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 Marla McCormick - Secretary Mary Lightner - Treasurer
Committee Chairs: Luce Van Asten- Hospitality Chair Judy Holland - Membership Chair Luce Van Asten - Away Venue & program Chair - Signature Member Chair Luce Van Asten- Facebook Chair Luce Van Asten - Webmaster
Marie-Luce Van Asten - President and others 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.
Marla J McCormickRita 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.
Marla J McCormick- Secretary
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.
Mary Zoller Lightner - Treasurer
Retirement has provided me with an opportunity to return to a long-lost love; art. When I took a class at the Hohn Campbell Folk School in glass fusing, my passion for glass art was awakened. Ever since then I have been learning as much as I can about this art form, which is a science as well as a creative endeavor.
Judy Holland - Member Chair I am originally from upstate New York, where I learned art and painting from my father and dance from my mother. I have been blessed by many other mentors in art and dance in my life. I found the beautiful mountains of North Carolina in 1971. My degree in Animal Science has served me well as my husband, Wayne and I raised Thoroughbred horses and cattle on our farm in Brasstown.Oil painting has always been my passion and for the last six years I have enjoyed alcohol inks as a fun medium.I thoroughly enjoy the inspiration, support and friendship of all the SAAG members.
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