Connecting the art, stories, and craft of local makers

The Old Church Gallery opened its doors with a fine arts exhibit in 1978, becoming the very first public art gallery space in Floyd County. Several hundred exhibits later, we’ve seen our presentations expand into interpretive displays of local cultural arts, with both traditional and contemporary Floyd County roots.  The dedicated efforts of gallery volunteers have provided artists and craftspeople as well as visitors and school groups a community showcase for a variety of handcrafts, local lore, and creative works.

Sharing the creative efforts of makers with connections to Floyd County continues to be the core of our organization’s work, whether these makers are musicians, folk artists, sculptors, quilters, or painters, while presenting traditional as well as contemporary cultural expressions.

Feed show items including pillowcases, clothing, and bedding

Our most recent exhibits follow – click to view linked pages:

  • Kindly Mirrors,” (2022-2023) early photographic prints, 1912-1917, by Richard Miles “Dick” Shank and Gertrue Vest Shank from the Stonewall area of Floyd County. The thirty large-format prints provide a detailed glimpse into rural county life.
  • A Quilt a Day” (2021) sharing a full month of stories behind thirty-one colorful quilts and their makers in our first virtual exhibit on Facebook.
  • Sweet & Sassy” (2019) displaying a wide range of print designs and home-sewn creations with cotton feed sacks.
  • “What Do We Need to Carry?” (2018) featuring the baskets of four Floyd County master weavers: John Harter, Iowa Griffith Cockram Haynes, Charlie Hylton, and Clovis Boyd.  See National Basketry Organization – Basketry Magazine article [pdf]
  • Between the Rows of Corn” (2017) exhibiting Native American projectile points, pottery sherds, grinding stones, and other archaic lithic tools collected by generations of county farmers.
  • By Ear & By Heart – A Hundred Years of Music Making in Floyd County” (2015-2016) surveying the Floyd County Ramblers and other early recording artists as well as those who learned from them, continuing on to contemporary groups and musicians based in the county.
  • Photographic Art of Mike Quesinberry” (2014) an exhibit of Quesinberry’s digital photographs – impressionistic prints of nature on gallery-wrapped canvas.
  • R.O.’s Dancing Dolls” (2013) sharing music and folk art marionettes created by Roger Oliver Slusher, Jr.
  • Warm and Woven” (2012) an eye-popping display of overshot coverlets and handwoven blankets.
  • If These Walls Could Talk: Photo Panoramas of the Town of Floyd” (2009) Archetype Studio’s architectural prints of the town donated to permanent collection.
  • “Whittlin’ Through Time,” fine folk art and craft work from Floyd.

Our 1990s local history exhibits invited guest curators, in coordination with the Floyd County Historical Societyred asterisk (*)

  • 1993: “Kitchen Concoctions: Receipts [Recipes] from the Last Century” *
  • 1993: “Floyd County Music Making” *
  • 1994: “Simpsons, Turtle Rock, Vocal, and Nasturtium: Early History of the Floyd County Community Post Office” *
  • 1994: “The Run of the Mills: Grinding Grain, Weaving Wool, Sawing Wood: Milling Traditions in Floyd County” *
  • 1994: “Deep Roots: Nineteenth Century Traditions: African-American Families in Floyd County” *
  • 1995: “Back to Bedrock: Archaeology and Prehistory of Floyd County” *
  • 1995: “Watch the Birdie: Early Photographers in Floyd County” *
  • 1995: “Floyd County Furniture Makers” *
  • 1995: “Turn Your Radio On: Radio Culture Comes to Floyd”
  • 1996: “Floyd County Keepsakes: Heirlooms from Floyd Families” *
  • 1996: “For Love of Country” *
  • “A Talent with Tools: Ingenuity and Craft in Floyd County”
  • “Sports Stars in Floyd”