Towards the middle of Spring, the mountains of North Georgia are positively boisterous--awash in a riot of color and sound. This is the Spring that gets all the attention, that garners all the accolades.
Yet, for me, it is early Spring that I find most beautiful. The daffodils--those early risers--are in bloom, but most of the other flowers and blooming trees are still asleep, still getting their beauty rest.
It is now that the trees covering the mountain sides begin their journey from barren boughs to life-filled branches. They begin to take on almost imperceptible hues of reds and greens. Each passing day brings an ever-so-slightly heightened intensity of color.
On certain mornings, just as the sun is coming up, the mountain sides--with their shy splashes of color set against sober browns and greys--look for all the world like a huge watercolor painting.
These are the mornings when I think, "Ah, if only I were an artist..." I am not, but, thankfully, we have many artists who call Blue Ridge home.
Many of them belong to the Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association. The BRMAA brings people together whose talents bridge the artistic spectrum from music, to dance, to art, to theater. The association has grown considerably in membership and scope during its rich 30 year history.
According to BRMAA's mission statement:
"The primary goal of BRMAA has been to enhance and preserve the quality and accessibility of the arts in this region, to honor our rich heritage of mountain culture, while promoting contemporary multi-cultural arts. While art enriches the lives of our residents, the arts act as a catalyst for economic development in the community. As an organization, the Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association, endeavors to provide opportunities in the realm of art for personal growth of the individual and the economic growth of our community."
And, boy, have they ever succeeded!
Having found a permanent home in the historic Old Fannin County Courthouse, BRMAA offers a wide range of classes for all ages--from 3 to 103! Whether your tastes run from basket weaving, to stained glass, to photography, to beginning ballet, to watercolor painting, you'll find a class that's just right for you.
To see the full list of classes offered, click here.
BRMAA also sponsors two art festivals: Arts in the Park and Wildlife & Nature Art Festival & Expo. This year the Arts in the Park Festival--named one the Top 20 Events by the Southeastern Tourism Society--will be held Memorial Day Weekend, May 24 and 25. The Wildlife Festival will take place on September 20 and 21. Both events are held in the picturesque Blue Ridge City Park that straddles the tracks that the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway runs on.
For more information on the festivals, click here.
BRMAA offers year-round exhibits and art shows, as well as a Summer Concert Series. The next event being co-sponsored by BRMAA is the Blue Ridge Writer's Conference, which draws Southern authors from the entire Southeast, will be held on March 28 and 29.
For more information on the Blue Ridge Writer's Conference, click here.
For a full calendar of events for BRMAA, click here.
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