Georgia’s largest pottery showcase and sale is on the horizon! PERSPECTIVES: Georgia Pottery Invitational is a Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 Event hosted by the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation (OCAF). The 20-day event in Watkinsville features pottery exhibits, demonstrations and studio tours. From Aug. 26 to Sept. 14, 2016, artists and art lovers will experience a showcase of 6,000 handmade, functional pieces by 50 Georgia potters. Here’s a weekend guide to Georgia’s premier pottery event of the year.
Where to Stay
Just a short walk from OCAF is the Ashford Manor Bed & Breakfast. Listed as one of the top inns to stay in Georgia, the bed and breakfast provides an inviting and relaxing environment with a pool and beautiful garden. The Victorian-style manor also features themed rooms raved about by national and international guests.
For a traditional lodging experience, the award-winning Springhill Suites by Marriott Athens is located just a few short miles from OCAF with on-site and off-site gym and pool access. Book your room soon; the popular hotel fills fast!
What to Do
On Friday, arrive at your hotel to view the three-part pottery exhibit and purchase one-of-a-kind pieces. Items will include mugs, cooking dishes, tea pots, large pots and much more. The Opening Gala will take place on Aug. 26 at Rocket Hall. Enjoy refreshments and live jazz music performed by local band Period Six. The opening reception is an exclusive opportunity to view and purchase pottery before the exhibits are open to the public.
After a full breakfast complimentary of your stay, head over to the Rocket Hall Courtyard, where potters will perform pottery demonstrations focused on wheel throwing and hand building techniques. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 27-28, renowned artist Kevin Snipes will lead a hands-on pottery workshop on pottery form and surface.
In your free time, enjoy shopping in Historic Downtown Watkinsville with unique shops that feature art galleries, clothes and accessories, home and garden décor, antiques and more. You can also explore popular lunch options in the area like unique burgers at The Traveling Hobo Café, ribs at JB’s Smokin’ Barbeque and a classic BBQ sandwich at Hot Thomas BBQ. End the night with dinner at Chops & Hops, an unforgettable fine dining experience. For more dining options, visit visitoconee.com/dining.
Wake up to Sunday brunch at Girasoles with Mexican-Mediterranean fused dishes crafted by Chef Zambrano. On Sept. 3 and Sept. 10, well-known Georgia potter Michael Pitts will host Gallery Talks with discussions on pottery styles, clays, glazes, and firing techniques.
Finally, a serene view and a classic photo at the Elder Mill Covered Bridge is the perfect way to end your trip before traveling home.
For more information on PERSPECTIVES, visit visitoconee.com/perspectives.
Raquel Cobb is the marketing coordinator for the Oconee County Welcome Center. Graduating from Clemson University in 2015 with a degree in communication studies, Raquel is the voice behind Oconee’s social media channels and travel blog. Growing up a few miles outside of Oconee County, Raquel enjoys the small town charm Watkinsville and her hometown offers.