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ART BEAT: Tannery Row artists enjoy the busy holiday season

Holley Calmes

Holley Calmes

As holiday shoppers consider their gift-giving options, they might want to think about a visit to historic Tannery Row in Buford.

The artist colony that uses the space in this wonderful, old building has a lot to offer those who seek one-of-a-kind art items. This year is also special, as the artists of Tannery Row have joined with another organization to help make the holidays brighter for those in need.

From Dec. 2 through 22, Tannery Row artists will contribute 50 percent of all the sales of artwork from their gallery to the Empty Stocking Fund, ensuring that more underserved children in the Atlanta area will have a better holiday. The gallery in Tannery Row is open from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Beginning the first of December, the gallery will feature gift priced items. Among the many other items for sale will be Judy Isaak's original nativity sets of either three or nine pieces. But one thing is definite: all pieces of art will be unique.

"Each item made at the Tannery is one of a kind. There isn't another one like it and never will be," Isaak said. "That is a reason to purchase art when you see the perfect present for yourself or those you love. No one will ever have the same artwork you have just bought."

Right now, patrons can enjoy a bright, eclectic exhibition that includes a number of artists. Currently in the gallery is a show titled "Big II." The 2007 show titled "Big" was such a favorite that it called for a reprise. The concept is that all the paintings in the show must be 48 by 36 inches and hang vertically. This show will be on view through Nov. 29.

One of the pieces for sale is a large Santa and village painting by Jim Klippel and Christine Canova. There are also many three dimensional pieces on view and for sale. "This is perhaps the largest number of clay artists to ever show their art in the Gallery" said resident artist Judy Isaak.

The winners of "Big II" were Sabrina Bland for first place, Sarah Kim for second place and Sandra Olds for third place.

Tannery Row has a very popular program called "Thursday Things." It's a great way to enjoy watching artists create right before your eyes and sometimes putting one's own hand to the artistic task. The Dec. 3 event will feature Carly Hardy demonstrating oil painting using the Anne Templeton method. On Dec. 10, Barbara McGuire will demonstrate her jewelry and polymer artwork. Dec. 17 will feature a potluck lunch. This is a good time to tour studios as so many of the artists will be on hand, and there will be lots of food to share. Plus, it will be a good time to peruse the gallery and make gift selections.

Tannery Row artists have found significant recognition outside their own building. Charley Seagraves has a solo show on view at Stone Mountain's Art Station through Jan. 2. This exhibition showcases 36 brightly colored constructions that blur the lines between painting and sculpture.

Another Tannery Row artist, Donna Biggee, has enjoyed much success outside Buford. She placed second in the members only show at Art Station, and received an honorable mention at the Southeastern Pastel Society show. She also placed first in Buford's Plein Air Festival.

For more information about Tannery Row and its artists, call 770-904-0572 or visit www.tanneryrowartistcolony.com. Tannery Row is at 554 W. Main St., Building C, in downtown Buford.

Holley Calmes is a freelance writer and public relations consultant specializing in the arts. E-mail her at hcalmes@mindspring.com.