Christmas at Tamarack: find unique gifts made by local artisans

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY)- At Tamarack it’s easy to get lost and immersed in all the beauty that greets us. On their travels, many people stop at the special cultural arts center to pick up last-minute creative Christmas gifts.

“I just love to come and see the artwork; I like to get inspiration from other artists… and there’s a lot of beautiful things that people make here,” said Fairmont State University Academy for the Arts student Izzy Hannig.

The busiest travel day of the year is underway, people share their Christmas plans with me and why they stopped at Tamarack along the way.

There are unique items all from West Virginia.

“Just an interesting thing that most states don’t have anything like this,” said Tamarack’s creative and social media specialist Sara Horning. “On our retail floor, we have over 2,800 artists, all 33 counties from West Virginia.”

For this author, Tamarack is a home away from home that she loves.

“I grew up in West Virginia, I taught at Point Pleasant High School for 20 years and (Tamarack) is always a good showing, lots of traffic through, and I love sharing my stories with people here,” said the healer and life coach Michele Zirkle.

Izzy’s staying local for Christmas.

“I’d like to visit some family; maybe make some art myself on my break — ’cause I’m in college,” the artist said.

And Kat Kimbrell is connecting with long-lost family.

“We’re actually traveling down to my grandparents to spend the first Christmas in 20-something years with them,” Kimbrell said.

She has always loved the Tamarack…

“It’s been so cool to see the different art pieces,” said the Lafayette, Indiana resident. “It’s entirely possible it’s part of what’s inspired me to keep going with art as an adult. I do sewing, drawing, a little bit of it all.”

According to Sara Horning, a few thousand people a day visit Tamarack (leading up to Christmas).

“We just hope to put some smiles on some faces with some unique gifts, spreading our holiday cheer and southern hospitality,” Horning said.

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