April 14, 2019
The Arts & Culture of North Georgia
By: Ginevra Boyes
Looking for a little arts and culture during your time in North Georgia? Luckily, Helen and the surrounding area are filled with many incredible galleries, museums, and art spaces perfect for the culturally minded traveler. We highly recommend adding one (or all) of these incredible local institutions to your North Georgia itinerary.
The Helen Arts & Heritage Council is a great place to start. Located at the Old City Hall in Helen, this non-profit organization is dedicated to spreading an appreciation for the local arts and history through a variety of educational programs, workshops, and exhibitions. Visit their history museum to learn more about Helen’s fascinating past, including its original Native American settlers, early pioneer days, and its “reinvention” as a Bavarian-inspired village in the 1960s. In addition, HAHC has an impressive line-up of classes & workshops open to the public. You can take classes on digital media, drawing, fiber arts, jewelry, pottery, wood carving, painting “en plein air,” and so much more. They also host a variety of festivals and offer a range of opportunities for artists. All local artists are invited and encouraged to exhibit and sell their work at the Arts Center.
Another vital local arts institution is the Folk Pottery Museum of Northeast Georgia in Sautee Nacoochee. This one-of-a-kind museum showcases the amazing handcraft skills of one the South’s earliest art forms while also shedding light on pottery’s importance throughout the history of the South. You might not know it, but Southern pottery is a nationally recognized art form. In 2000, the region was actually awarded with a Library of Congress “Local Legacies” designation for its rich pottery heritage.
Another must do for art-lovers is the Skylake Galleries. Situated beside the gorgeous Skylake Nature Preserve amongst the lush North Georgia Mountains, Skylake Galleries displays a wide selection of beautiful art, antiques, and home accessories. Skylake Galleries is a true treasure trove. They feature work by over 15 local artists and other pieces by more nationally known artists. Behind its doors, you’ll fine sculpture, photography, pottery, antique furniture, china, porcelain dolls, prints, lace, quilts, and so much more. This is a great place to shop or simply browse around and get inspired. Skylake Galleries also hosts the annual Sautee Plein Air Painting Experience, where artists gather to paint the beautiful surrounding landscapes amongst the fresh air and gorgeous setting of the North Georgia mountains.
Planning an arts & culture trip through North Georgia? Book a stay at Sylvan Valley Lodge & Cellars, a bed & breakfast winery located at the foot of beautiful Mount Yonah.