Dade, Chattooga and Walker County artists established the Northwest Georgia Arts Guildin mid-2007 to promote themselves and the arts. LaFayette Downtown Development Authority is spotlighting the guild as October Downtown Business of the Month because these artists have used art for public education and to support projects, including a spay/neuter program and promoting art and artists throughout the community, DDA Promotions Committee chairman Bill Scarborough said.
All of our artists are unique and of special notice in different circles and have earned many awards respectively, guild chairperson Karen Sperry said. For example, Summerville artist Suzanne Royal, who designed the Georgia quarter for minting by U.S. Government, specializes in portrait painting and is being noted more and more for her work. Ginger Lowry of Cloudland, who specializes in paints and pastel scenes of horse racing and rodeos, is noted for her art as far away as the Middle East.
Northwest Georgia Arts Guild has about 20 members. They work in various media: glass, clay, metal, wood, painting, sketching, painting fabric, quilting, making jewelry and photography, she said. Guild artists are encouraged to be juried to sell their work in the Foothills Gallery.
Guild artists have been working hard for all the area fall festivals and shows and preparing for the guilds second annual Holiday Open House in November when the guilds Foothills Gallery, on North Main Street in LaFayette, will be full of new and exciting new art works, she said.
Art makes a great, unique gift, Scarborough said. Shopping at the gallery supports local artists and improves our local economy, and if you cannot decide on the perfect gift, the gallery sells gift certificates.
Second annual Holiday Open House in November
Thursday, Nov. 13, from 5-8 p.m.
The public is invited
Web site: foothills.wordpress.com
The guilds community outreach includes designating a space in the gallery for an ongoing Student Art Exhibit for elementary and secondary school students in the area and by artists conducting demonstrations at the gallery, local nursing homes and other locations, Sperry said.
Guild artists teamed with Wallys Friends of Chattanooga to raise money for low-cost spaying and neutering for dogs and cats in Walker, Chattooga and Dade counties with the Paws for Art show on April 24. Percentages of the opening night sales went to Wallys Friends to tackle the regions pet overpopulation problem.
Moving into an empty building at 309 N. Main St. in late summer 2007, guild members hustled to erect display shelves, partitions and other constructions to outfit the building properly in time for Foothills Gallery to hold an open house before Thanksgiving, Sperry said.
With a lot of hard work in a short amount of time, the co-op Foothills Gallery is open, run by and for the local artists in this area to introduce and sell their art, Sperry said. The gallery is a place where the community can view and purchase art.
Northwest Georgia Arts Guild is open to everyone, artist or non-artist, who wishes to participate and to encourage art for the general public welfare, she said. Guild members take part in events and help run the gallery on a one-day-a-month rotation.
The guild is funded by dues and gallery fees by its members, she said. The guild has applied for non-profit status, which will enable the group to seek sponsorships and grant opportunities. Sales made at the guilds Foothills Gallery are subject to a 20 percent donation to the guild.
A top priority now is getting people to know we are here by getting better signage and making the gallery exterior more eye-catching, Sperry said. As a new group, our ideas and planning for the near and extended future are just beginning. Of major importance is gaining the attention and incorporating the realm of performing arts.
We also hope to find a place where we can store supplies, have regular classroom instruction, put on workshops that are open to the public and work on big things like scenery for plays, Sperry said. Art is messy, so this search may take a while.
The guild is a member of the Lookout Mountain Valley Trail, a self-guided driving tour of local historic places, art studios and other points of interest. The gallery is featured in the brochure, which can be found in many places, including local Chamber of Commerce offices and welcome centers statewide.
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