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Library pays homage to Kollock
Late storyteller and artist honored at annual luncheon
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The late artist John Kollock, seen in October 2013, is being honored for his impact on the area at the Book and Author Luncheon in Demorest.

Annual Book and Author Luncheon
When: Noon Saturday, March 5
Where: Commons Building, Piedmont College, 1021 Central Ave., Demorest
Cost: $25
More info: 706-754-4414

John Kollock loved North Georgia and his life’s work showed it.

This year, The Friends of the Clarkesville-Habersham County Library are honoring the man who had such an impact on the area with his art at its annual Book and Author Luncheon.

Kollock, who died in 2014, is known as a storytelling artist who was able to uniquely capture the spirit of the Northeast Georgia mountains and its people. He wrote and illustrated a number of books, as well as narrated the CD travel guide “Experience Northeast Georgia — John Kollock’s guide to 75 Special Places.” He was also the man behind the renovation of Helen into a Bavarian-themed community in 1969.

“John Kollock was — and still is — tremendously important for this area as an artist and also as someone who recorded uniquely in images and in words the history and the stories of Northeast Georgia, and so he means something to all of us,” said Ann Willis, event coordinator.

The Friends of the Clarkesville-Habersham County Library’s tribute to Kollock is set for noon Saturday, March 5, in the Commons Building on the campus of Piedmont College in Demorest.

Tickets to The Friends of the Clarkesville-Habersham County Library’s annual Book and Author Luncheon are $25 and include a buffet luncheon. To purchase tickets, contact the Clarkesville Habersham-County Library at 706-754-4413 by Saturday, Feb. 27.

“This is an opportunity for everybody to come together to learn more about John Kollock and the impact he had in the region and indeed all the way down to the local community here, and to celebrate him at this event,” Willis said.

Local author and historian Emory Jones, who worked on several projects with Kollock, will speak at the tribute.

 “It’s really quite an honor to be asked to do this,” Jones said. “He was just so much a part of North Georgia and he did so much for North Georgia. I think all the things that I’ve done, I probably couldn’t have done them without his help and encouragement.”

Jones’ works include the novel “The Valley Where they Danced” and the documentary “Memories of a Mountain Shortline.” He will share stories of his adventures and friendship with Kollock and how Kollock made a difference in the region.

“We want to have fun with this and honor his memory,” Jones said. “He and I had fun, too; we did a lot of laughing.”

In addition to Kollock’s laugh, Jones recalls Kollock’s voice, describing it as amazing. He plans to play audio and visual clips of Kollock during his speech.

“So he’ll be there in spirit and in voice at the luncheon,” he said.

Numerous photographs, sketches and personal items will also be on display at the tribute.

“It’s a little mix to get to know the man, the artist, the author — and a little bit more than just looking at his paintings,” Willis said.

She described Kollock’s work as giving his audience a very special sense of place, adding it should be treasured, enjoyed and shared with as many people as possible.

The Friends of the Clarkesville-Habersham County Library have been having the annual luncheons honoring local figures since the late 1990s.

Regional events