Hiawassee Festival of Arts 

Each year along the southern shores of Lake Chatuge, cradled between the Chattahoochee and Nantahala National Forest, the North Georgia Mountains celebrate the Arts and the creative spirit of numerous talented artists.

Popular local artists, along with their regional and nationally known colleagues gather together in the enchanted valley of Hiawassee Georgia for a weekend of fun and celebration. Here along the tranquil shoreline of the historic Georgia Mountain Fair Grounds, 100 gifted artists display their creative works and share their talents with guests arriving from both near and far, to partake in an experience that’s both enlightening and inspiring.

Deb Collins of Hiawassee Georgia

The amazing backdrop at this Festival of Arts is enhanced by the crystal clear blue waters of Lake Chatuge, surrounded by the natural beauty of the southern Blue Ridge Mountains. The awe inspiring grandeur of this landscape offers the picture perfect setting for the art festival, creating an exceptional atmosphere where your imagination can roam freely.

The Mountain Art Association chose the Georgia Mountains Fair Grounds to host their Annual Hiawassee Festival of Arts because of its creative, spacious and unique layout. The fairground offers ample parking, a music hall, large open field, and a rhododendron and nature garden with trails overlooking Lake Chatuge and the Blue Ridge Mountains of both Northern Georgia and Western North Carolina.

At the center of the fairgrounds is a grove of large trees densely shading the artist’s booths and the fairways making even a warm summer day comfortable for strolling around and enjoying the creative atmosphere. Scattered amongst the artist’s displays are historical cabins, barns, a blacksmith shop, smoke house, small lumber mill and a large waterwheel offering that quaint mountain feeling.


The shade covered rustic setting of this festival has a style all its own, with jazz technicians jamming on the front porch of a cabin before avenues of excellent art shops.  An old fashioned marketplace presenting a creative union of the arts.

The World Jazz & Music Society provides the outstanding music performed at the Annual Hiawassee Festival of Arts. These excellent musical talents change performers throughout the day during this two-day event, making the atmosphere a complete creative venue.

  (Use the controls to repeat music.)

The success of this yearly festival is due partly to the high caliber of talented artists that the festival attracts. One hundred artists compete at the juried show, receiving recognition, awards and prizes. Many of the artists demonstrated their art during the fair, which always brings additional enjoyment to the festival.

Thanks to the Mountain Arts Association, this successful creative event has grown considerably over the past several years, offering the public an opportunity to enjoy an up-close and personal experience with the artist. This devoted group of volunteers express their love for the arts and their community with a tremendous amount of time and dedication. What impressed the Highlander most about this organization was how well the volunteers worked together to assure a smooth running event, taking time to make sure the artists and visitors alike were enjoying festivities.

The Mountain Arts Association is a not for profit organization committed to presenting a high level of artistry and art appreciation to their community, while encouraging creative young people to pursue their talents through the workshops and educational scholarships they award yearly. The MAA also supports art related exhibitions and educational events in the tri-county area of Towns and Union County Georgia and Clay County North Carolina.

The Mountain Arts Association sponsors free community-wide lecture series with talented artists offering their expertise in oil painting, watercolors, enameling, pottery, glass beading and jewelry making. The Lecture Series is a benefit to the experienced artist seeking to gain additional knowledge, those looking for inspiration in finding their own creative expression and those looking only to appreciate more about the artist as well as the art.

The “Artists of Tomorrow, and the Children Workshop Series,” are personal favorites of the Mountain Arts Association. These two programs were created to increase educational art activities for local youth and encourage talented students to explore the possibilities of their creativity as well as offer young artists exposure to a larger audience.

Hiawassee Festival of Arts "Artists of Tomorrow"

The MAA Children’s Workshop Series hosts several children’s art programs throughout the year, such as a watercolor workshop, basket weaving workshop and holiday workshop.

During this Festival of Arts, artist members of the MAA offer free art workshops at the recently expanded Children’s Pavilion for young artists visiting the festival. This is a wonderful experience in creativity, so bring your children and grandchildren to join in the festivities.

On display throughout the Pavilion Gallery are the winning art works of local 1st through 12th grade students from Towns and Union County Georgia and Clay County North Carolina competing for MAA’s “Artist of Tomorrow” scholarships, cash awards and regional recognition.

The atmosphere at this Festival of Arts is casual, comfortable and professional, offering art enthusiasts the opportunity to enjoy the company of friendly and talented artists, a personal experience to remember.

If you’re looking for a creative outing to attend, come to a Mountain Festival of Arts, and enjoy a day of inspiration along a beautiful mountain lake in a world surrounded by natural and artist-made wonders. The food and refreshments are abundant and the jazz bands play all day long to keep the spirit moving.  

Great art, great jazz and great food make this “Festival of Arts,” an enjoyable affair whether it’s for one day or the entire weekend.  

Plan a weekend in the mountains and enjoy creativity “Mountain Style.”

The Highlander


(Use the controls to repeat music.) The Highlander would like to thank Richard Shulman for allowing us to add a sample of his wonderful music to the story, if you would like to hear more of Richard Shulman's music, click this link.

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