Metal Arts Guild of Georgia Historical Overview
In 1998, a group of likeminded metalsmiths, feeling the need for an organization to mentor, network, and nurture their interests in learning and mastery of metal art techniques, established the Georgia Goldsmith’s Group, now known as The Metal Arts Guild of Georgia.
For the first 20 years, the membership ranks grew, as well as the programs and the Guild assets. The Guild brought a steady stream of world-renowned artists to Atlanta to teach a range of workshops for members. In addition, the Guild arranged for member participation in local festivals, organized tool and stone swaps, tours of local galleries, and built an inventory of tools and equipment to support member’s increasing needs. All through this period they were a band of ‘roaming artisans’, pitching tents and setting up tables and tool stations wherever they could find workshop space at reasonable cost.
Several visionary members saw the value of establishing a physical home. In May, 2015 the Guild became a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. A location was leased and the space built out specifically for metalsmithing endeavors. November 2016 marked the Grand Opening and offered even greater value for members. Four “member studios” were created as well as the establishment of the best equipped metalsmithing studio in the region. Class and workshop offerings increased markedly and the First ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE program of its kind in Georgia, and perhaps even in the southeast, was established. Creativity has been fostered via regular Design Challenges and MAGG has a robust collaboration with the Atlanta Contemporary Jewelry Show as well as hosting its own annual Art Jewelry Sip and Shop, where members showcase and sell their creations.
Despite the pandemic, MAGG was able to pivot to both virtual and in person classes, hosting twelve 6 sessions classes at various levels of experience, 14 workshops, and supporting a small business on site.
The future continues to look bright for MAGG with a new logo and building signage, a robust class and workshop schedule for 2022, a planned Lecture Series, and an ever growing membership of metalsmiths with diverse skills and interests.