Arriving into Savannah by automobile is a treat. It's all hard-scrabble highway, until you reach the city limits; thats when you take a right and the real savannah begins. The first thing one notices are the beautiful parks and the copious SCAD signage. SCAD stands for Savannah College of Art and Design, and is almost ubiquitous to all parts of Savannah. When you're all "arted" out, a charming stretch of commercial business provides a range of upscale dining opportunities and bars. Objectively, Savannah has the perfect amount of urban.
The Atrifications Approach to Savannah
Our approach to Savannah is to break it into three distinct concentrations of galleries. ; River Street by the historic Savannah River front, The Historic Downtown area holds the highest concentration of small parks in the area, and has numerous art galleries strewn about with the Highest concentration of fine artists is located at City Market.
Who We interview
Brian MacGregor of Brian MacGregor Gallery
Brigitte Pirlot of A.T. Hun Gallery http://athun.com/
Cathy Sizer - Savannah Arts Association Gallery - http://galleryonchippewa.com/
Kathryn Reichert of 209 Gallery - http://www.gallery209savannah.com/
Luba Lowry at City Market
River Street District
History of the River Street Area
River street was the first real road in Georgia, in fact, it was here that Georgia was officially made a colony. It was 1733, and the world was exploding. Soon, Savannah's population exploded and spread into the now historic garden filled areas we know and love today.
The Contemporary River Street Art Scene
There are some really sweet benefits to spending time on River Street today, quite literally There are lots of shops selling sweets and and touristy items, but also a few choice galleries. Most stores along this street inhabit old architecture, rending these spaces both lovely and interesting. One such example is the 209 Gallery, located at 209 East River St. Its two floors are filled with creativity, and is set up in a way to take advantage of the natural light. Lots of local work, which is encouraging as we are always accessing the contemporary market.
Gallery 209 is a busy and eclectic space, perfect for viewing a colorful cross-section of Savannah artists. The variety in crafts and craftsmanship speak to a high level of quality and care put into the selection of each individual artist. While it shows many originals, it also stocks plenty of Giclee prints.
One art gallery that found a home in the newer construction of 300 West River St. is the Savion Gallery. This sleek gallery had an approachable and knowledgable sales-person to speak with. While the gallery was obviously beautiful, it did lack a bit of soul as none of the artists showcased were actually from the area.
As twilight fades into darkness, River street, reputed to be the most haunted section of Savannah, has many lively haunts as well. We highly recommend taking a ghost tour, buying some street art, and discovering your own River street experience.
The Historic area - "Where the Squares Abound"
This well known neighborhood of Savannah exists just above River Street, and is most memorable for its humidity, its Spanish moss laden trees, and its beautiful public squares. These squares or parks are certainly well maintained and have their own personalities. The layout was organized by James Edward Oglethorpe and is unforgettable.
The popular historic area is bordered by the Savannah River (Historic District North) on one end, and Forsyth Park on the other (Historic District South). Interspersed between these ends are numerous small parks squares. These beaks in the traditional Grid-pattern make Savannah one of the most picturesque cities in the United States.
The 30 acres known as Forsyth Park began in the 1840s and expanded over time to encompass its current size. Its Northern Gate empties out to Bull Street, which will be the main thoroughfare to follow. The fountain was unveiled 1858.
The Best Art Spaces by Monterey Square
The walk down Bull street
Bull Street leads from the end of Forsyth Park North to the Savannah River. Along the way, one will encounter some of the most sumptuous city settings one could hope to encounter in America. One of the most memorable is Chippewa Square, and the Gallery that took its name from it.
Savannah Artist Association - Gallery on Chippewa Square
Cathy Sizer of the Savannah Artist Association took time to meet met for an interview at their lovely gallery space on Chippewa Square. Better known as the SAA, it has been around for over 100 years and has many talented members This video showcases some of this talented group in a beautifully historic location. We eagerly look forward to the future of this talented and historic association.
Savannah City Market
The City Market endures as a tribute to the tenacity of Savannah, and just how immovable of a city it is. It has always been a destination, a resource, and a meeting ground. Today, is boasts the highest concentration of art galleries in town. They are strewn about the entire market place area, but mostly constrained to two large buildings that run parallel to each other. In the case of both buildings, they have 2 floors with expansive wings, hosting various art stalls and legit studio businesses; most of them engaged in brisk business. We stopped to interview a few notable characters.
Brian was one of the most approachable souls I found in Savannah. His studio and Gallery were equally as inviting. I was taken in by the subtlety of his creations; how they were created from the transcribed interpretations of dreams! The fluidity in his paintings carried over into our brief interview. Check out his work for yourself!
Luba's Studio was colorful and busy. Trademarks of a busy artist were all over the place. I really enjoyed the different sizes of her pieces as well as its presentation, making the most out of an irregularly shaped Gallery/Studio. After leaving her gallery space, I am still transfixed at the deliberateness of her brushstrokes.
A.T. Hun Gallery
This has to be one of the most fun-loving galleries in Savannah. Over 30 artists are represented here, and its walls are covered with bright colors from top to bottom. Our interviewee is both the gallery manager and one of their talented artists, Brigitte Pirlot.
Parting Thoughts on Savannah
Savannah is a rich diverse ecosystem for lovers of the arts and artists. The city seduces those who love beautiful things into false sense that savannah is theirs. The truth is, this city only belongs to the canvasses and photographs that capture its beauty.