M. Camille (Candy) Day –

Camille Day, known as Candy to friends and family, is an artist from North Georgia, committed to capturing the people and places of Georgia and beyond. Her desire to expand her painting ability and her emergence as a full time artist has led Camille to Europe as well as many places in the U. S. where she enjoys painting en plein air (in the open air) as well as in her studio in Blue Ridge, Georgia. She is continuously inspired by the varied landscapes of the natural world, its people, animals and common places where beauty is sometimes overlooked.

She is largely self-taught and has been painting and drawing since childhood.  Camille has also had the benefit of studying under such great artists as Ann Templeton, Quang Ho, Roger Dale Brown, Jim RIchards and many others.  As she tells of these experiences, “Each session with such wonderful instructors enables me to reach further into the well of my own abilities and translate not only what I see as beautiful to the viewer, but to make them feel why I chose that subject to paint.”

Today, the home base of M. Camille Day is in the beautiful, little mountain town of Blue Ridge, Ga, where she maintains a studio in the Summit Studios, a part of the Blue Ridge Mountain Art Association.  She also travels extensively and paints “en plein air” wherever she goes.  Camille is a Signature Member of the Southern Appalachian Artist Guild, a Signature Member of the Women Painters of the Southeast and most recently, the Southeastern Pastel Society.  She is a juried member of the Oil Painters of America, the Pastel Society of America, and the American Impressionist Society.

She has won numerous awards and her work has been juried into many national and international shows, many of which are now in private collection.  The artwork of M. Camille Day can be viewed by appointment at her studio at 420 N. Main Street, Blue Ridge GA or online at www.studiocamille.com.  She may be reached at mccd123@hotmail.com.

Artist’s Statement, by M. Camille Day

Drawing, painting—-creating—-has always been a part of my life.  “Artist” is how I’ve always identified myself and what I’ve strived toward.  After years of immersion in becoming more proficient in my craft, I realize there is something more than mere skill:  the ability to express the ”voice of my soul”.  To me, that quality stands above them all in deserving the title of “artist”.  If my work can tell you what spoke to me and compelled me to put voice to it through paint or pastel, then I will count myself successful.  But I will count myself blessed if you look at my work and find something that speaks to your own soul.

I am thankful for the knowledge I’ve gained over the years from so many wonderful mentors and teachers.  Their efforts have helped me move forward with confidence.    Now as I paint the places that inspire me and the people and creatures that inhabit them, what I most want is to share the voice of my soul through my work and show you the emotion stirred there.  My hope is that it sparks a resonance of joy, pleasure, fond remembrance—-something—- within your own sense of being, something you can add to your own voice.

Mark Menendez –

As a traveling teacher, I have taught throughout the southeast United States, offering instruction in drawing in various mediums:  pencil, charcoal, pastel, color pencil, pen & ink; and I’ve taught painting in watercolor, acrylic and oils.  My North Light Books art instruction videos are among the highest-rated on their website. My unique classes are a place where anyone can express their creativity and individuality, and enjoy the friendship of wonderful encouraging fellow-students. From beginner, to intermediate, to advanced students, as well as the many young artists’, all are welcome.

For the last eight years I have had the privilege of offering art classes at Gilmer Arts, and have enjoyed the company and support from everyone.

Noor Moody–

Yoga Teacher, Certified Phoenix Rising Therapist, Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant. Noor has been a student/ teacher of Yoga since 1978. She graduated from Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy in 1995 and is currently a retired Physical Therapy Assistant in Georgia.

Noor has conducted and presented Yoga, meditation and breath work to a number of public and private organizations interested in physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. Noor instructs to all populations including Creative Movement Classes for children and Prenatal Classes.  She was a faculty member of The Center for the Reversal of Heart Disease Program in Orlando, Florida.

Along with excellent instruction, Noor creates a safe environment for personal development, health, and spiritual well-being, through the practice of Yoga.

Annie Oakley –

Business owner and graphic designer by trade, Annie also finds time to draw, paint, build, sew and bead whatever comes into her creative mind. She currently has several canvas paintings, jewelry and painted glasses on display and for sale at Gilmer Arts. Her online fine arts storefront opens in 2017. Find out more at pointblankstudio.com.

Linda Vanderlaand –

Born and raised in the Great Lakes region, Linda’s creative flair includes Children’s Theater, Marionettes, Gourd Art and Basket Weaving. As a former Kindergarten teacher, Art teacher, Home School Mom and owner of a school, Linda has a real talent for reaching and teaching art to children.  In addition to her own work in the arts she also writes children’s books.  Most recently Linda has assisted Billy Shelburn, the resident art instructor at The John C Campbell Folk School. She also teaches classes in gourd art at Oasis and basket classes at Treasure Creation.

Vicki Wagoner –

Vicki Wagoner is a self-taught intuitive guidance therapist and hypnotherapist who teaches expression and self-love through art.   Vicki has taught many creative workshops right here at Gilmer Arts.  Some of the classes she has taught are “Express Yourself” (self-expression through art), “Heart, Hands and Healing Art”( a gentle and healing way of painting with your hands),  “Sip-‘N-Paint” (wine and painting expressive art), and “Jewelry Workshops”(beading basics).

Right now her focus at Gilmer Arts is a “Jewelry Workshop” that includes beading and the introduction to jewelry making.  Vicki will teach you how to create a unique piece of jewelry with group and personal guidance.

James Weaver –

James Weaver is a Songwriter/Producer/Performer with more than 40 years of musical experience. He has won numerous awards and honors from several International Songwriting Competitions. He was the lead guitarist with the 60’s Garage Band – “Red Beard & the Pirates” and co-wrote the single Go On Leave that is considered to be a “Garage Band” collectors item today. Recent honors: Two – “Honorable Mentions” in the Unisong International Songwriting Competition. This contest had entries from more than 90 different countries. Three – “Top Five Category Finalist” Awards in the VH1 Song of the Year International Songwriting Competition. Recent Releases: High Rider, I Want To Be Me and Leaving Behind. All 3 songs received “Honorable Mention” in the 15th Annual Billboard World Song Competition. James also served for three years on the Board of Directors of the Atlanta Songwriters Association. He was Showcase Chairman for the annual showcase featuring artists such as The Georgia Satellites and REM.

Megan Williams –

Megan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and Music Therapy from the University of Iowa as well as a Master’s degree in Special Education from the University of Florida.  In 2012, she retired from her 30-year career, working at a residential center for developmentally disabled adults in Gainesville, Florida.

Megan is an accomplished musician who began her musical training in High School. She studied voice and has performed in many Chorus groups and Church choirs over the years. She also played the guitar with folk and bluegrass groups before learning to play the mountain dulcimer.

Megan has been playing the mountain dulcimer since 2007.  Her first dulcimer classes were at the John C Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina.  In 2013, she retired to Ellijay, Georgia and joined Blue Ridge Dulcimer Club.  Megan has been teaching the dulcimer since 2014.  She is now enrolled in a Dulcimer Teacher Certification program at Western Carolina University which she will complete in 2017.

Megan’s dulcimer students often say she is a wonderful, patient teacher.  She loves to share her enthusiasm for the dulcimer.  She says “It is a beautiful sounding traditional mountain instrument, a joy to play and enjoy with others.”  She is very proud of her adult students and their excellent progress.  Most of them started as absolute beginners with little or no musical background.  Now they can play as a group and enjoy playing for Nursing Homes and an Assisted Living Center.

Alan R. Young –

Wildlife artist Alan R. Young is well known throughout the south for his birds of the Appalachian illustrations. His artistic objective, however, was not realized until age forty. Primarily self taught and facing the disadvantage of being partially colorblind, he overcame adversity to attain his success. Around that time, he was also an artist in search of signature work. Having moved his family from Atlanta to the North Georgia Mountains in 1994, he needed to look no further than out his back window, to the panorama of forest trees and mountain ranges of the Southern Appalachians. His very first encounter with the magnificent and striking Pileated Woodpecker was an actual turning point in this process. He would become a wildlife artist, specializing in birds, not only for the variety of species, but for his new-found love of nature. From 1994 to 1998, in his spare time while working for the State of Georgia, he built a portfolio of fifteen pen and ink sketches; primarily hawks and eagles. His first showing in the summer of 1998 was an instant success.

Since that time, Alan has won numerous fine art awards, with works in private and corporate collections from the United States to Europe; both prints and originals. Included are the New York, Ohio, and Georgia Audubon societies, Coke-Cola, Georgia Power, and others. He is now considered one of the top wild bird artists in the southeast, often featured in national and regional publications. But unlike other artists, Alan has chosen to remain independent, publishing and marketing his own work. Aside from the obvious control, the purpose was and remains to make originals, prints and cards affordable for everyone, not just a select few.

In 2001, Alan began to include color in his renderings. He also began dabbling in watercolor as his color vision began to improve. Soon he discovered that his ability to see a world with and without color could work to his advantage. His values first, color second approach helped create a softer, more natural effect to his paintings. Many of his collectors describe it as “looking the way nature should look”, compared to a more forced, sometimes superimposed look created by other artists. His technique is sometimes mistaken for pastel, when the correct application is dry-brush watercolor; yet another way he separates himself from other artists.

In 2004, Alan decided to make a full-time commitment to his art. He retired early from state employment, purchased a custom frame shop and began teaching more frequently. Among his loyal students, pen and ink remains his area of expertise.

Other noteworthy accomplishments include the creation of the North Georgia Wildlife Arts Festival, and the judging of various other art festivals and events, including the Junior Duck Stamp competition. Yet, art is only part of the motivation for Alan. Appreciation and concern for the environment are equally important to him. “To play a small part in our crusade to save our planet is reason enough to continue painting.”