Flushes and Brushes

Flushes and Brushes

Georgia Town Celebrates Wildlife Through Artworks

By John N. Felsher

As nature began its autumn show of changing foliage colors, the town of Thomasville, Georgia, celebrates its the 28th annual Thomasville Wildlife Arts Festival to kick off quail season. The 2023 festival runs November 9 through November 19 in conjunction with the Georgia quail season opening on November 18. Quail season ends February 29, 2024. Many plantations in southern Georgia offer outstanding quail hunting opportunities. Outdoors folks can walk the fields behind their dogs on opening morning and view exquisite artworks in the afternoon.

“Thomasville has a long history of artisans appreciating the land and the beautiful culture of celebrating wildlife,” explains Mariam Mirabzadeh, director of the Thomasville Center for the Arts, which hosts the festival. “We thought holding an arts festival would be a wonderful opportunity to bring it all together under one package. People who come to enjoy sporting adventures can also come to admire the beautiful art that does such a wonderful job of portraying that culture and the special ecosystems that we celebrate here. The art festival brings shoppers, diners, lodgers, and people who participate in hunting packages to our community.”

The event, which dates back to 1995, officially opens with a public art unveiling featuring a sculpture. It will be on display in Jackson Street in downtown Thomasville for the next year. Throughout the Georgia town, many shops and restaurants in the downtown area display artwork during the festival.

“We have multiple locations all over the Red Hills Region involved in the festival,” Mirabzadeh says. “Nearly 100 artists will come to the festival over the 10 days. In 2022, more than 3,000 people came into our community to attend the festival.”

Besides viewing art, visitors and residents participate in many other events and social occasions throughout the festival. Off-road enthusiasts can sign up to participate in the Red Hills Rover Rally. Some events require tickets to enter, but other events open to the public free of charge.

“The Red Hills Rover Rally is always a fun event,” Mirabzadeh says. “It’s a guided off-road trail riding adventure through some of the region’s most iconic and historic private plantation properties with curated moments and demonstrations along the way.”

The main event, a free Fine Arts Show, takes place November 18-19 at the Thomasville Center for the Arts and features works of artisans from different disciplines, including painters, sculptors, jewelry makers, and others. During that time, young people can participate in various youth workshops.

“Many familiar faces will be participating in the Fine Arts Show this year, as well as some new artists and designers,” Mirabzadeh says. “About 55 artists will display their works on the walls. Brennan Seward will be our featured artist. He has been a favorite artist coming to the show for several years. He’s an incredible pen and ink artist. He spent time after the end of the last quail season turning what he saw into beautiful depictions in celebration of wildlife.”

While in town, guests can visit the Big Oak, a giant live oak more than 335 years old still growing at the corner of E. Monroe and Crawford Streets. It’s also an ideal time to tour the Thomasville Rose Garden, which sits in the five-acre Cherokee Lake Park at 420 Covington Ave. or to take a tour of the Pebble Hill Plantation, which boasts a beautiful private art collection. Among the original artwork there are pieces by naturalist John James Audubon. The first house built on the property dated to 1825.

For schedules, tickets and more festival information, see thomasvillearts.org/wildlife-arts-festival or call 229-226-0588. For area information, see thomasvillega.com or call 229-228-7977.
Back to blog