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The Great ARTdoors Festival - 2017

Our 2017 Great ARTdoors Festival on October 14 was a gorgeous day! Along with our presenting sponsor, SKYY Vodka, and our Event Co-Chairs, Sarah Gillespie and Dirk Brown, we enjoyed the art, artists, and autumn scenery while helping to support the Center’s residency program and nature preserve. Combining world-class art and the great outdoors, the Great ARTdoors Festival offered tours of the artist-in-residence studios, art installations and demonstrations, visits to our farm with sheep and chickens and historic gristmill, an invitational show & sale of pottery and hand-made wares, U-Do-Raku (glaze your own pottery to keep), native plant sale and activities for children of all ages. We had plenty of live music in store, and we served up fresh local food, featuring an old-fashioned pig roast.

This is the only time during the year when full access is granted to our protected creative sanctuary and artist studios. The 600-acre property, lovingly cared for by Hambidge since 1934, is home to seven miles of hiking trails, waterfalls, wildflowers, a swimming hole, and a number of historic structures including a working 67 year-old water-powered gristmill.  All proceeds go towards the creative residency program and nature preserve.

Take a look at photos of the day here.

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Festival Highlights

Open Studio Tour & Talks with our distinguished artists-in-residence from all over the country - Philadelphia, Seattle, Brooklyn, Chicago, and Mississippi

Art Installations – two new sculptural installations you can hike to, one by Gregor Turk and the other by Scott Hocking (in partnership with Dashboard), plus a temporary site-specific installation by Marcus Kenney created just for the Festival

– choose a pot, glaze it yourself and have it fired to take home 

Live Music featuring Planes on Paper, Josiah Johnson (on touring hiatus from The Head and the Heart), and traditional mountain bluegrass by Oliver Rice and the Blue Ridge Mountain Boys

An Old-Fashioned Pig Roast serving up our own Bar-B-Q alongside smoked chicken and local tasty provisions

Native Plant Sale and Kids’ Activities by Beech Hollow Wildflower Farm

Invitational Pottery & Handmade Objects Show & Sale
featuring Hambidge Fellows and artists from across the region

Snake Handling
and reptile & amphibian education by the Orianne Society

Pottery Demonstrations
in the Antinori Pottery Studio

Spinning Demonstration
by Rita Rothmeier

Activities for All Ages
with grits grinding, sheep meeting, a bouncy house, face painting by Macon Faces, and art-making for everyone!


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Markus Baenziger (in residence)
Kaley Eaton (in residence)
Coulter Fussell (in residence)
Lois Harvey (in residence)
Scott Hocking

Josiah Johnson
Savannah Jubic (in residence)
Marcus Kenney(in residence)
Planes on Paper
Gregor Turk

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Event Co-Chairs

Sarah Gillespie
Dirk Brown


Platinum Possums
Lucinda Bunnen + Sarah Gillespie & Megan Moran

Golden Eagles
Annette Cone-Skelton & J. Robert Hipps + Elizabeth Feichter + Jo & Jim McLean + W. Chester Old & Steven Bennett + Kathy & David Williams

Silver Foxes
Dirk Brown & Tim Burns + Pam Thompson + Laura Heard + Wanda Hopkins + Caroline Howell + Elizabeth & David Martin + R. Kirk Rich + Saundra Robinson + Paula F. & Russ Rogers + Ruth West & Bob Wells + Barb & Thom Williams + Woodie & Steve Wisebram

Bronze Bears
Lyn & Rick Asbill + Temme Barkin-Leeds + Becky & Tom Callahan + Catherine Colpitts + Jesica Eames + Lisa Ezzard & Brooks Franklin + Carol & Larry Gellerstedt + Ann & Tim Johnson + Beth Jones + Marianne Lambert + Judy & Scott Lampert + Liz Lapidus + Bari & Russell Love + Alexander M. Patrick + Margaret Patterson + Brenda Stockdale & Michael Milton + Susie & Lee Winton


SKYY Vodka (presenting sponsor) ASD | SKY + Dillard House Stables + Imagers + The Lake Team/Harry Norman Realtors + The Laurel Magazine + Mountain House Modern + Orpheus Brewing + Wander North Georgia




The Hambidge Center is funded in part by the LUBO Fund, the Fulton County Commission under the guidance of Fulton County Arts & Culture, the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Directions & Parking

Park on the side of Betty's Creek Road - please make sure all four car tires are off the pavement to avoid getting a ticket.

105 Hambidge Court, Rabun Gap, GA 30568 (on Betty's Creek Road, 3.5 miles off Hwy 441)

Hambidge is approximately 100 miles from Atlanta and Asheville, 20 miles from Lake Rabun,
Lake Burton and Highlands, and 30 miles from Cashiers.

From Atlanta:
I-85 N then slight Left at I-985 N/Lanier Pkwy (signs for Gainesville). Continue onto US-23 N for 58.5 miles then turn Left at Betty's Creek Rd. Destination parking will be on your Right 2.9 miles.

From Lake Rabun/Lake Burton:
Take Lake Rabun Rd toward Old 441, then turn Left onto US-23 N and go 12.9 miles. Take a Left at Betty's Creek Rd. Destination parking will be on your Right 2.9 miles.

From Highlands:
Take Dillard Rd 10.4 miles and continue onto GA-246 E. Turn Left at Main St/ US-23 and go 1.0 mile. Turn Right at Betty's Creek Rd. Destination parking will be on your Right 2.9 miles.

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