Artwork sold at inn to help two local organizations

December 02, 2000

Artwork sold at inn to help two local organizations

By DAVE McMILLION / Staff Writer

The owners of the newly opened, lavishly decorated Inn on Potomac invited the public to an art show inside Saturday afternoon.

The show gave people a chance to see rooms in the inn, view and purchase works of art by some of the area's top artists and help local organizations.

All of the estimated 50 to 60 pieces of artwork displayed were for sale, and some will remain on exhibit at the inn, said Don Tollefson, one of the owners.

Fifteen percent of all proceeds from art sales Saturday benefited the Washington County Arts Council and the Washington County Community Free Clinic, Tollefson said. To see the artwork, visitors paid $20 at the door or $15 in advance, proceeds from which also benefited the two groups.


Tollefson and Harold Walter bought the 96-year-old home at 400 N. Potomac St. four years ago and began restoring it. The home was divided into apartments, and the owners gutted the building to return it to its original appearance.

The house exhibits unique features such as original, folding wooden shutters on the inside and original wood paneling that extends about five feet up the interior walls.

Two years ago, the owners opened the Potomac Studio Day Spa, which offers a variety of personal services such as facials, hair care, make-up consulting, steam showers, body wraps and massage.

Response to the spa has been tremendous, said Tollefson.

"We've expanded twice already," he said.

Tollefson and Walter also wanted to operate an inn, so they began converting other rooms in the home to living quarters. Three rooms with private baths have been completed and will be opened to the public Dec. 15, Tollefson said.

Tollefson said he and Walter believe there is a market for inns like theirs in Hagerstown. More tourists are coming to town to shop at outlet centers and other attractions, and some prefer a place like the inn to stay, Tollefson said.

"We have a lot of people looking for something unique. That's why bed and breakfasts are popping up all over the country," Tollefson said.

Antonio Mendez of Pleasant Valley was one of the artists featured at the inn Saturday. He said he thinks Inn on Potomac will be a plus for the area.

Art collectors are always looking for places to stay when they are in town for art shows, especially one that exhibits art, Mendez said.

Other artists featured Saturday included Mary Jo Kennard, Bruce Wilder, Robin Young, Diana Suttenfield and Peg McNaughton.

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