After exiting I-575 in Ball Ground, you travel along a road that cascades slowly through a canopy of trees to open fields. As you descend the curving road, you admire the rolling landscape before making a turn into the driveway of the Art of Living Ministries Art Barn and Retreat House.
Once inside the warmth of the two-story Retreat House, located on 40 acres at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, you find that the spacious Art Barn offers a welcoming atmosphere that inspires creativity.
In 1994, the Art of Living Ministries was born to provide the arts as a form of therapeutic medicine for groups such as nursing homes, senior centers, veterans, special needs, drug and alcohol rehab communities, and local charities.
Since 2000, the organization’s artisans and volunteers have been offering overall wellness salvations for people throughout the region. They nurture the spirit of individuals, supplying refreshment and a pathway for restoration through art, music, recreation, and nature programs. Artisans and volunteers impart tools in the art of living to create a community of hope.
Beyond the walls of the Art Barn, the Art of Living Ministries offers a mobile art studio called “VAN-GO!” that allows local artists to bring classes directly to facilities. Yes, art does heal.
Founder and Therapeutic Arts Specialist Patricia Reeves knows firsthand how art heals, and that is why she is so committed to sharing art with others.
“We are passionate about bringing ‘soul food through the arts’ to those who might normally have no outlet for creativity in their daily lives,” said Reeves.
The Art of Living Ministries also hosts fundraisers, such as last month’s Artwork & Pickleball Open House, during which attendees took selfies with Santa, purchased original paintings and artwork from local artisans, and enjoyed a free pickleball workshop at the picturesque tennis court and pavilion. Former Association of Tennis Professionals and Georgia Tennis Hall of Fame inductee Ryan Blake volunteered his services for the event while promoting the tennis/pickleball court.
“This has been an unbelievable experience helping put together this program while Signature Tennis volunteered their resources to renovate the tennis court as well as line the two pickleball courts,” said Blake.
The public can rent the courts hourly or for the day. “Having access to your own private court(s) with these views is incredible,” added Blake.
Furthermore, the Art Barn/Retreat House is open for booking retreats, camping, and hiking with access to over 300 acres of trails.
The Art of Living Ministries believes in using the arts to restore the spirit.
“We feel we are the perfect venue for charitable organizations in ministries for restoration and refreshment,” Reeves said.
Art of Living Ministries Art Barn and Retreat House
1600 Howell Bridge Road
Ball Ground, GA