IN SAVANNAH the onset of fall may not be heralded by copper hued trees as it is up North, but a growing calendar of must-see art exhibitions is a clear indicator the dog days of summer have passed.
With the arrival of Impressionist masters, art workshops and stunning new works by local favorites, this fall is poised to be one of Savannah’s best.
Perhaps the most intriguing fall show, “Rocks’ Trains” is currently up at Indigo Sky Gallery until October 4. Richard (Rock) Nitsche, born with PPD on the autism spectrum, channels his intense focus into trains, resulting in highly organized, detailed drawings of long trains—lines of locomotives pulling cars spanning rows and rows on the page.
Two September highlights invite all ages to discover new artistic techniques and concepts by offering special workshops related to the exhibitions.
At the Cultural Arts Gallery through September 25, “Savannah Clay: 2015” showcases the imaginative work of 8 local ceramicists. Diverse functional and aesthetic ideas are explored in the collection, which includes teapots, figurative sculptures and installation pieces.
Accompanying the exhibition are gallery talks by John Jensen on September 17 and Jessica Broad on September 19, plus a workshop “Parent & Child: Beasts and Creatures in Fables, Oh My!” on Saturday, September 19, 10am-12pm, with Broad and Mitzi Davis.
At Sulfur Studios from September 30-October 4, “Double Vision” displays collaborative work by Becca Cook and Woody Cornwell and will open minds to the world of abstract Surrealism. The duo embraces concepts like free association and improvisation to co-create drawings, designs and fashion.
In workshops on September 30 and October 1 participants will experience an Exquisite Corpse game—a collaborative drawing exercise played by Surrealist and Dada artists. These absurdist creations will be displayed at Sulfur on October 4.
Further into October, Savannah will see continued exultations of the influence and techniques of artistic masters.
Telfair Museums will bring the iconic works of French Impressionist Claude Monet to Savannah for the first time as part of the exhibition “Monet and American Impressionism” from October 16, 2015-January 24, 2016 at the Jepson Center. Four of Monet’s paintings will hang beside over 50 works by leading American Impressionists influenced by his revolutionary approaches.
In celebration of Monet’s arrival, Telfair will host a three-part lectures series for the exhibition and the Monet Soirée, an opening reception on October 15.
Art Rise Savannah will pay homage to pop-art sensation Andy Warhol for their annual fundraiser. At Non Fiction Gallery on October 16 is a free “Make your own Warhol” demonstration led by former Warhol master printer, Michael Enns.
Then that evening, step back in time to 1970’s New York City at Art Rise Savannah’s Warhol Factory Party fundraiser, featuring the House of Gunt and the Twisty Cats as the Velvet Underground.
October 5-11 visit Kobo Gallery for “The Industry: Curating Art for Public and Private Spaces.” This exhibition will feature large-scale works by Kobo’s members. The monumental works are geared towards collectors and designers, although the pieces will impress all.
On October 22 the Hospice Savannah Gallery will present wood sculptures by Edward Richard Jones and paintings by Daniel E. Smith. In contrast to Kobo, Daniel—who normally works large—will unveil smaller oil paintings created for this exhibition, making his dreamy marsh scenes more accessible.
Daniel and Jones work in different mediums, but both craft thoughtful meditations on nature.
Another complimentary duo is Sally Clark and Marilyn Smith at the Jewish Educational Alliance November 1-30. “Brush and Needle” pairs Clark’s multi-media acrylic collages with Marilyn’s contemporary quilt designs.
Clark’s paintings are a patchwork of color, texture and line, mirroring the traditional quilting techniques influencing Marilyn’s cloth compositions.
In November at Gallery Espresso, explore the culture of Cuba through C.J. Mellor’s photographic journal of the island. Mellor’s images capture Cuban scenes yet un-tampered by the newly open borders and lament the country’s impending loss of its distinctness.
Later that month, Non Fiction Gallery will present “Between Movement and Stillness” photographs by Sara Fields on November 20. Fields soft, gentle style captures life’s nuances and subtleties in alluring images.
Similarly ethereal are Josh Jalbert’s photographs to be displayed at Galerie 124. Opening December 4, “Morse Code” uses multiple methods to trace the movement of light, exposing the photographic recording process.
Closing out the season are annual pop-up shops, small work, and trunk shows in time for the gift-giving season. Sulfur Studios’ “Shop Local Saturday Holiday Bazaar” on November 28 showcases local makers’ handmade goods.
On December 3 catch Roots Up Gallery and Meryl Truett and Friend’s “Holiday Open House” for unique gift selections and the Cultural Arts Gallery’s “3rd Annual Student, Instructor and Staff Exhibit and Art Sale.”
Then, December 4 the annual Non Fiction “Holiday Pop Up Shop” will open and the Grand Bohemian Gallery will host the “European Jewelry by Coeur de Lion Trunk Show.”
While fall in Savannah may not include nature’s symphony of colors, the art scene provides a true feast of visual delights. Toss on a sweater and dig into the cultural offerings this season.