Tucked away in Bedford, Virginia just a short drive from Smith Mountain Lake is the Bower Center for the Arts, an amazing space for creative artistic expression, enriching the local culture and opening up opportunities to visitors and locals alike—for those who wish to observe and for those who wish to learn and perform. Read on below to find out more!

A Dynamic Cultural Attraction

Located at the corner of Bridge Street and Bedford Avenue, the Bower Center for the Arts offers artistic exhibits, classes, and concerts for your enjoyment from 11:00am to 4:00pm on Tuesday through Saturday. On the second Friday of each month, the center extends its hours until 8:00pm, making it an excellent weekend date night destination during your time in Smith Mountain Lake.

Step inside of the Bower Center for the Arts and you’ll encounter a gorgeous grand lobby and exhibition area. Follow the ascending stairs onto the balcony of the second floor, where you’ll find an exhibit space and the entrance to the Sara Braaten Gallery, which serves as the center’s performance hall. Additional exhibit spaces can be viewed on the terrace level and first floor.

The Bower Center for the Arts also houses a general purpose classroom, two pottery classrooms, and a total of eight private studio spaces. Three private studio spaces are located on the terrace level and five are located on the third floor, functioning as private spaces for a number of the center’s resident artists, such as mosaic artist Dotti Stone, oil painter Suzanne Paddock, pattern designer Peggy Markham, and watercolor artist Perri Mason.

Perhaps one of the greatest things about the Bower Center for the Arts operates as a non-profit organization, meaning that general admission is always free and open to the public, ensuring that both locals and visitors have easy access to stunning works and performances of local art, as well as the artists who create them.

You’ll find the Bower Center for the Arts at 305 North Bridge Street, Bedford, VA 24523. The center can also be reached by telephone at (540) 586-4235, or by email at info@bowercenter.org.

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