The exhibit space offers a community oriented gallery. We present area folk art traditions, and provide a facility where accomplished amateur artists, folk artists and professional artists can exhibit their work. Our exhibit space provides an uncritical forum for local artists of all persuasions.

The exhibits are broad in scope and have included presentations ranging from the woodcarving and whittling arts, traditional patterns in crochet, tatting and quilting to modernistic interpretations by individual artists.

The Old Church Gallery also believes it is of equal significance to host area professional fine art, as these artists reflect our involvement in the regional and world community of artistic thought.

The Present Exhibit 

 Poff_Daniel_Band.jpeg

Fiddler’s Convention in Floyd around 1920;  we need your help in identifying these folks. Can you help?

By Ear And By Heart – A Floyd Musical Heritage Exhibit

Music, singing, and dancing flow through the blood of many families in our area.  We've had so much interest in our "By Ear and By Heart" exhibit that we're going to keep it going another year. The second season will start on April 22, 2016 at the gallery house on Wilson Street (between Finders Keepers and Hotel Floyd).

Violins, dance music and ballads came to our mountains with the earliest Scots-Irish settlers; our German ancestors brought their strong tradition of sacred music.   As the banjo was introduced from African cultures, the sounds carrying across Floyd County valleys for the next hundred years would reverberate with combinations from all.

By the early Twentieth Century, Floyd County music was changing with the times.  Mail order mandolins and guitars, songbooks, radios and phonographs added new sounds and songs.  Churches were holding well-attended singing schools, and communities were holding fiddling conventions. Even so, most of the county’s musicians (then and now) were known only in their families, their churches, and their local communities. 

In the 1920s and 30s, however, some Floyd County performers ventured out to perform at radio stations in Roanoke or to record in Bristol or New York City.  Their songs and stories are a significant part of the county’s history.  Blind Alfred Reed, the Floyd County Ramblers and Elder Golden P. Harris are among this elite group. Native son, Randall Hylton, followed his dreams to Nashville in the 1960s.  In the 1970s, the recorders came to the county as music played by the Korn Kutters, Dent Wimmer and Sam Conner was collected for the American Folk Life Center at the Library of Congress.

Many of those whose contributions make Floyd a destination for music lovers today trace their love of singing and playing back multiple generations.  The exhibit includes   notes on Janet Turner, Carlton Harmon and other regulars heard in town on Friday evenings or at benefit performances across the county.  Also featured in the exhibit are groups such as The Hylton Family,  the Turpin family and individuals whose music is central to their worship of God.  Just      as traveling up a hill and around one curve can lead to another fine view of our ridges, Old Church Gallery knows the stories and sounds shared in this exhibit are just a starting point in sharing a fuller picture of Floyd County’s musical riches.  This show is scheduled to run through December.  Gallery volunteers will continue adding to the exhibit as more information is passed along. Come visit, see what you have that ought to be preserved, and share!

The Old Church Gallery regular hours  are Fridays from 2 PM to 5 PM and Saturdays from 10 AM to 1 PM.  The Old Church Gallery is tucked behind Finders Keepers on 110 Wilson Street, Floyd, VA, and is always free.  The Old Church Gallery is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization.  All donations are used for facility and program development.