The beauty of art isn’t just its beauty. It’s the story that each piece tells that allows us to connect with its creator’s meaning, purpose and emotion that inspired it. It’s for this reason that Genuine Georgia, located right in the heart of Greensboro - Lake Oconee’s home town - is just as much a treasure trove of stories unique to Georgia as it is an art gallery.
Founded by the Greensboro Downtown Development Authority and later purchased by Cynthia Smith, Genuine Georgia boasts a unique inventory of art straight from the heart and minds of Georgia artists. But it’s probably unfair to label Cynthia the simple title of “owner.” That’s simply her legal relationship with Genuine Georgia. What visitors find in Cynthia is as passionate a curator as you’ll find anywhere in Atlanta, New York or Paris - maybe even more so, since the art she displays tells the stories and the history of her home state.
Take the story of Weymon Miller. A lifelong resident of Greene County, Mr. Miller wove baskets, chair backs and seats well into his 90’s. The beauty and originality of his craftsmanship was that he made his own splints for the baskets and formed each himself from the ribs to the rim. Like so many artists, Mr. Miller’s artisanship wasn’t fully appreciated during his lifetime. According to family, he never even knew that he was an artist. He simply loved his work and his unique process that created it. Hard to find a better definition of art than that.
Walk around Genuine Georgia with Cynthia for a few minutes and she’ll tell dozens of great stories like that of Weymon Miller. From unique tempered glass art to hand crafted bacon cookers, every piece tells a story. And it’s these stories that make each piece so unique. It's also why residents of Greene County and all of Georgia love to take them home and give them as gifts: because they’re genuine, and they’re Georgia.