The creative community on the Outer Banks is one of the most dynamic, inventive and frankly wonderful collection of artists to be found anywhere, and it is worth a day or weekend trip exploring local galleries and discovering artists. There are too many to mention all, so in lieu of that, I’ll reference a few galleries that are personal favorites.
The Greenleaf Gallery in Duck is a beautifully restored rambling house that has the most exquisite artwork imaginable in every room. Although collections include national art, local North Carolina and Outer Banks artists are well represented. This is a beautifully presented gallery, so allow plenty of time to browse. A nice feature of Duck is the connecting walkways, so it’s a quick trip to Scarborough Fair to shops featuring additional artwork and gifts.
Twenty minutes north of Duck is the town of Corolla, where you’ll find a series of shopping plazas with shops selling collectibles and crafts. Timbuck II has a small gallery worth poking your head into. The Dolphin Watch Gallery is tucked away at the end of a little alcove, next door to First Light Breakfast and Burgers, which is not a bad place to get lunch! Owned by Dennis and Mary Kaye Umberger, most of the featured art is created by this couple and includes paintings, etchings, and stained glass.
For folks heading south, two galleries immediately come to mind that are worth a visit, The Artists’ Coop in Kill Devil Hills and the Dare County Arts Council Gallery in Manteo. The Artists’ Coop is an Outer Banks cooperative and featured numerous local artists, a wonderful trip through the imaginations of their imaginations! The DCAC gallery is located in the old Dare County Courthouse, abeautifully restored early 20th century building, and contains an excellent representation of the talents of local artists. During the off season, hours become more flexible, so always call ahead for gallery hours.
Greenleaf Gallery: (252) 261.2009, www.outer-banks.com/greenleaf
Dolphin Watch: (252) 453-2592, www.dolphinwatchgallery.com
KDH Coop: (252) 441-9888, www.kdhcoop.com
Dare County Arts Council: (252) 473-5558, www.darearts.org