Character Profiles

Art Millican Jr. – It’s a Small World

Step into Art Millican Jr.’s magical world at Sleepy Hollow, a fairytale land of fanciful gardens and enchanted dwellings where hobbits, gnomes and gremlins seem right at home. A former senior artist and model-maker with Disney, Millican has created a “magic kingdom” with colorful storybook houses stepping up the hill to his studio. Inside, the spell extends right into the woodworking shop where fairytale huts, gnome homes, gypsy wagons and hillbilly houses are custom-designed and built, their trim and adornments handpicked and hand-painted, and whose design principle is dictated purely by whimsy.

706-379-9622; Art Millican ; or contact Cindy Williams .


Al Ganto - Sculptor with ‘kinetic’ energy

Blairsville native Al Garnto is a kinetic sculptor and painter whose work encompasses recycled materials and includes everything from large scale mixed media paintings to kinetic sculptures, art pieces made from recycled materials and then put into motion by harnessing the wind’s energy. Some of Garnto’s sculptures may be seen at Meeks Park, about one mile west of town. Garnto is also known for his Nottely River Series of Giclée paintings and watercolors (Giclée is a French term meaning to spray or squirt), taking his inspiration from the place where he swam, rafted and fished as a child. ; or contact Cindy Willaims .


Train Man

The Misty Mountain Model Railroad in Blairsville, Ga., was never meant to be seen by the public. Charles Griffin made it for his family, but the intricately designed railroad layout with its dozens of vignettes of historic towns, buildings and monuments is seen by thousands of visitors every year – visitors who are free to walk over rivers and duck beneath track at what has become America’s largest 0-gauge train display, featuring a 3,400-square foot layout with 14 Lionel trains traveling on 5,280 feet of track over 12 bridges and four trestles and through 15 tunnels. Griffin, the engineer and head tour guide, will point out the Biltmore Estate, Georgia’s capital dome, the former Atlanta Railroad Station, Gone With the Wind’s Tara, a number of Georgia mountain towns while sharing charming and very funny anecdotes – and explaining how his hobby grew into a regional attraction.

706-745-9819 or contact Cindy Williams