Lynn Beazley Blair knows art. She began studying art in 1981 and won many first place awards, including Best of Show and her work featured in many corporate collections all over the world. Before taking an early retirement and moving to Lake Oconee, Blair ended her career in the corporate world in 1994. Lynn was featured in Georgia Trend Magazine in March 2002 and Women in Business in July 2002, but her heart lay in the beauty that art inspires.
14 years ago, Blair created Magnolia Art Gallery & Custom Framing. The gallery is reminiscent of a New York gallery, full of unique and exclusive art, as well as an atmosphere that cannot be matched.
“When people come in here, there is just so much that they aren't expecting. It is an impressive gallery. The artists are hand selected, and I try to find art that is appealing, sophisticated and beautiful. I have both prints and originals, and everything hanging on the wall is an original,” Blair said.
The prints start at $19 and increase due to size and style. The gallery also includes pieces by Richard Riverin; an artist and paint chemist who makes his own paints and whose style has been celebrated all over the world. He is exclusive to Magnolia Gallery in Georgia. For Riverin enthusiasts, his work can only be found at the gallery. Artist Sandra Witty is also exclusive to Magnolia. The shop also does custom framing.
“My master framer has been framing for 35 years and never makes a mistake. He's absolutely incredible,” Blair said. “The gallery and framing have surpassed my expectations. We have custom frames for every budget, and we can meet any customer's budget.”
Magnolia Gallery is also offering a new delight for customers: art classes. The Beginner Oil Art classes began in late July, but have already been met with rave reviews.
“Classes are held every Wednesday and Thursday from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. At $25 an hour this is a great time to learn to paint. I can teach the basics of how to mix color, create and design your very own painting. We will also have our own artists come in and do random seminars several times during the year. We just started, but we are having so much fun,” Blair said.
The gallery has outgrown three different locations. When Magnolia Gallery first began, the studio sported a mere 600 square feet. In their fourth location, the gallery is an impressive 2500 square feet.
“We have designed it so that it is very aesthetically appealing. The gallery is just lovely. I try to make sure all of my customers feel welcomed, and we even offer our customers wine while they view the artwork. Our hardwood floors and soft colors with music surrounding the customers is such a wonderful viewing experience,” Blair said.
The gallery is also selling handmade fused glass pendants for only $20. “For such a wonderful price, a husband can pick one up for his wife as a perfect, 'Honey, I was thinking of you,' present. They are just gorgeous,” Blair said.
The gallery is also one of the only ones in the area to sell James Audubon's work. The illegitimate son of Lieutenant Jean Audubon, he later went on to become notable for his expansive studies to document all types of American birds. His detailed illustrations that depicted the birds in their natural habitats became coveted. Audubon identified 25 new species and a number of new sub-species, as well as became a celebrated artist known for his attachment to the beauty of nature.
The gallery has outfitted numerous restaurants and sophisticated lodging, such as the Linger Longer Steakhouse, Creek Club and most of the Ritz-Carlton.
The gallery is full-service. Patrons who are having a difficult time choosing a piece can “check out” a piece for the weekend. The gallery will hang the art in the home and customers can decide over a course of time if they feel the piece is meant to be in their home. For customers who instantly fall in love with a piece of artwork, installation is a part of the full gallery service. During the month of August, to celebrate the gallery's 14-year anniversary, customers will receive a special 20 percent off discount.
“This is a place that you don't feel intimidated. It's relaxing and you can wander in and fall in love. We have anything from Norman Rockwell to James Audubon to hand-painted watercolors to prints. We're the place to find beautiful art, something that is a part of you and a piece you will pass on to your children and grandchildren.”
Magnolia Gallery is located at 1020 Parkside Commons Suite 102 in Greensboro, behind Spotlight Theater. The gallery can be reached at (706) 454-5050. For a private appointment after hours, call Lynn Blair at (706) 473-1204.