West Virginia South April - May 2019 - Page 50

Glass artist Alex Brand creates his work — a fish today — blowing, firing and shaping, in his studio at The Greenbrier Hotel. Brand and his wife, Susan Chapman Thomas — a jewelry designer and goldsmith whose pieces are also sold at Virtu — lived and worked in Corning, NY, home of the world famous glass museum. Ten years ago, a fire took their home. “But really it was a godsend,” Brand says. With extremely high property taxes, rebuilding was out of the ques- tion. Brand and his wife saw the tragedy as an opportunity to relocate closer to his wife’s family. She also 50 ❖ SOUTH ❖ APRIL-MAY '19 knew a leather artist working at The Greenbrier, and so they made a home in Lewisburg. Brand quickly became recognized among the state’s fine arts community, with pieces sold at Tamarack in Beckley. The chan- delier lighting Tamarack’s David L. Dickirson Fine Arts Gallery is made by Brand. Eight years ago, Brand opened his studio at The Greenbrier. Gone were the days of traveling frequently to wholesale and trade shows. Now, Brand could focus solely on his art and let customers come to him. It’s no secret that the sophisticated cli- entele of The Greenbrier often come with a large purse and requests for commissioned work — say light fix- tures for an office or home, matching accent pieces for a high-end space, or perhaps a trophy for a world- famous PGA golf tournament. Brand has designed and created the last two trophies awarded at The Greenbrier Classic.