Periodically, Handcrafted Alexandria will feature interviews and behind-the-scenes stories and photos from our partners.

The Old Presbyterian Meeting House by Pat Palermino

Monday, April 29, 2013


The Old Presbyterian Meeting House in Alexandria, Virginia, dates from the early eighteenth century. Scottish Presbyterians were among the early European settlers of Northern Virginia and were involved in establishing Alexandria as a port in 1749. The Society of Presbyterians worshiped publicly in the city from the 1760s, and the congregation’s first installed minister arrived in 1772. The history of the congregation is summarized in the Chronology and History sections of this Web site, and the Meeting House itself and other facilities belonging to the congregation are discussed in the Facilities section. Among other services that George Washington attended here was one conducted by the Rev. Dr. James Muir for the National Day of Solemn Humiliation, Fasting, and Prayer in 1798. Alexandria’s memorial services for George Washington in 1799 were held in this sanctuary, and the church bell tolled in mourning during the four days between his death and burial. The Tomb of an Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution is located in the burying ground adjoining the Meeting House.

Swing Dancing at the Birchmere by Pat Palermino

Friday, March 22, 2013


In music circles, the reputation of the Birchmere is legendary. Many careers have been launched from this internationally recognized music hall. On any given night, a star may be born. Mary Chapin Carpenter, Lyle Lovett, Shawn Colvin, Jerry Jeff Walker, Dave Matthews, Vince Gill, John Prine, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, and k.d. Lang are just a few of the artists counted as good friends of the Birchmere. The Birchmere is committed to the presentation of the highest quality music in a comfortable and intimate atmosphere in Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia.

Pat Palermino has captured the toe-tapping swing of dancers at the Birchmere and this original artwork is available in cards and prints.

Easter Egg Roll at the White House by Pat Palermino

Friday, March 22, 2013


Easter Egg Roll at the White House (featured in the event's program in 1999) by Pat Palermino is available as small framed prints and notecards. You must directly contact Pat to purchase: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 703-360-4757

Two by Two by Pat Palermino

Wednesday, March 13, 2013



It’s a bit fantastical to imagine an ark full of animals – two of each to be exact! Of course no pictures of the actual event are available, but once again Pat Palermino dreams up what it could have looked like in her Two by Two original folk art painting. If we had been there our only request would be to not be seated next to the octopi!

19 X 23


Limited Edition Print $60

Note Cards $16


Framed Print $170

Decorative Framed $195

Mini Poster $24

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Pat Palermino

Friday, February 22, 2013



Alexandria, Virginia celebrates Saint Patrick’s Day with a day of family fun events, including a classic car show, a dog show and a Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. The Irish Ambassador, military commanders, local government officals and other local celebrities will participate in the Alexandria parade. We love to watch the local high school  and military bands, as well as the Irish folk dancers and bagpipers! And the dogs, of course! The dog show is always a joy to see and we will be on the lookout for Alex and Andria! Please tell us if you see them!

The Wonderful World of Pat Palermino Contemporary Folk Art

Friday, January 18, 2013



No matter the season, the decor, the color scheme, or the favorite hobby, there's a Pat Palermino creation that's perfect for you! From historical prints of George Washington's home, to holiday prints of Rockefeller Center, to beach prints and mermaids playing cards in Nantucket, Pat Palermino contemporary folk art is enjoyed by one and all.
We have original paintings, prints, note cards, ornaments, puzzles, children's books and more! See it all at

Your Declaration of Independence

Wednesday, July 04, 2012


(the following is a re-post from Gary Goodwin's blog, The Stuck Creative.  Come to Gary's creativity coaching class at Mindful Hands on Saturday, July 21, at 1:30).


Sure, we have New Year’s resolutions but what about mid-year declarations? Try making these and others of your own devising, your declaration of independence:

I declare that I will begin again, this coming week, in small ways to more fully develop my commitment to myself to bring my creativity into the world. I will start small because I enjoy discovering how my creative work can expand, piece-by-piece, in my life.

I declare that I have something to offer to the world, may that be an idea, a product, a reason to go on, help to my fellow creatives, a smile of support, or acting as a role model.

I declare that I have the unalienable right to explore, to experiment, to grow, to be puzzled, and to chase after what I consider important.

I declare that I can bounce back from no’s and from distractions, dips, and dives.

I declare that I can seek others as role models but I do not confuse their lives as my own, nor will I unduly admonish, berate, or in other manner, criticize myself for not being like those other creatives. I have my own path, my own life, my own obstacles, my own strengths,  my own potentials to deal with. Role models provide information, they are not meant to provide me the ground for self-recriminations.

I declare that I have the right to take some time to be creative. While I may face actual or imagined criticism about taking time to be creative, I know that this can be done without harm to others. In fact, as I become more creative, great benefits accrue to those around me as I at last gather my life’s meaning and potential around me, sparking great happiness for me that I pass onto others in countless ways.

I declare that I am free to have many, many what others will call “false starts.”  These are not false starts but are inquiries and experiments that feed my learning about myself and the world of creativity. I can’t grow without them.

I declare that I can follow my own voice.

I declare that I believe in myself.

I declare my independence from guilt associated with not meeting previous deadlines, missing opportunities, or not following through. When the time is right, I can look back at these experiences and learn from them. As of today, I release the burden of carrying this guilt. I face the now and the future.

I declare that I can spend money on the tools of my trade without undue guilt.

I declare a greater allegiance to my inner calling to be creative. While I will maintain my standing obligations, I will let my inner calling flourish.

I declare that, without hesitation, I will step forward to be in the community of my fellow creatives, sharing what I can and learning where I can. Regardless of where I am in my creative endeavors, I have a right to be part of this community.

It is self-evident that I have been called to be a creative and I declare to follow that calling, to the best of my abilities, to whatever, to where ever it calls me.

Meet Peruvian Artisans Allpa Crafts: Handcrafting Fair Trade Jewelry

Monday, May 21, 2012


Meet the artists of Allpa Crafts, an artisan cooperative located in Peru and specializing in hand-crafted fine Peruvian silver jewelry.  The cooperative is named for a Quechua Indian word that means “earth,” and was created to improve the living standards of handcraft artisans in poor rural areas.

As a  member of the World Fair Trade Organization, Allpa works with families located in Cuzco, Ayacucho, Chulucanas, Cajamarca and Huancavelica as well as Shipibo people living in the Amazon rainforest area of Pucalepa. Allpa includes approximately 2,000 families from 100 artisan groups and family workshops Handcrafted jewelry by Allpa Craftsthroughout Peru. For most of these people, craft production is their sole source of income. Allpa designs are classic and elegant, and often incorporate brilliantly colored gems such as serpentine, turquoise, and spondylus shell.

Stop by Ten Thousand Villages to check out the beautiful artistry of Allpa Crafts.  In fact, this Mother’s Day weekend (May 11 through 13) buy one piece of jewelry, get the second of equal or lesser value for half off.


Featured Artist: Todd Healy

Friday, April 20, 2012


Our featured artist this month – Gallery Lafayette owner Todd Healy – epitomizes what Handcrafted Alexandria is all about.  When Todd first visited Alexandria in the 1970s from his hometown of Virginia Beach, he fell in love with the city and found his artistic muse in its architecture and unique history.  Shortly thereafter, he and his wife made a home in Alexandria, and the love affair blossomed. 

Working originally in pen and ink, and later in watercolor, Todd set about capturing the sense of home and ever-present history in Alexandria. “When I walk along the footpaths of George Washington who first surveyed these original lots of Alexandria, I often think of the artisans who built these homes and public buildings, by hand, using minimal tools, and how almost 300 years later they are still in use.”  His vibrant watercolors and illustrations of the city’s residential and commercial architecture are dedicated to these artisans and their significant contributions to this city. "I want to give people a sense of who built and lived in these houses and what their lives were like.  You could say that I am looking beyond the doors and windows and seeing a home where real people live."

Todd Healy sells his paintings, along with calendars, mugs and cards with prints of his work, at the Gallery Lafayette in Gadsby Arcade across from City Hall.  More information is available at

It’s Elemental: Rich, Textured Surfaces Create Intricate Landscapes

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Coastal Waves by Georgia NassikasUsing beeswax from her own hives, artist Georgia Nassikas creates intriguing textures and layered surfaces in her encaustic paintings. Her intricate, abstracted landscapes acutely capture the ephemeral quality of light flickering across the land. “Elemental,” a solo exhibition of her work, runs through April 2, 2012, at The Art League Gallery.
Nassikas uses a combination of beeswax, mineral pigments, and oil sticks to create her encaustic paintings. Encaustic, a method reaching back to ancient times, is by definition a technique consisting of layers of wax fused together with heat. “What I love about this medium is the energy involved – the process of scraping, layering, and scoring is active, engaging, and challenging,” says Nassikas. This additive and subtractive process is what gives Nassikas’ work its rich surface texture.
Night Waves by Georgia Nassikas

The result is a series of luminescent images, often at the intersection of natural and abstract, in which forms interact and landscapes reveal their elemental essence. Light shifts from foreground to background, adding to the depth and transient quality captured within these pieces. Texture varies between smooth planes of wax and rough, scraped surfaces. The abstraction creates a fleeting quality, evoking the elemental characteristics of the terrain.
Raised on the Rhode Island coast and classically trained in art and design in Boston, MA and Florence, Italy, Nassikas currently works out of her studios in Virginia and New England. She has exhibited throughout the United States, and her work is held in both private and public collections internationally. This is her first solo exhibit at The Art League.

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