Sperryville column for April 23

May days of note

At River District Arts, there’s lots happening in May. Fred Kahler, internationally celebrated artist of Woodville, hosts a rare hometown show that opens with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. May 2 at RDA’s Confluent Gallery. His intricate, extraordinarily powerful works are in the hands of collectors around the world, at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Smithsonian American Arts Museum and the American Visionary Arts Museum, to name a few. (I had the pleasure of meeting with Fred last June, and wrote about him then.)

On the same day that the International Gold Cup brings the sound of pounding hooves and thousands of pounds of horseflesh to Great Meadow, at 8:30 p.m. that night in Sperryville, El Quijote will celebrate the sound of pounding . . . shoes. The tapas and traditional Spanish restaurant will host Estela Velez and her husband, Daniel Peredez, who will perform with the legendary, world-renowned guitarist Torcuato Zamora. Reservations are strongly suggested; their appearances in December were to packed houses. Owner-chef Emilio also says he has plans for additional entertainment, including music, dance and storytelling.

El Quijote is open 3 to 9 Thursday-Friday, noon to 10 Saturday and noon to 9 Sunday. For more information or reservations, call 540-987-8187 or email elquijote@verizon.net.

Ridge Line’s new home for jewelry

John and Gina Sweatt of Sperryville’s new Ridge Line Designs.Courtesy photo
John and Gina Sweatt of Sperryville’s new Ridge Line Designs.

Languishing empty for some time, the brightly painted yellow house between the River District Arts building and Copper Fox Distillery in Sperryville is vacant no more.

Ridge Line Designs — Gina Sweatt, along with husband John — offers “fine art and vintage and estate jewelry, minerals, fossils, unique collectibles and crystals” in intimate, country-style rooms. The house’s already striking dark wood central stair, an architectural highlight straight out of Savannah, is now also surrounded with treasures in sparkling glass cases. Gina is a designer of talent and creativity whose creations entice debit cards to leap, on their own, out of wallets and purses.

John and Gina enjoyed a healthy business run in the charming Old Town section of Front Royal for many years, and live in Chester Gap — they’re Rappahannock residents who say they’ve been drawn in recent years to Sperryville, which is enjoying a renaissance. (It has become a tony hamlet where artistic talent is celebrated, whether it be the art of fine dining, such as at El Quijote or Thornton River Grille, the art of distilling fine whiskey and gin, the art of antiquing and knitting, or the River District Arts building showcasing talented painters, sculptors, artisans and others.)

Ridge Line Designs is at 10 River Lane. Call 540-987-5056 or email ridgelinedesigns@embarqmail.com for hours or more information.

And in that other village . . .

Flint Hill might not have a regular village columnist, but it is the still-new home of Battle Mountain Antiques, perfectly situated next to Gail Reardon’s popular Merry Moo Market on Zachary Taylor Highway at the south end of town. While at Gail’s, one can savor a wine tasting, peruse aisles stocked aplenty, pick up gourmet morsels (wild caught salmon, savory boar roast and venison, locally grown produce and soft sultry cheeses, to name a few).

Then, with wine-tasting glass emptied and packages precariously nestled in your arms, tiptoe on over to Battle Mountain Antiques for more enjoyment and more parcels to perch in your arms. Meet Dave, Brittany and Linda, folks who are passionate about antiques and offer an array of lovely gift items, unique and beautiful, at 617 Zachary Taylor Hwy., Flint Hill.

Battle Mountain Antiques is open 11 to 5 Monday through Saturday (noon to 4 Sundays). Follow them on Facebook, call them at 540-905-2697 or email battlemountainantiques@gmail.com. Good luck to all of you, your shop is delightful.

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