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Folk art flourishes

Annual festival this weekend

POSTED: June 27, 2012 4:00 a.m.

Known for offering an array of folk art and crafts, the seventh annual Folk Art Family Reunion will be held this weekend at Around Back at Rocky's Place.

More than 20 artists from around the Southeast sell drawings, pottery and other creations during the festival. Co-owner Robin Blan said the festival is an outpouring of artistic creativity.

"This festival has the South's best folk art. We draw hardcore art collectors from all over," Blan said.

Artists such as Rik Long, a best seller during last year's event, and Robin Byrd Smith, "a local favorite potter," will present new works.

Blan said about 15 presenting artists are returning while others are newcomers.

One fresh face includes Brenda Davis, an artist from Alabama who recently sold 11 of her paintings to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.

According to officials, every year one of the biggest attractions is paintings and creations by John "Cornbread" Anderson, a former Dawson County sheriff's deputy.

Anderson, who is known nationally for whimsical depictions of the critters he grew up observing in north Georgia, has gained international renown in recent years. His paintings have been shipped to England, Norway and Germany, among others.

"Cornbread is our bestseller no matter what show, what day," Blan said.

An average of 150 of Anderson's creations are on display the gallery year around.

Blan and partner Tracey Burnette began the Folk Art Family Reunion in 2006 as a way of helping support the artists whose works fill their two adjoining gallery spaces.

Artists get to keep all sales proceeds from works they sell during the show.

Running through Sunday, the combined gallery and show feature nearly 1,000 works for sale by more than 20 artists.

Visit the festival at 3631 Hwy. 53 East, near the intersection with Etowah River Road, from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday or 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.

For more information call (706) 265-6030 or visit www.aroundbackatrockysplace.com. The event is free to the public.

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