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Wildflower Festival of the Arts Dahlonega | May 17th + 18th 2014

It's Wildflower Festival of the Arts time in Dahlonega!  This annual festival features an artist market, a selection of locally grown plants, flowers and vegetables, and we're sure plenty of musicians picking and grinning on park benches and under tents around the square.  Stop by Cranberry Corners if you're in town for the festivities.  We'll be featuring lots of specials for the weekend and would love to see your face in our humble gift shop!

 

North Georgia Folk Artist Billy Roper...

 
We recently spotted this painting while scrolling through facebook, and just had to share it.   A beautiful, bright angel painted by our friend North Georgia Artist Billy Roper.  From the biography on his website...
 
..."In describing himself, Appalachian folk artist Billy Roper says, 'I was born blessedly poor. We lived back in the hills where life was 50 years behind times. We didn't have much growing up, but what we had was more –– an honest, hardworking family.'
 
It's those years of weathering hardships throughout his life that have made him the artist he is today and that is reflected in his work. Art has always been a part of his life with his skills ranging from painting and drawing to sculpting marble and carving wood. Roper recalls, "There isn't a time I can remember when I didn't want to mark on something. I was the worst write-on-the-walls young'un that ever lived."
 
His work has emotional depth and speaks to people about the simple things in life –– the things that matter the most. The native of north Georgia is most known for his expressive style of painting that combines colorful imagery on the front with handwriting on the back to tell a story or depict an emotion. 

 

Billy Roper is simply Billy. He remembers his Appalachian roots, his Cherokee ancestors and their culture. Of them he says, "I was taught who I was and where I came from for countless generations. That does not make me better than or worse than, but it does make me – me."

 

Music has always been a strong part of Billy's life and that passion is shown in the nine months he spent painting a bass fiddle that was raffled off in April 2011 at the Bear on the Square Mountain Festival in Dahlonega, Ga. The project raised money to benefit the Georgia Pick & Bow Music School, an instructional music program that helps to ensure that Appalachian music is passed down to the next generation. 

 

His work can be found in art collections throughout the United States and more than 30 countries. He was North Georgia College & State University's first artist-in-residence in 2007 and the book, "Billy Roper: Visual Storyteller," was the first work published by the University Press of North Georgia."
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