Situated just south of downtown Alpharetta on Highway 9, Matilda’s Cottage is a happy jumble of color and “rural chic” charm. The gallery was originally established in the late 1990’s by MJ and Mark Potter as a collaborative retail space of art, antiques, and funky junk shared by local entrepeneurs who rented rooms in the house. Over time it has become more of a pure art gallery, though hardly a traditional one. The converted first floor of the cottage houses a joyous cacophony of impressive creativity, with paintings, iron sculptures, hammered metal installations and other pieces spilling merrily from one room to the next.
One morning while listening to music in the backyard behind the gallery, MJ noticed that the trees and shape of the place seemed to enhance her listening experience. A couple of years later the Potters found the resources to start a music venue on the property. They have been hosting the Matilda’s Under The Pines summer concert series ever since.
Matilda’s summer concert series runs from May to August, when school is out and the weather is reliably good (with the exception of the odd late afternoon Georgia thunderstorm). Past seasons have featured many favorites from the Atlanta and North Fulton singer/songwriter community including veterans of cherished Atlanta live music venues like Eddie’s Attic and Red Clay Theater. This season features many talented local acts including Gibson Wilbanks and Gareth Asher, as well as up-and-coming Alpharetta pop rockers Starting Fires. You can see the complete season schedule and buy tickets at www.matildascottage.com.
Matilda’s has steadily grown in popularity over the years because it fits perfectly with the family-centric vibe of North Fulton. As an “all ages” venue, artists and fans alike can bring their entire families out to enjoy the natural surroundings and appreciate the local musical and artistic talent on display without traveling too far or dealing with the more negative aspects of attending events in Atlanta. “This is a place where families can appreciate art together, in all of its forms,” says MJ. “We are happy to help spread some color and happy noise to the local community.”
After operating a showroom for a number of years in Roswell on Canton Street MJ has recently consolidated her collections and business back to the original building on Highway 9, where her artistic heart has really always been. If you stop in for a show or to check out the pieces on display, you might find your own heart skipping in time to the funky beat coursing through the walls and the backtrack pines of this great local art spot.
Blog by Brian Johnson, former Owner (2011-2016), North Fulton School of Music