Greg Horton was not the type of person to seek the spotlight. Somehow, though, it found him. Not in a flashy way, but in the steady way he quietly stepped up to fill the needs he saw in his community.
After years of selling his barnwood products on consignment and at craft fairs, he and his partner Roger Custin decided to put down roots and open a storefront in Stockbridge. They took an old restaurant in Historic Downtown Stockbridge and turned it into BarnBeautitul, a showpiece and a destination for the downtown district.
It did not take long after opening for them to make a wider impact in their community. Greg joined the Stockbridge Main Street Board, formed close relationships with other Stockbridge small businesses, and constructed several Little Free Libraries, which he also painted and maintained. He also partnered with Visit Henry County, GA, on several custom projects that dramatically enhanced their presence across the state.
Soon after opening the shop, he and Roger realized there was a lack of gallery space and so many incredibly talented local artists without a space to display and sell their art. Greg opened the “The Gallery” as a space for these artists and amassed an incredible collection of art representing a wide variety of mediums. In 2019, he became the first chair of the Henry County Arts Consortium. While he may not have been enthusiastic about being in front of the crowd, he knew how to practice servant leadership. Through his tenure as chair of the Consortium, he built, coordinated the painting of, and personally installed almost all 31 squirrel tables on the Bushy Tail Art Trail. He became a mentor and cheerleader for the larger Henry County arts community.
His ability to see what needed to be done and his willingness to show up and make it happen is a lesson for all of us who wish for better things for our community. Sometimes making a difference is just about being willing to do what needs to be done and letting those around you shine.
His passing has been felt far and wide by the people and projects he did quietly throughout the community. However, his legacy will continue to live on in the store he and Roger created, BarnBeautiful.
Stop by not just for a custom piece of art, jewelry, or woodwork… but stay and let the hollowed space inspire you to add something beautiful to the community.
Thank you, Greg, for your honesty, advocacy, leadership, and friendship.