Bath County’s beloved art gallery celebrates 30 years

Warm Springs Gallery

When owner-artist Barbara Buhr announced plans to open an art gallery and café in a 5,000-person rural mountain county, residents thought she’d gone nutty. 

“Sometimes I think it’s amazing I’ve managed to maintain a business in such a remote [area] and support myself in this community,” says Buhr. But 30 years later, “here I am.”

How’d she do it? A knack for attracting renowned artists and a location just five miles from the historic Omni Homestead Resort is crucial. But Buhr also attributes her longevity to creative programming and a hands-on approach. 

“People say I’m more of an old-time gallerist,” she says. For instance, “someone may love a painter’s work, but want something slightly different. So I’ll then work directly with them and the artist to set up a commissioned piece.”

Photo courtesy of Warm Springs Gallery

Meanwhile, fun events like wine-and-dines with featured artists and a week-long Plein Air Festival—which celebrated its 10th anniversary last year—have become signature draws. WarmSpringsGallery.com


This article originally appeared in the Best of Virginia 2024 issue.

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