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Hoschton woman trades in business career for a life of art
Linda Tilden’s exhibit is on display until Jan. 30 at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center mini gallery at the Regions Center in downtown Gainesville.

Local artist Linda Tilden’s career can be described as a turn from the business world to art.

“I had a full career in the business world, and then I switched over to art later in my life,” Tilden said. “That’s probably what I should have done to begin with.”

Her career started in the commercial real estate world. Then she switched to working for Upjohn Pharmaceutical Co. Next, she was a manager for a staffing agency followed by a market manager for Sprint.

“I have done a lot of different things,” the 61-year-old Hoschton woman said.

But it was finally motherhood that led her to her final career in art.

Tilden said once she gave birth to her son, Daniel, she decided to homeschool him. When Daniel was in the sixth grade, she enrolled him in Heritage Academy in Atlanta. The university-style school allowed him to attend classes three days a week while Tilden continued to homeschool him for other classes two days a week. This arrangement led Tilden to her new job.

“I started teaching at the school he ended up going to,” she said. “I was the art teacher.”

Now retired from Heritage Academy after seven years, Tilden has made artwork her main focus.

“I’ve taken lots of lessons and I work in oil, pastel, acrylic and charcoal,” she said. “I do a lot of different things.”

As for her pieces, she wants to do “art that says something.”

“It’s either joyful and makes someone smile or it has something to say,” Tilden said. “I don’t really like representative art all that well. I do it just because it’s good training, but I want it say something. I either want the person to be thought-provoked or happy or for it to make a statement.”

She reaches the public with her art thanks to the Quinlan Visual Arts Center’s Mini Gallery at Regions Center at 303 Jesse Jewell Parkway in Gainesville. Her artwork is on display until Jan. 30.

Tilden said her art show is a part of a series involving her cat, Sir Walter.

“I like to do a series with my cat,” she said. “We call him Sir Walter, and we travel all over. Sir Walter passed away last year and one of the pieces there at the show is his make-a-wish. He was with me and I knew he was dying, and I didn’t want him to be sad. We always painted together and he wanted to go snorkeling, so that’s what we did. It’s a memorial to him.”

Shows at the mini gallery feature emerging North Georgia artists, according to a news release from Quinlan. And the Regions Center is happy to accommodate the artists.

“We are big supporters of the Quinlan and the Quinlan’s mission is to support local artists,” said David Abee, representative at the Regions Center.

He explained when Regions was renovating its building, he thought it would be appropriate to have local artwork hanging in the bank’s offices.

“We are a locally focused bank and our local community is very important to us,” he said. “So when people walk into our building here in Gainesville, we wanted them to enjoy the talents of the local artists in our community.”

Tilden has been part of local art community for a few years. She has been a member of the Quinlan and Georgia Art League since 2013.

Tilden describes both organizations as a “jewel right there in the middle of town.”

“It’s a resource that I don’t think many people realize is there,” she said.

To view more of Tilden’s artwork visit