’s theater offerings.
And she keeps busy in other local ways, too, as well as in her hobbies.
“I’m a foodie who loves live music and am a substitute teacher for Augusta County. And I’ve been sewing since I was a teenager and enjoy making clothing, home décor, and am a novice quilter. I also enjoy photography, hiking, biking, and have been known to jot down some thoughts on paper. One day I’ll put them altogether and see what I’ve got!”
As you can see, we’re thrilled to bring Melanie on to the team, and share the excitement of her new booth. And she’s excited too, saying, “It’s all about the people. People bring energy and activity and the SAC is a great venue!”
Brigid Hughes Steps In to Help
Recently Brigid Hughes, an aspiring artist and newcomer to Staunton, jumped in to help us prepare for the upcoming quarterly show.
In fact Brigid started in mid-October, just before the current show, Starry Night, launched with its wintry and holiday theme.
Brigid has been helping as pieces sold to keep the current show full with new pieces by our artists, and has really taken the reins on administrative tasks and prepping the gallery and artists for Art From Our Heart.
Brigid, with her husband Pat, moved to Staunton in September from Chevy Chase, Maryland, settling in to the Gospel Hill neighborhood, across the street from the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind.
“We love living in Staunton. The town is great and so are the people. The convenience of living so close to a town and being able to walk everywhere is very exciting to us.”
An early retiree, Brigid is excited to explore her passions more in depth, like hiking, yoga and taking art classes. She had a broken foot when she first got to town, so she’s especially happy, now that it’s healed, to prioritize yoga and get back into what she wants to do with her free time.
In the meantime, working on the next Artisans Loft show has been an opportunity to get to know Staunton better, as well as meet other artists and downtown denizens and see what they’re up to.
With Art From Our Heart opening in a few weeks, the excitement is building.
“I’m really excited about the upcoming show because we have a lot of artists submitting work that are new to The Artisans Loft,” Brigid explained. “There’s also a great variety in the mediums used in the work and that makes things interesting.”
I’m so happy to welcome Melanie and Brigid to Staunton as well as to the Staunton Antiques Center and The Artisans Loft. Their enthusiasm and help is invaluable to me and I hope you’ll stop in to see Melanie behind the desk, and Brigid as she works in these last few weeks upstairs to help mount the show for opening night, February 14th, 2020.
The work of all our team members helps make our little hub on Beverley Street a special place that fills me with pride and gratitude!
— Ellen Boden, Proprietress, Staunton Antiques Center and The Artisans Loft