New River Gorge Inspires the Arts

If you've been to Bridge Day, you know the beauty of the New River Gorge is breathtaking. It's drawn in and inspired many artists, too.

New River Gorge mural

Crafters in and around the gorge draw from the gorge's sweeping landscapes to fuel their work. If you want a peek at the passionate works the gorge inspires, here are some places to spot it:

Gauley River Pottery

The artists at Gauley River Pottery shop and studio take their color schemes from the New River Gorge. Their most common glazes are the earthy tones "gauley green" and "gauley brown," each with blue accents to represent the raging Gauley River. But they also expand the palette on their Appalachian-inspired ceramics to mimic mountain sunsets and night skies over the river.

Their shapes are also sometimes reminiscent of the gorge environment. Decorative ceramic fish and frogs are a favored item. They've even etched intricate mountain and New River Gorge Bridge scenes into their works.


In a giant display of West Virginia's most prominent crafters, you can browse work from in-house artisans, or explore the rotating gallery of juried shows. From photographers who capture the landscape with pristine lighting to painters who represent the beauty in more abstract form, you can find the widest variety of nature-inspired works among Tamarack.

Studio B Boutique Wine & Beer Gallery

Full of local craftsmanship, in Studio B you can find gorgeous accent pieces featuring native animals, paintings capturing the essence of the gorge, or jewelry that recasts nature as a statement accessory. You can even find wildflower baskets to collect some spring yourself.

While you're at it, pick up a local brew like the ridge Brew Works Peregrine Porter, crafted in honor of the wild raptors.

Public Murals

While the program is only a few years old, the Fayetteville Art Coalition's "Art in sight" has brought public art to downtown, beginning with a mural that represented the Fayetteville community. That included outdoor elements paddling, rock climbing, biking and of course BASE jumping from the bridge across the sun-streamed gorge skyline.

Historic Fayette Theater

The award-winning actors at the Fayette Theater often put on local and gorge-inspired productions, but they also showcase the region's claim to fame in an epic way once a year. It's the Whitewater Video Competition, which recaps the highlights of the river riders after the rafting season ends. Talented videographers capture the awesome power of the rapids from every angle.


Not the first place you'd think to uncover local art inspired by the gorge, but being a tattoo shop serving the passionate New River Gorge community, the request to immortalize our breathtaking landscape certainly comes up at NRG Ink. The artists have inked some amazing homages to the outdoor scenery, wildlife and adventure here.

Cathedral Cafe

In addition to being a quirky, hip spot for a lunch and coffee, Cathedral Cafe is full of books, clothing and art to browse. Jewelry draws elements from nature, and accessories and clothing mirror the colors across the mountain hills. Beauty products and upcycled items use all-natural elements to encourage protecting the Earth and its scenic wonders.

At Bridge Day! 

What better place to browse local works for those that remind you of the New River Gorge than among the booths at an event where the gorge is at the forefront? There are always plenty of artisans to chat with about how the nature surrounding them shapes their work.  There's also our showcase of Bridge Day posters through the years, from submissions that capture the spirit of the area as well as the event.

What's your favorite work inspired by the New River Gorge?