Everyone calls Savannah an "art town." But how artistic is it, really?
Citing what they see as a serious gap in the local arts community, two local artists have organized an ambitious, very inclusive event that they hope will foster communication among what they say is a local scene working under its potential.
The event, TASTE, happens this Saturday at M.E.A.T. (Meddin Emerging Artists Theatre) on Louisville Road in West Savannah.
"We thought Savannah needed a big art show that's maybe more urban than what the Telfair puts on," says organizer Rachel Raab, who founded TASTE along with Joshua Branstetter. "There are so many artists here, with SCAD and everything else, but it seems like nobody's working together doing what should be done."
No mere compendium of wistful Spanish moss landscapes or seagulls-in-acrylic, TASTE features three live bands and five DJs to go along with the 32 local and regional artists represented, including Joey Varas, Matt Hebermehl, Christopher Bivens. Performers include Dope Sandwich and Kurtis and Kody. There's even a fashion show.
"People can expect a little bit of everything," says Raab. "Sales is important to artists, but this is more of like a network -- bringing everybody together, meeting other people."
The idea began over a drink when she and Branstetter, both photographers, decided that "Savannah needs a big show."
If all goes well, Raab says she and Branstetter hope to put another edition of TASTE on in September.
"We want to have it so that every few months, there's this Warp Tour-style event bringing people together," says Raab.
Raab came here by way of Orlando, where "there's always something going on, and a lot of people are involved in something art-related and music-related. It seems like that hasn't really formed yet in Savannah."
Raab says despite -- or because of? -- the presence of SCAD, the art community hasn't yet gelled here.
"It blows my mind with all the artists here. There are gallery hops, but that's just related to SCAD and what they do. We're trying to pull everybody together."
When: April 4, 3 p.m.-3 a.m.
Where: M.E.A.T., 2333 Louisville Rd.
Cost: $10 after 7 p.m.