OF ALL THE reasons to live in Savannah, springtime (as brief as it may be) has to be close to the top of the list.
The tide of pastel azaleas flowing down Oglethorpe; the smell of confederate jasmine wafting on a warm breeze; the pleasure of spending a Saturday afternoon hopping from gallery to gallery, stopping now and then to sip lemonade in a downtown square–it’s about as close to perfection as any of us will get.
Luckily, this spring season brings with it plenty of art events and openings to enjoy. Here are some of the highlights:
New work by painter Randy Akers and sculptor Fran Kaminsky is on display at Hospice Savannah until June 30. Kaminsky’s figurative sculptures are an easy match for Akers’ abstract, highly textured paintings. The exhibition is an introspective one, though not without its own sort of quiet energy brought about by Akers’ ethereally beautiful color palette and the elegant lines of Kaminsky’s figures.
Bede Van Dyck’s Rescued Papers artworks will remain on exhibit at the City of Savannah’s Cultural Arts Gallery alongside repurposed electronics sculptures by local students through April 29. Van Dyck, a renowned architect, layers recycled papers, corrugated cardboard, old shipping boxes, and packing materials into geometric, three-dimensional collage works.
The newest gallery on the Savannah scene, Location Gallery, presents its second ever show, Juliana Peloso’s I’m Your Biggest Fan, April 8—May 7. The exhibition features over 60 small oil paintings of celebrities, the likes of which include Bill Murray, Dolly Parton, Biz Markie and more. As with all Location Gallery shows, the profits will be donated to a local non-profit; this time One Love Animal Rescue.
If you really want to welcome Spring in style, you’ll probably want to check out the Telfair Museums’ upcoming Telfair in Bloom event. Described as “a vibrant festival of art and flowers,” Telfair in Bloom includes an evening of cocktails and lavish floral arrangements (April 14, 6:30 - 8:30pm at the Telfair Academy), a lecture by Lindsey Taylor (April 15, 10:30am at the Jepson Center for the Arts), and a lecture by Keller Jones about flowers in film (April 16, 10am at the Jepson Center).
However, one of the shows I’m most excited about will only be around for a single night: Jon Springs’ Daemon at Sulfur Studios (April 17, 7pm). This new media/glitch art show is headlined by one of Savannah’s most talented up-and-coming experimental artists. (A group of as-yet unnamed glitch artists will also display work.) It’s not to be missed.
If glitch art isn’t your thing, maybe impressionism is more your speed. Tiffani Taylor and Melissa Schneider will present a body of work inspired by a day trip to Vernon, France’s sprawling floral and water gardens. Light in the Garden: Two Artists Meet Monet will open with a reception at the Andaz Hotel on April 21 from 5:30—8:30pm.
On the heels of their strong PULSE Festival offering, I’ll Be Your Mirror, the Jepson Center will host Elvis at 21: Photographs by Alfred Wertheimer April 22—Oct. 2. The exhibition will be comprised of roughly 40 photographs taken by Wertheimer in 1956, the year Elvis Presley turned 21. 1956 was also the year Elvis released his first record, made his first TV appearance, and started his movie career. The images are a time capsule, giving us a peek into the world of a man on the cusp of stardom.
Of course, you could just as easily take a trip down to the Welmont on April 22 for a look at who’s on the cusp of stardom in Savannah instead. Look Here!, a group photo show, opens at the gallery on April 22 with a reception from 5—8pm. Work by over 100 emerging photo and video artists will be on display, chosen by a jury including art darlings like Mark Dorf, Monika Merva, and Greer Muldowney.
The group show trend continues with Art Decko, a skateboard art show to benefit the Savannah Skatepark, on April 29 from 6 - 9pm. Local artists transformed over 100 skateboards into works of art to be auctioned off during the reception. Proceeds from the auction will go to help fund the building of the Savannah Skatepark on Montgomery Cross Road.
If community engagement is your thing then be sure not to miss out on the Mega Art March on Friday, May 6 from 5—9pm. Produced by Art Rise Savannah, this expanded version of the monthly Starland-based Art March will include locations from Victory Drive to River Street.
During the Mega Art March, check out Jennifer Lee Hallsey’s MFA thesis exhibition, Future(s) Anterior, at Non-Fiction Gallery from 6—9pm. Through the lenses of photography, digital reproduction, installation, appropriation and collaboration, Hallsey will closely examine her artistic practice and processes. There’s a bit of mystery around this show, but considering Hallsey’s reputation as a meticulous, self-aware artist, I’m betting it will be a highlight of the evening.
Over at Oglethorpe Gallery, Olivia la Selva will continue to push boundaries of jewelry design with Memento, also on May 6, with a reception from 6—9pm. La Selva will exhibit small sculptural installations alongside her jewelry work, exploring the concept of mementos and the emotional significance of tangible objects.
If you’re looking to make the most out of the few precious, temperate days we have until the heat-hammer of Summer slams down on us, these are all worth adding to your list.
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