(L-R) From the Savannopoly show: Joy Dunigan's "Fort Pulaski", Mary Hartman's "Bonaventure Cemetery", and Julia Licht's "Skidaway Road".

ART PATROL: October's bustling art scene

Updated October 3, 2023 at 3:35 p.m.

It’s Fall in Savannah, and there’s a happy, chaotic plethora of art happenings and art shows! Let’s start by mentioning an important fundraiser for Coastal Empire Habitat for Humanity. 

I recently visited one of their building sites and was impressed by their partnerships with low-income, working families to realize their dream of owning quality, affordable, energy-efficient homes in safe, revitalizing neighborhoods in Chatham County. Peter Roberts has curated a fabulous show at Location Gallery, 251 Bull Street, and gallery profits benefit this worthy nonprofit. With each artist creating two works, and with each piece measuring just 6” by 8” this is a huge show with lots of variety, offering a perfect opportunity to start your own Savannah art collection at a reasonable price point.

Roberts’ cleverly named show (would we expect anything less?!) is called “Savannopoly” because like the classic Monopoly board game, it highlights iconic properties and locales in our city. 

Opening on Friday, October 13 from 6-8pm, it features a who’s-who of local artists: Stacie Jean Albano, Claire Barrett, Adrienne Berkland, Bob Christian, Julia Christian, Lennie Ciliento, Bailey Davidson, Joy Dunigan, Tate Ellington, Maxx Feist, Mary Hartman, Lind Hollingsworth, Ahmad Jackson, Liza Crowley Judson, Tafy LaPlanche, David Laughlin, Julia Licht, Beth Logan, Heather MacRae, Maddie Grace Maierhoffer, Rubi McGrory, Deborah Sheron Miller, Bernard Nolan, Jennifer Nolan, Michelle Perez, Melody Postma, Dana Richardson, Peter E. Roberts, Bryan Stovall, Lisa D. Watson, Rose Marie Woulfe, Heather Young, and Jason Zimmer.

Earlier that same week, check out new work by Robert Morris, Jr. at the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum, 41 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., opening on Wednesday, October 11 at 5:30pm. Morris, the retired Chief Communications Officer for the Georgia Ports Authority, has had three previous exhibitions at this location and numerous other shows across the country. 

This new show “Outward Bound is curated by Katherine Sandoz and seeks to fuse his unique work experience with “his new life aboard “Grace,” a Swedish Storebro Royal Cruiser 34.” He says, “I hope this latest body of work takes the viewer into a closer, even more intimate reatlionship with the sea around us than my previous work. I have literally set sail from the safe harbor I once knew into a phantasmagoric world of color, illusion, and metaphor.”

Saturday, October 14 offers not one, but four, not-to-be-missed art events! The Gordonston Art Fair, always a delightful kickoff to fall, is held in the Gordonston neighborhood’s beautiful six-acre Juliette Gordon Low Park at 10 Edgewood Road. 

The juried art fair, from 10 to 4:00 pm, features over 50 local and regional artists and artisans and there is live music, food trucks and a children’s hands-on craft area. Proceeds from the sale of large fall chrysanthemums and from a book sale go towards the restoration of the park’s cottage.

Also from 10 to 4:00 pm on the 14th , Savannah Garden Tours, with volunteer assistance from Wymberly and Parkersburg Garden Clubs, presents their 2023 tour of ten special gardens on Isle of Hope. 

With food trucks, vendors, and 15-minute talks from garden specialists on such topics as perennials, native plants, exotic orchids, camellias, and wildlife, the tour is self-guided with golf cart rides available for those who need assistance. Start your day by purchasing a $20 ticket at St. Thomas Episcopal Church on the corner of St. Thomas Avenue and Cornus Drive. 

click to enlarge ART PATROL: October's bustling art scene
Lisa D. Watson's "Savannah Bridge"

Proceeds benefit Renegade Paws Rescue (there will be pets for adoption at St. Thomas) and ARTS Southeast (there will be artists set up in each of the ten gardens). Find out more by typing “Savannah Garden Tours Isle of Hope” into your Facebook browser.

Take a break from exploring Isle of Hope or Gordonston at noon on the 14th to drive out to Laney Contemporary, 1810 Mills B. Lane Blvd. and listen to Michael Scoggins’ artist talk. I wrote about his show “Goose” in my August 28 Art Patrol column, and trust me, you don’t want to miss it!

And finally, on the evening of Saturday, October 14, head over to Cleo the Gallery, at her new home at 915 B Montgomery Street for the opening reception of “Crisp Kitsch” from 6-9pm. Curated by the talented gallerist Jeanette McCune, it explores kitsch ornamentation through the influence of film, dreamscapes, nature, and utility.  

Local painter Ben Tollefson, curator at SCAD’s Museum of Fine Art, shows pieces inspired by a scene at the fictional club ‘The Queen of Hearts’ in The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976). 

McCune says, “The club features ornaments of queer tropes in midcentury America that have since been reclaimed by the culture. These ornaments include cartoon hearts, neon lighting, the drama of an unopened curtain, and the isolation of body parts. Together they set a stage for characters to inhabit under the careful consideration of Tollefson’s signature attention to capturing slick detail.” Tollefson is joined by 3-D artists  Sara French, Theo Skeete, Angelica Lorenzi, and Neal Hollinger.

The following weekend, on Saturday October 23, is one of my favorite art events of the year – the Isle of Hope Art and Music Festival, a free-admission, rain or shine festival benefiting the Isle of Hope Historical Association. Started in 2000 by Bluff residents and artists Noel and his late wife Ruthie Wright, the festival has expanded to 125 artists and makers stationed from the Isle of Hope Marina and Pavilion down Rose Avenue, Bluff Drive and into Paxton Park. 

With art sales from 10 – 5:00pm, this event is large, with too many wonderful artists to list by name… there is something for everyone, the day is kid-friendly, and the setting is simply beautiful!

Food trucks are located throughout the festival – they include Strangebird, Okan, Nom Nom Sushi Cart, Starship Ice Cream, Chazito’s Latin Cuisine, Hot Rye, Johnny Boy Cookies, Smashed Savannah, Bayou Café, Down South Cheesesteaks, Red Taco Truck, Pour Boy Mobile Barista, The Burger Boat, and Kona Ice (phew!) The 3rd Infantry Division Band (known as ‘the best band in the land!”) kicks off the music at the Marina at 10am, and the Eric Jones Trio, Swamptooth, Lyn Avenue, Seth Walker, and Kinchafoonee Cowboys play until 8pm. Music lovers will also be delighted by the inclusion of a new singer/songwriter stage in Paxton Park this year.

Throughout the month of October, view photographs by Bailey Davidson at the JEA Art Gallery, 5111 Abercorn Street. Davidson graduated SCAD with an MFA in 2001 and has expanded his thesis show by choosing a plastic Holga pinhole camera as the consistent theme for this body of work. 

With the camera and lens themselves being rudimentary, the results are often unpredictable, imperfect, and distorted. Davidson’s opening reception is Thursday, October 5 from 5-7pm.

And lastly, Friday, October 6, is of course, October’s First Friday in Starland. 

ARTS Southeast’s artist-in-residence Alexandia P. Clay, a charcoal and mixed media collage artist from Durham, NC, will show work completed during her month-long ON::View Residency, while the main gallery features the closing reception of “Paper Cuts: An International Collage Exchange with Axelle Kieffer” that I previously wrote about here.  ARTS Southeast is located at 2301 Bull Street.

See you out there, fellow art lovers!

click to enlarge ART PATROL: October's bustling art scene
Ahmand Jackson's "Electric Company"

Published October 3, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.


Beth Logan

Born and raised in Northern Ireland, Beth Logan had a career in healthcare HR and marketing. An artist and former gallery director, she serves on the board of nonprofit ARTS Southeast and has a passion for showcasing Savannah’s arts community, travel, oil painting, and cocktails!
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