The Barn Swallow Artisan Gallery / by Beth Pizzichemi

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Just off Route 250 between Crozet and Charlottesville, tucked behind a buzzing landscape of lilacs and snapdragons, stands a shop so meticulously curated that you could be fooled into thinking that what you see is a mirage. The transformation that you feel as you walk from the gravel parking lot through the gate into the gardens is as palatable as the scent of a freshly plucked honeysuckle and, once you enter the Barn, you are in another world completely.

Founded by two friends, Janice Arone and Mary Ann Burke, the Barn Swallow is something more than a craft shop. To be honest, there really isn’t a term that would be appropriate at all. It is too alive to be a museum. It is too richly filled with an eclectic array of textures, fabrics, and flowers to be called a gallery. To call it a gift shop would just be patently offensive. With nothing left, we'll stick to calling it an artisan’s paradise.

Simply put, the grounds of the Barn Swallow are magical. The next time you go, you should take it slowly and leave plenty of time to get lost in both the shop and the gardens. Step softly, take in the scene, and allow the transformation to take hold. You’ll enjoy it immensely.