North Georgia is the home to so many waterfalls that some say the original name for the region in Cherokee translates roughly into “Land of a Thousand Waterfalls.” Now through August 9th plein air paintings of over two dozen of them can be seen at the Sautee Nacoochee Cultural Center in White County.
In 2018 local artist Jennifer Long Herrera saw an online list of popular northeast Georgia waterfalls and decided to try and visit them all. Inspired by their beauty she started doing small sketches. She soon moved from pencils to oil pastels, then started filling her backpack with the supplies to create full color acrylic paintings on site. Now almost every weekend, weather permitting, she hikes to an area waterfall and spends a couple of hours painting.
From July 3rd through August 9th Jennifer’s waterfall paintings, as well as a selection of her drawings and sculpture, will be on display in the Sautee Nacoochee Cultural Center’s Hallway Gallery. The exhibit, titled “Falling Water and Fanciful Flights,” features paintings of 38 waterfalls located in northeast Georgia. Most were painted entirely on site in two to three hours.
Jennifer finds the combination of fresh air, exercise, negative ions, and the challenge of trying to capture constantly moving beauty with paint on paper to be a blissful experience. Luckily the area still has many more waterfalls to explore. After visiting the most well-known waterfall trails Jennifer discovered the website www.gawaterfalls.com that lists GPS coordinates and directions to over 450 north Georgia falls, many that do not have official trails leading to them. During this time of social distancing she has focused on the waterfalls closest to her home in Mount Airy, mainly exploring and painting the ones located in the Lake Russell Wildlife Management Area.
The Sautee Nacoochee Center is open following CDC and OSHA Guidelines for Phase 2 Opening as defined by the State of Georgia. It is located at 283 Highway 255 North, Sautee Nacoochee, Georgia 30571. Hours of operation are Monday – Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM and Sunday 1 – 5 PM. Current Social Distancing Guidelines do not permit a traditional opening reception for this exhibition, however Jennifer will be at the gallery for informal “Meet the Artist” afternoons on Saturday, July 11 and Sunday, July 26th from 2:00 to 5:00 pm. She will be pleased to talk about her process and the inspiration behind her work.
Further information about the Sautee Nacoochee Center can be found at https://snca.org/