WELCOME the Square Art Fair to Savannah’s art scene this weekend.
The fair will take place in Calhoun Square in a traditional open-air market style, with twenty artists and art organizations setting up tents.
The fair runs over two days, Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days.
Organizer Jessica Berghorn attends SCAD for Business Design and Arts Leadership. The fair began as her final project, but turned into a business.
“My goal is to take it and re-implement it in a few months, depending on how successful it’s going to be,” she explains.
Berghorn moved south from New York City and saw the need for a traditional art fair in Savannah.
“I looked around Savannah and said, ‘Well, to me, there’s not an actual art fair that’s 100% art,’” she explains. “There are a lot of craft fairs and people that come together, but I grew up in San Diego and they have all these wonderful art fairs that have to do with people in the community. I wanted to take that idea and reiterate it here.”
Berghorn found the artists through a call for entry to maximize the diversity of her artists.
“I wanted to make everyone feel like they could sell their work,” she explains. “Everyone participating has different mediums, from different backgrounds. I have people from SCAD that just graduated and then I have people in their eighties.”
While some of the artists have participated in art fairs before and others haven’t, Berghorn made sure to be upfront about the whole process.
“I met with every artist in person. I wanted to be 100% transparent,” she explains. “This is my final project, but I’ve turned it into a business and I want to make it something continuous in the community. At the same time, you’re basically part of a test run. I wanted to be upfront about that because I’ve been in situations where people aren’t transparent, and surprises are never fun. I wanted to make sure everyone knew that this was something that, going into it, I’m learning just as much as they’re learning.”
What makes the Square Art Fair unique is that it allows artists to retain all sales. The cost of the square and tent rental and display stands is all covered, allowing the artists to be subsidized.
Berghorn also garnered the support of other local art groups for the weekend. The Arts Resource Collective will be on location to distribute their new 2019 SAV ART MAP, a comprehensive map of galleries and art spaces in our city. Massie Heritage Center will help kids make pinch pots, and Arts Georgia also lends support.
Through the Square Art Fair, Berghorn hopes to bring together the local art scene, which she feels is a little fragmented.
“The one thing I saw about Savannah was that there are different pockets of people. Everyone knows each other, but nobody is doing anything collectively,” she says. “I feel like everyone is going to the same shows, but a lot of artists are working on their own thing. At the end of the day, we all enjoy art; we should all advocate for Savannah to be this great city for art.”
Above all, Berghorn aims to support the community as a whole.
“My goal was to make sure the community felt like it was for them, first and foremost.”