Telfair Art Fair fills the square with beauty

Eighty-five artists take part in juried show under the moss

ART COMES ALIVE this weekend in Telfair Square during Telfair Museums’ 22nd Annual Art Fair.

On Saturday, November 12 (10am–5pm) and Sunday, November 13 (noon–4pm) make your way down to the square for live music, art activities, and—most impressively—a chance to check out all types of artwork from 85 different artists.

The events kick off on Friday, November 11 with the annual Arty Party from 7 to 9pm, where ticketholders ($85 for Telfair members; $130 for non-members) will get to mingle with the artists, enjoy chic cocktails and generally have an extremely classy time.

The rest of the weekend’s events are more casual, family-oriented and (best of all) free.

BLICK Art Materials will be in the square with art activities for the kids, there’ll be a community mural in the style of Keith Haring for everyone to paint, and I’m told that Mary Telfair, William Jay (architect of the Telfair Academy and the Owens-Thomas House) and the Bird Girl will all make appearances for your photo-op pleasure. (Well, costumed versions of them will anyway.)

click to enlarge Telfair Art Fair fills the square with beauty
Gary Covell

Seven bands will provide the soundtrack for the weekend: The Skiples, The Missionary Two, Robbie Cooper & Ben Wells, Payne Bridges, Peter Love/Crazy Chester, Bottles & Cans, and Roll On Rodney. And while you’re sitting in the grass enjoying the music with the sun at your back and a cool breeze in your hair, you can even treat yourself to a special Telfair-themed popsicle from Savannah Square Pops or some gourmet chocolate by local chocolatier Adam Turoni.

“The Art Fair is a celebration of creativity and community,” Vicki Scharfberg, Director of Marketing for Telfair Museums, told me.

“It expands on the question of what art is. Sometimes people feel that art is not accessible or relevant, but when you go to this Art Fair, you’ll see earrings, or a bracelet, or a piece of pottery, or you’re listening to the band, or you see a live Bird Girl walking around—all of that is art and it’s readily accessible and relevant to the community we serve.”

Of course, the big star of the weekend is the veritable smorgasbord of visual art on display.

This year, the Art Fair will showcase the work of 85 artists, all carefully chosen by a jury of curators, artists and community members. The museum has worked hard to ensure this year’s event represents a strong cross-section of works from artists and craftspeople of all types.

“It’s a great mix of ten or fifteen local artists who everyone will know, some returning artists, and then about fifty artists who are new to the Art Fair,” explained Austin Wright, Special Events Manager for Telfair Museums.

“We’re covering eleven different disciplines of art, so there’s everything from painting to furniture to glass to textiles. There’s something for everyone and the price points are really varied, from $50 for a bracelet all the way up to $20,000 for a painting. There’s a wide range of prices for art and different styles for everyone to choose from.”

click to enlarge Telfair Art Fair fills the square with beauty
Susan Livingston

If, for some reason, you get tired of wandering the artist booths in the square, you can always step inside the Jepson Center for the Arts or the Telfair Academy for a taste of something different.

On Saturday, the Jepson Center will be open for a Free Family Day from 1 to 4pm. Check out stellar exhibitions like Complex Uncertainties (a personal favorite and a great primer exhibition for those unfamiliar with the museum’s incredible collection) and Watershed: Contemporary Landscape Photography.

Local artists will get another chance to shine during the Trunk Show in the Jepson Center’s atrium all weekend. Five Savannah artists will have artwork available for sale to complement the local art already on display in the museum’s gift shop. If you’re in the market for holiday gifts, this is your chance to pick up some beautiful, one-of-a-kind items.

As the weather (blessedly) cools off, the Art Fair is the perfect opportunity to enjoy one of Savannah’s loveliest squares in the company of some of the coolest art you’ll see this year. Best of all, you’ll be able to meet the artists behind the works, chat with them and put a face to the piece that will soon hang over your mantle for years to come.


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