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by Anne Jenkins - American Roads Travel Magazine

The Point of Art Gallery & Studio, Union Point.jpg (124230 bytes)

Point of Art Gallery

by Anne Jenkins

Think the drive from Augusta towards Atlanta doesn't offer much excitement? You're very wrong. Of course, mention Augusta and golf springs to mind but ... Augusta has so much more than just golf to offer. The arts scene is bursting with talent and enthusiasm. There's theater, ballet and an exciting visual arts scene.

A visit to the historic downtown and their Artists' Row on Broad Street is a must. The historic buildings are beautiful; some have lofts above and many have wrought iron balconies. It is an atmospheric area and houses a wonderful collection of art galleries, coffee houses, books stores and more. Every month they host a First Friday's art walk when all the shops and galleries stay open from 5:00 - 10:00 p.m. when there's music and fun and wonderful art to buy as you gallery hop.

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Z Gallery

Why not start at Z, artist Lou Ann Zimmerman's gallery. Her work is full of imagination and thought provoking, she clearly is one of the corner stones of the artist’s row. Her studio is at the back of the gallery. Alongside her own art, she displays other artists and plays host to interesting exhibits, such as the Whiskey Painters of America. Zimmerman tells the wacky tale of an artist who painted miniature paintings where ever he was - usually in a bar and he'd dip his brush in his whiskey. Now there's a whole movement and membership (with a waiting list!) of the club, and they only meet in bars, after 8:00 p.m. and paint tiny little paintings by candlelight. It certainly sounds like the club to join.

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Gallery on the Row

Just a couple of doors down, Gallery on the Row is an artist's co-op with an interesting and fabulous mix of artists, such as painters Georgene Wright, Barbara Whetsone Fox and Margaret Ann Smith or potter, Betsy Borgatti, to mention a few. The gallery is divided in to open booths for each artist plus art hand on the walls on either side. There is a wide range of prices, media and genres. At the rear, in a bright cheerful studio, you might be lucky to catch Cathy Marberry, one of the owners of the gallery, giving an art lesson to enthralled students. She conducts classes twice a week and also holds weekend workshops.

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Art on Broad

Another gallery with an eclectic display of art is Art on Broad owned by Kristin Varn and Jim Tar. They offer framing as well and as an added incentive to visit, they stay open 7 days a week from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

Other galleries on 'the row' are Schweitzer Art Glass, Mary Pauline Gallery and Artistic Perceptions. Nearby businesses include The Blue Marlin, Metro Coffeehouse, Cloud Nine Downtown and The Book Tavern - used and new book store which is great for browsing and finding that special book. When the weather is good the taverns and coffee houses set up tables outside. For more information, Augusta Magazine produces a Metro Augusta arts calendar which is chock full of arts-related events.

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One of Lillie Morris' paintings

Broadstrokes Gallery used to be on Artists Row but when owner Lillie Morris moved out to the country, it made sense to take her gallery with her. They now are just north of Augusta in the town of Evans. Not only a fine painter, but a musician as well, Morris is determined to bring art to the larger community.

"I believe art breathes life and soul into a community. We're committed to bringing fine art to the residents of Evans," Morris explains, "Our hope is that by featuring the works of local fine artists, the developing Evans Town Center will be enhanced with a touch of authenticity reflective of it's rich legacy."

The gallery features a number of fine artists alongside Morris, including Gail Smith who paints evocative coastal marsh scenes from her childhood on the Georgia barrier islands.

Wine isn't the first thing to spring to mind while heading west towards Atlanta, but there off the I-20 at Exit 172 is the 1810 Winery and Vineyard in Thomson. The complex includes a historic inn, winery and vineyard tours and wine tastings.

Also in Thomson is Chinaberry Foods owned by Tommy and Margaret Samuels. They specialize in Southern treats like cheese straws, roasted Greek pork loin and Red Velvet cake - a 3-layered unique Southern tradition with layers of cocoa, cream and pecans, pecan squares, snow cookies. At the moment their building is under repair but you can purchase some of the goodies if you stop for gourmet soup and sandwiches at Abigails on Main. Another business in town, Peacock Hill, also carries their products in their gourmet foods section of their interior design fixtures.

Going further west is the little historic town of Union Point is 4.7 miles north from Exit 138 on the Hwy 77 N. When you get in to town at the stop light turn left, then first right on to Scott St., at the stop sign turn left and you're in the historic district by the railway line.

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Point of Art Gallery

The Point of Art Gallery and Studio is the flagship of a renewal taking place in the old mill town. Some of the buildings are under restoration, the city just bought back it's old movie theater and Union Point is on it's way to becoming an art town destination. The gallery features about 18 Georgia artists and a couple of regional artists alongside owner/artist Anne Jenkins. Jenkins is a self-taught artist who uses color and texture to great effect on large canvases. The range of art is breath-taking and Jenkins emphasizes "the gallery specializes in stunning, but affordable, art." Jenkins and her husband, Lee Nelson, live in the loft above the gallery and her studio is below the gallery. Nelson teaches The Entrepreneurial Artist, a 1-day workshop to help artists turn their art in to their business, regularly at the gallery and also works part-time for the city helping it's revitalization efforts.

You can pick up a driving tour of the town at the gallery. The little town has a rich history, a slew of beautiful antebellum homes, lovely old churches and a pretty restored 4-room school house with the back two rooms serving as the town's museum. The museum has an interesting display about the Wayside Home, a hospital run by the town ladies during the Civil War. The museum is open during special events or by arrangement.

Take a break from the I-20 for a few miles and follow Hwy. 278 for eight miles west to the town of Greensboro. Greensboro has undergone a renaisance over the past few years and is a bustling, pretty town full of interesting stores with restoration still going on.

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Pecan Orchard Gallery

One of the newest arrivals is renowned artist, Cameron Hampton and her artistic family, in The Pecan Orchard Gallery. Hampton's work is beautiful and covers pastels, oil and sculpture. Her mother, Fran Raindance Hampton has mystical paintings and her sister, Lisa Hampton-Pepe's, photography is also displayed. Exploring Hampton's creative work is a marvelous journey and you'll enjoy it no end.

Genuine Georgia is a cornucopia of Georgian artisans pottery, glass, wood, books - you name it. Owner Cynthia Smith is not an artist but she always says she just loves everything artists do. Her love of art shows in the superb 'handmade in Georgia' selection on offer.


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Painting at Historic Mill Gallery

Another new artist in town is Nan McGarity owner of the Historic Mill Studio. She not only paints her own bold colorful paintings but she teaches art in her studio, and she has guest artist teaching workshops there as well. McGarity and her husband purchased the old textile mill and are converting it to condominiums with her working studio incorporated, plus a guest apartment for visiting artists. When finished it will be named the Mary Leila Lofts.

Between the two towns of Union Point and Greensboro there's a good choice of eateries from a little hole in the wall joint serving big portions of freshly made hamburgers to up-market white table cloth restaurants. The whole trip is a feast for the eyes and a feast for the stomach - a good combination to make the soul happy.

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Higdon House Gallery

Spend with a night before heading on in to Atlanta. There's a special bed and breakfast in Greensboro. The Higdon House Inn - an astonishingly beautiful historic mansion set in tranquil gardens. Owner Jack Rollo has worked wonders in returning the magnificent house to it's immaculate condition. But be warned, call ahead in plenty of time, it's a magical setting for a wedding and is gaining a wide following.

You'll be rested, refreshed and loaded down with good art and able to face the big city and it's traffic with a smile.



Artists Row website:

Z Gallery, 1006 Broad St, Augusta, GA 30901 Tel: (706) 774-1006 Hours: Tue-Sat 10:30 a.m - 5:00 p.m. Sun/Mon sometimes 10-3, sometimes by appointment. Call first.

Gallery on the Row, 1016 Broad St, August, GA 30901  Tel: (706) 724-4989 Hours Mon-Sat 10:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Art on Broad, 1028 Broad St, Augusta, GA 30901 Tel: (706) 722-1028 Hours: Mon 10-4, Tue-Sat 10-6 and from Thanksgiving to Christmas they're open 7 days a week.

Broadstrokes Gallery, 601 N. Belair Square, Evans Town Center Blvd, Evans, GA 30809. Tel: (706) 860-6055 Hours: Mon-Sat 11-5

1810 Country Inn and Winery, 254 N. Seymour Drive, Thomason, GA 30824 Tel: (706) 595-8311 Tasting room open Tue-Sat

Chinaberry Foods Tel: (706) 595-7397.

Abigail's on Main Tel (706) 595-7300

Peacock Hill   Tel (706) 595-6999

The Point of Art Gallery & Studio, 604 Sibley Ave, Union Point, GA 30669 Tel (706) 486-6808  and Hours: Thu-Sat 10-5, all other days by appointment, just call and they'll open for you.

The Pecan Orchard Art Gallery, 115 E. Broad St, Greensboro, GA 30642 Hours: Tues-Sat 11-5

Genuine Georgia, 101 N. Main St, Gereensboro, GA 30642 Tel: (706) 453-1440 Hours: Mon-Thu 10-5, Fri-Sat 10-7

Historic Mill Studio, 206 North West St, Greensboro, GA 30642 Tel: (770) 957-5023

Higdon House Inn, 301 W. Greene St, Greensboro, GA 30642 Tel: (706) 453-2511

 Click to learn about Anne Jenkins

Provided by American Roads Travel Magazine - Visit American Roads Travel Magazine website.

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