The Southern Appalachian Artist Guild (SAAG) is an organization of artisans and craftsmen from several states, Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina, brought together to promote the business and professional development of its member artists.
We are part of the historic Art Center in Blue Ridge, GA. We hold several members only shows each year (at least one is a traveling exhibition) and sponsor the National Juried Show for members and non-members.
SAAG has monthly educational meetings, Show and Tell sessions, social events, access to master's level classes, and a credentialing program. Members also enjoy the camaraderie of meeting with fellow artists. Chartered in 2007 with only 25, we have now grown to almost 160 members. Won't you join us? Please visit our Membership Page for more information.
SAAG Monthly Meetings
IMPORTANT PUBLIC NOTICE: The continued health and safety of our entire community has been the utmost importance to the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association (BRMAA) and the Southern Appalachian Artists Guild. Given the increasing changes, projections and safety concerns over COVID-19, the Art Center is now open with public safety guidelines in place, until further notice. Information and updates on exhibit, event and programming cancellations and postponements are available via the link BRMAA website, here.
If you are a member or interested in becoming a member, please join us for our monthly meetings at the Art Center. You will enjoy delicious refreshments, camaraderie and wonderful guest speakers.
Meetings are every second Thursday of the month. Beginning at 5 pm with a social time. Guest speaker begins at about 5.30 pm. Meetings are held at the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association, 420 West Main Street, Blue Ridge, Georgia.
Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association 420 West Main Street, Blue Ridge, GA 60513 Hours: Tuesday - Sunday - 10 am - 6 pm each day. Closed Mondays Phone: 706.632.2144 Fax: 706.632.7785 BRMAA website, here.
2020 Executive Board Members Luce Van Asten - President Rita Poole - Vice President Brenda Chambers - Secretary Marla McCormick - Treasurer
Committee Chairs: Marilyn Williamson - Hospitality Chair Judy Holland - Membership Chair Luce Van Asten - Away Venue & program Chair Open - Signature Member Chair Irene Klangos - National Juried show Chair / Facebook Chair Nadine Yawn - Webmaster
Marie-Luce Van Asten - President and Away Venue Chair
Marie-Luce Van Asten was born in Belgium, and came to the US in 2001. She graduated in Belgium as an Art teacher in 1983. Luce taught the French language at the Atlanta International School in kindergarten and elementary for 15 years. When her husband and she decided to retire in 2016 from their respective jobs, they turned their focus to their passion. Dominicus installed a wood shop studio in the garage and she designed a clay studio in the house with windows overseeing nature. They are fusing clay and wood work to create Sculptural and Functional Art. Luce is currently the President of the Southern Appalachian Artist Guild in Blue Ridge, GA. She has been recognized as a member of Excellence under SAAG. She teaches clay building and the pottery wheel classes throughout the year at the Blue Ridge Mountains Art Association and Art Center in Blue Ridge, GA.
Rita Poole - Vice President
I have a background in art and design that has spanned a career of more than 40 years in the ceramics and glass industry where I was responsible for finding ways to industrialize new designs in the pottery, scotch whisky and perfumery markets. More recently I have been working in art with wood, in the form of marquetry, based on creating pictures by inlaying wood veneers from all over the world.
Brenda Chambers - Secretary
As one half of the Branching Out Art team, I am responsible for the organizational aspects of the business such as keeping an inventory, applying to festivals and a myriad of other details associated with being a working artist. This frees my husband, Tom, to create innovative and imaginative art. Shortly after moving to the mountains in 2007, we both became member and active in Art Center activities, becoming members of SAAG in 2008.
Marla J McCormick - Treasurer
I grew up in Indiana, drawing and painting for as long as I can remember. I received my dual degree from Purdue University in Fine Arts and Architecture, and have found that I most enjoy combining the two disciplines in my Art. Marrying and moving to New England provided a whole new environment to chose from and it is there that Is I switched from oils to acrylic paints. Using acrylics has offered me the ability to develop depth of color through glazing, while supporting clean crisp edges where I want them. I attempt to achieve an emotional response from my viewers - a nudge to their own memories or emotions - all the while being true to my subject. And yes, the more details the better! Now living in Georgia, I'm finding the colors of the mountains and streams drawing me in like a new friend.
Judy Holland - Member Chair
Marilyn Williamson - Hospitality Chair
My favorite art mediums are egg tempera, colored pencil, and graphite; and my subjects tend to be botanical drawings and pet portraits. My art education began with several studio art courses in college. Much later I participated in short courses and workshops in Atlanta, GA, at the Art Center in Blue Ridge, GA, and at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC. My drawings and paintings are exhibited from time to time in SAAG shows at the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association. I am currently a member of the Board of Directors of BRMAA, and I am Hospitality Chair of SAAG as well as a Signature Member.
Irene Klangos - Facebook Chair and National Juried Show Chair
Southern Appalachian Artist Guild operates as a 501(c)3 non-profit arts organization under the umbrella of the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association