Dawsonville’s Ultimate Folk Art Gallery Destination
Founder and proprietor of Rocky’s Place, Tracey Burnette, can barely believe 20 years has flown by since she took the leap and turned an old mower shed into an art gallery in her backyard. At the time, she was a public school art teacher with a passion for throwing and collecting pottery. She had a vivid dream urging her to create the gallery one night, shortly after her beloved Pekingese of 13 years, Rocky, passed away.
Beginning with nothing more than a dream and a namesake, Tracey’s collection surpassed much more than a love of face jugs and she grew personal connections in the southern folk art community. Once she started buying paintings, she realized she’d have to expand, and the humble beginnings of one backyard gallery space quickly drove a need for two display spaces. Now, when visitors make touring appointments, she lovingly refers to the buildings as the “Appetizer,” full of smaller pieces and hand-made ornaments, and the larger space is the “Main Course,” where she houses mammoth works from the likes of folk art favorites, Cornbread, Mose Tolliver, and Howard Finster.
This Dawsonville gem is an immersive experience, and people come from all over to see one-of-a-kind finds from self-taught folk artists who remained faithful to the art genre by painting on cabinet doors with Georgia red clay or discounted house paint, usually opting to use their fingers over paint brushes.
In true folk art fashion, the paintings hang on 9’ metal center panels and a chain link fence inner wall of the gallery. Rocky’s Place currently houses different styles of folk and outsider art, including works from painters, potters, wood carvers, metal sculptors, and more. Within those styles, Tracey proudly displays over 250 artists.
After 20 years, Rocky’s Place is still one of North Georgia’s largest folk art galleries, boasting thousands of unique pieces and the largest collection of artwork by Cornbread in the universe! If you find yourself headed that way, we highly recommend you make an appointment to visit Tracey and hear her first-hand account of folk art’s rich history in Georgia and beyond.
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