Navigating 7 Sensational Blue Ridge Art Experiences
When mentioning Blue Ridge, your first thoughts might include waterfalls, hiking trails, the scenic railway or Downtown’s bustling shopping area. More than just a nature-lover’s paradise, it’s also an artist’s mecca, calling creatives together for decades. In fact, Blue Ridge is listed as one of the top 5 Art Towns in “Georgia by Georgia Council for the Arts & the Georgia Municipal Association!”
Arts in the Park Festival
This weekend marks the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association’s 45th year of the Arts in the Park festival in the Downtown City Park. Named a Southeastern Tourism Society Top 20 event, you’ll find over 170 artists gathered together to exhibit their fine arts and fine crafts. The two-day festival is open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Be sure to linger for the whole day in order to catch multiple demonstrations and grab a bite from the many food vendors.
Come see why Blue Ridge was named one of the top 10 fine craft towns in America by attending the festival and dropping into one of these art locations:
Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association
The Arts Association who hosts Arts in the Park offers magnificent exhibits on rotation. In addition to the displays and festivals, they offer art classes in all mediums and nationally juried shows. You’ll find the gallery in the Historic Fannin County Courthouse. The historic Fannin County Courthouse was built in 1937 after the previous courthouse burned in 1936, and beautifully showcases art with high ceilings and ideal lighting.
Betty Wassmer’s colorful platters, dinnerware, mosaics, customized jugheads, flowerpots and vessels are known around the country. Her creations are made in Blue Ridge and can be found at Fishbone. No worries: These one-of-a-kind designs are dishwasher safe and covered with lead-free glazes.
Locally and nationally recognized glass artisans have been showcasing their pieces at Multitudes for over 20 years. In addition to hand-blown glass, you’ll be captivated by the metal art that shines both inside and outside the gallery. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to meet the artist; Multitudes is a working studio with an energy of creativity always in abundance.
Art is not just wall décor and sculptures–it’s also found in furniture and fixtures. Pezrok features carved driftwood, hand-built teak furnishings, breath-taking fireplace mantels, sinks and tables crafted from petrified wood, and so much more. Nature is the star medium, but the owner, Jim Korzep, adds his special touch to bring a little landscape love to your home.
Turning Leaf - A Fine Art Gallery
Turning Leaf hosts over 55 different American artists, many of them local to Georgia. The art here includes turned wood, paintings, gourd crafts, face jugs, carvings, pottery, metal sculpture, and much more. Turning Leaf also hosts artist receptions and fascinating demonstrations from carvers, clay throwers, pastel artists and various other mediums. Be sure to keep an eye on the calendar of their website for dates and artists.
High Country Art
High Country Art features an exceptional collection of fine, traditional, contemporary, impressionist and folk art... as well as one-of-a-kind jewelry, sculpture, pottery and other fine crafts. This treasure has been in Blue Ridge for over 20 years. Recently acquired by Artist Sarah Long, it’s been transformed it into a must-see Blue Ridge experience with a goal of highlighting artists and crafts people originating from Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina.
Fat Raccoon Gallery
Fat Raccoon Gallery in McCaysville presents pieces created by local artists including photography, paintings, pottery, forge work, folk art and found object art. You’ll also find children's toys and local artisan foods.
The natural beauty of the area draws artists, potters, musicians, creative enterprises and the people who appreciate them, check out the many other artists in Georgia's Blue Ridge.