Newsletter – February 2019

Greetings all!

Yes, it has been a while since we’ve posted here.  We plan to keep our Facebook page, website, and mailing list active.  Even if we don’t have the market in the yard as we’d hoped, we will stay in touch and have events and share ideas.  In conjunction with hosting the Artisan Market, for the last 3 years I wrote a column for the Norcross Times, a bi-monthly small town newsletter.  The editor Bill Barks decided to step down due to health issues (at the age of 80 – I believe) and sadly the last issue was never published.  Since we have a platform here, and plan to continue to connect with our members and fans (and reach out to new artisans) I will publish my column here. It will explain what happened with the Artisan Market, as well as covering other art events.  Keep in mind I wrote this at the end of December.


My Side of the Tracks

Susan Rohrabaugh

I’m wrapping Christmas presents as I write this – I suppose my last column. Wrap a little, write a little. Always a procrastinator on both counts. Just ask Bill Barks, the editor of the Norcross Times for these past several years. Even though this is a volunteer position the deadlines are still a reality and I frequently get the phone call,  “I need your article!”

2016 Making banners for the Artisan Market

I began writing this column in early 2016 when several local artisans were expressing interest in participating in a monthly market featuring hand made, home grown, lovingly produced items- just like in the olden days. This would be held in my yard on Thrasher Street (on the site of the old Brunswick Hotel). At the initial meeting we discussed advertising, and it came up through one of our local artists Angie Allen (a Potter) that Bill Barks was looking for someone to write the arts and entertainment column for the Norcross Times. As the unofficial leader of the group, amateur artist, musician and writer of essays, (at least in college) it seemed a natural fit for me to take on the column. It has been my pleasure to add my quirky take on arts in the city (and life’s rhythms in general) from My Side of the Tracks, so to speak. Also a chance to let me express myself and let people get to know me, introvert that I am. Yes I know I dance in a way that “they can see me from Duluth”, and I play ukulele on my porch, and sometimes horn in on other people’s acts, but still essentially an introvert.

I want to thank Bill and Julie Barks for their years of dedication to the citizens of Norcross by producing this newsletter and providing a perspective that couldn’t have been found elsewhere.

Please take some time to visit the O Gallery in the heart of historic Norcross. The gallery itself is charming, in a 100 year old building with wood floors and exposed brick. Just the perfect backdrop for these bold colorful paintings created by Rosa Obregon, one of the owners. She is also well known for pet portraits done in this same graphic abstract style. “We focus on local, yet international artists”, says Jack Petras, the other half of the husband/wife team that own the gallery.  He means that they currently feature artists from Cuba, Russia, Venezuela, Mexico and Germany that reside in the Atlanta area. Lots of beautiful things can be found here, something for every budget. They have classes and events, and stay open late. Check out for more.

Take note of the Art Installations around town. The “Greetings from Norcross” mural on Paizanos seemed to inspire the Pop up Park to maximize visibility. You can enjoy the sunshine as you watch the town bustle by. The city of Norcross provides many opportunities for the arts, and I encourage everyone to participate in, appreciate, and support the arts, and remember to feed your inner child.

Here are some ways you can do it:

  • Look for the couples Valentine’s social painting event coming up in February at the O Gallery
  • Make photographs of winter scenes, highlighting blasts of color contrasted against bleak backgrounds.
  • Make a gourmet-ish meal. It takes time, and requires thoughtful preparation but your home will smell great, and the feeling of artistry and accomplishment is great.
  • Support your local businesses, especially those that have an artistic flair.
  • Have some friends over for a night of socializing and making an art project. Doesn’t have to be professional, just let it happen.
  • Have a drum circle. Cmon, you know you want to.


Another new store in town is one of my favorites. Jason and Tanya Caldwell are beloved among fans of the Lionheart Theatre, and many have seen their work with upcycled furniture and antique tools turned into cute, clever, useful items. I’m so glad that they have a store after admiring their work at local markets. See these examples:

Whatever happened to…

I just want people to make things

So whatever happened with that Artisan Market that started me on this path? A brand new ordinance was written just for it. Unfortunately it would have to be run like a business, with one small sign (no colorful banners) and no amplified music.  The hoopla was a big part of the draw, so…the story at this time is that there are no plans to continue the Peach Blossom Artisan Market.  However, who knows what the future holds… Say hello to the “Brunswick Top of the Town” which is what I named our garage located on the historic Brunswick Hotel property.  It has also been called “Garage-mahal” and “Mike’s Big ‘Ol Doghouse” This will be an awesome space with a great view, hence the name.  As always the Rohrabaughs will be welcoming and gracious hosts.

Note to our friends

We have not been in touch for some time and are now restoring our mailing list. If you no longer wish to receive updates from Peach Blossom Artists, please send us a note via our Contact page:

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