Tag Archives: Georgia Folk Art

Randolph Cemetery, Harrisburg

Randolph Cemetery, set on a precipitous hillside southwest of Milledgeville, has the appearance of a typical early-20th-century African-American burying ground, with many handmade headstones and grave markers sourced from local materials. This monumental folk art arch makes it anything but a typical cemetery. [It might also be of interest that it is believed that a descendant of one of George Washington’s slaves is buried here].

The top of the arch contains relief carvings of oak leaves, plus some possible clues about the builder. Below a random series of letters and numbers [K PL47, perhaps designating Knights of Pythias Lodge 47?] and the phrase “He Watches Over Me” is what appears to be the date 1923 and the initials F B and ARB. It’s possible that the B is for Brown, as there are several Browns in this cemetery, but that is only a guess.

On both sides of the arch, there are relief depictions of traditional miners’ tools.
Considering that mining activity has persisted for the better part of two centuries in this area, it’s possible the builder was involved in the industry in some way. I even believe he may have used rock from his job in the construction of the arch. The shovel on the right (above) also has initials ending with the letter “B”.
Nearly as fascinating as the arch is this adjacent headstone for Cora Randolph (31 December 1875?-26 July 1924). If you look closely at the top of the marker you will see a handprint to the left. I’m grateful to my friend Cynthia Jennings, who has documented cemeteries in all 159 Georgia counties and has a particular interest in African-American cemeteries, for suggesting I find this place. It immediately became one of my favorite African-American cemeteries and I hope to learn more about the arch. It’s among the most important vernacular funerary monuments in Georgia.

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Filed under --BALDWIN COUNTY GA--, Harrisburg GA

Recycled Sculptures at Sunrise Farm, Warren County

These recycled iron/scrap sculptures represent mythological and real creatures. I’m not sure who the artist is, but it may be farm owner Mark Chalker. You can’t help but notice them as you drive past.

Sea Horse

Sea Turtles

Octopus

Phoenix, or Firebird. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but the Phoenix is mine. (The octopus came in a close second).

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Filed under --WARREN COUNTY GA--

Uncle Remus Museum, 1963, Eatonton

Constructed from derelict slave cabins, the Uncle Remus Museum opened in Eatonton in 1963. Its location, Turner Park, was the boyhood homeplace of Joseph Sidney Turner, the inspiration for the “little boy” to whom “Uncle Remus” relayed all his critter stories in Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings (1880) and later works. Turner’s father, Joseph Addison Turner, owned Turnwold Plantation where Harris apprenticed as a teenager during the Civil War. A reconstructed blacksmith shop is also located in the park.

Carvings of many of the animal characters populate the grounds, which are a delight to walk around. I’m not sure who did all of these wonderful wood sculptures, but they’re a wonderful addition to the property. And forgive me if I confuse Bre’r Fox and Bre’r Wolf!

Bre’r Fox

Bre’r Wolf

Bre’r Bear

Bre’r Tarrypin

And last, but certainly not least, Bre’r Rabbit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under --PUTNAM COUNTY GA--, Eatonton GA

General Store, Roopville

The restoration of this false-front building incorporates folk art and commercial elements. It was likely a general store or warehouse.

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Filed under --CARROLL COUNTY GA--, Roopville GA

Whirligig, Roopville

Of all the colorful arts and crafts on display in Roopville, I think this whirligig was my favorite.

 

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Filed under --CARROLL COUNTY GA--, Roopville GA

Poole’s Bar-B-Q & Pig Hill of Fame, East Ellijay

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A favorite with tourists and locals alike, Poole’s Bar-B-Q has become a world-famous attraction in the mountain town of East Ellijay. Oscar and Edna Poole opened the restaurant in 1989. It started in a roadside shack but now occupies this building, known as the “Taj-Ma-Hog”.

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Pig cut-outs, arranged in the shape of a pig, adorn the hill behind the restaurant known as the “Pig Hill of Fame”.

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Pig-related names abound.

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The Pig Hill of Fame started with just 300 cut-outs but now features over 3000.

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Poole’s Bar-B-Q probably doesn’t need to advertise, but these crazy cars do a good job.

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The pig kitsch is a lot of fun. Like the old saying of eating everything but the squeal, Poole’s uses decorative pigs in every possible way.

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One of my favorite things, though, was Porky, a child’s ride of the kind you’d find outside dime stores a couple of generations ago.

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Filed under --GILMER COUNTY GA--, East Ellijay GA

Bellton Post Office, Lula

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Before it was absorbed by Lula in the 1950s, this community was known as Bellton. This was the post office.

 

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Filed under --HALL COUNTY GA--, Bellton GA, Lula GA

Salvation Mural, Canon

Canon GA Downtown Mural of Jesus Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

He Died for You. Will You Live for Him

This may have been painted by the same artist who did the other mural of Jesus in Canon.

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Filed under --FRANKLIN COUNTY GA--, Canon GA

Jesus Mural, Canon

Canon GA Jesus Mural Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

This mural is always a wonderful welcome to the little town of Canon. The weather was bad on this trip, so I was unable to photograph the historic churches just past here. I’ll be back, though.

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Filed under --FRANKLIN COUNTY GA--, Canon GA

Art House, Carlton

Folk Art House Carlton GA Madison County Outsider Art Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

This circa 1894 gabled-ell cottage is the home of Mike Jones and Stephanie Astalos-Jones. Stephanie writes: All the art here IS for sale. There is a small sign on the corner of Lexington and Highway 72 that says “art for sale” and points this way…Our hope is that our house is known as an art house where people can come and find original art.

Folk Art House Carlton GA Madison County Outsider Art Red Hand on Tree Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

It was hard not to stop after seeing this big hand on a tree in the yard.

Folk Art House Carlton GA Madison County Stencils Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing NOrth Georgia USA 2015

Regarding the beautiful decoration of the house, Stephanie explains: Every bit of that is hand painted. I’m a pysanky artist (batik work on egg shell) and I wanted to put pysanky style artwork on the house. I’m also a professional actor

Folk Art House Carlton GA Madison County Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

There were three sculptures in the yard, and the remains of an old tuba attached to a post. Stephanie notes: My husband is a sculptor and a jazz saxophone player. Those are his pieces you show in the yard. It’s nice to see them again since all are sold now.

Carlton GA Madison County Outsider Art Sculptures Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

The sculptures first made me think of Cycladic art, but they have Polynesian and mythological influences, as well.

Outsider Art Stone Scullpture Carlton GA Madison County Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

Outsider Art Sculpture Whimsical Carlton Madison County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

Outsider Art Sculpture Carlton GA Madison County Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

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Filed under --MADISON COUNTY GA--, Carlton GA