Living Columns & Blogs

Christmas is in the air!

The Christmas season has officially arrived! Hay House opened its doors Thursday, Nov. 30, for patrons to preview the elaborately decorated interiors for the ruby anniversary of Hay House being listed on the Georgia Trust of Historic Places. Rubies, the appropriate gift for a 40th anniversary, is the theme of this year’s Christmas at Hay House and the many shades of that elegant stone were reflected in each room’s design.

The house will be open through Dec. 31 for tours every day except Christmas; special events for the month include a luncheon on the Dec. 8, a gala on Dec. 13 and a tea party on Dec. 17, which includes a visit from Santa Claus. For tickets contact Hay House at 478-742-8155 or visit the web site,

Shopping intown and downtown

For those of you who remember shopping in downtown Macon before a mall was even a twinkle in the eye of a developer, First Friday was a reminder of what fun Christmas shopping can be when all of the stores are open past normal business hours.

Mary Pinson’s Floral Studio, home to the lavish event planning by the owner, is also a gift shop for unusual accessories geared to the flower lover. On Dec. 1, Pinson collaborated with painter, Maureen Persons, owner of Coulby Glen Studio in north Macon, for the sensory experience of interpreting each others’ work – Pinson fashioning arrangements based on Persons’ subject matter and Persons translating Pinson’s floral arrangements on canvas.

The delightful results were displayed in the studio for admiring fans of the work of both artists. However, the surprise of the evening was the unveiling of a portrait of Pinson at work in the studio, painted by her artistic partner, which left her speechless.

Handcrafted jewelry by Miki Leigh, in semi-precious and familiar metals and stones, was a popular item at the Pinson studio, just in time for Christmas gifts for women who appreciate one-of-a-kind accessories. Leigh sells at pop-up locations and can be reached on Facebook, mikileighstudios or by phone, (478) 342-2436.

The Gallery at Macon Arts Alliance was bustling with holiday shoppers on First Friday, however, the big announcement for the week, on Nov. 30, was the results from the Downtown Challenge grant, secured by Macon Arts and Marlon Baldwin through the Community Foundation of Middle Georgia. The public was invited to see the murals on the walls of the transfer station for the Macon Transit Authority at the old Terminal Station.

The murals feature the work of three Macon artists – Mary Frances Burt, Isaac Ramsey and Christopher Logan – all of whom worked alone and with volunteer artists. The work is not complete and all three muralists are encouraging interested parties to contact them to contribute their talents to the completion of the project.

At the 567 Center for Renewal on First Friday, the “My Favorite Things” exhibition included pottery, paintings and stained glass pieces. Patrick Madison, whose degree is in urban planning, is inspired by the late architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, in his work with stained glass. The techniques he has learned by doing, for he is a self taught stained glass artist – his layering of glass reflects his appreciation for Louis Comfort Tiffany’s rich colorations which were unique at the time to Tiffany.

Christen Holloway, a potter and a painter that participated in the 567 show, considers herself a folk artist whose work is influenced by her rural upbringing and (I would add) by her own droll sense of humor. Her paintings of cats will make cat lovers laugh out loud —with titles like “Holy Persimmons Cat!” and “Tom Cat Tally.” These paintings would be perfect for the cat people on your gift list.

The quirky faces and the body language of the people Bryan Finch paints could be the thoughts in a bubble over one’s head when people-watching on the street. The seemingly simplistic technique belies the details observed by an astute painter that uses posture and color to convey his stories on canvas. These are only a few artists that are part of the exhibit that will be in the 567 gallery through the end of the month.

Katherine Walden is a freelance writer and interior designer in Macon. Contact her at 478-742-2224 or