Georgia Artisan Center opens in Perry CVB

awoolen@macon.comDecember 18, 2013 

PERRY -- In one corner sits a guitar made from abandoned car engine parts. Near the opposite wall are hand-carved cutting boards.

The displays are part of the new Georgia Artisan Center at the Perry Convention and Visitors Bureau. A ribbon cutting was held for the center Dec. 10.

Currently, the space houses 32 artists from Georgia. Wares include blown glass, food items, jewelry, carved eggs and photography.

“We have a number of unique items,” said Bill Loudermilk, one of the board members for the center.

The number of artists is expected to grow as word gets out.

Loudermilk envisions eventually having a standalone building with hundreds of displays and Georgia crafts.

During his travels, Loudermilk has been to several state artisan centers and believes Georgia has enough talent to fill a much larger area.

As part of the CVB, the Georgia Artisan Center is located close to the interstate, which makes it ideal for those who are just headed to town as well as those people who look for local crafts.

“This is our toddler step into the arena,” Loudermilk said.

Already the room is nearly at capacity. Some of the art is being displayed in the lobby of the CVB.

Local artists as well as a few from as far away as Calhoun and Tifton are featured at the artisan center.

The center is a partnership between the CVB and the artisan center task force, which is composed of 11 members.

“It is a great mix of people with lots of different ideas,” Loudermilk said.

The task force selects each item that goes in the store to make sure there are no duplicates in products.

Profits made from the sales of the items are split with the visitors bureau, whose staff are used to ring up sales.

The city of Perry gave the project a $6,000 grant that was used to refurbish the space with shelves and lighting to better display the pieces.

Prices in the store range from less than $5 to up in the thousands.

The center is open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

For more information, call 478-988-8000 or visit

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