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Gallery Hop: 'In the Pines,' Art March preview 

Reaching for the tangible, the raw and the real

Stay grounded.

If one phrase could describe the intersections between the city's local art production and small businesses, that'd be it. Gallery Espresso and Foxy Loxy, gems of Savannah's coffeehouse culture and visual arts scene, continually drive that point home.

Gallery Espresso treated guests to wine and light hors d'oeuvres on the evening of Friday, March 29, to wrap up the exhibit "In the Pines," which has been on view at the esteemed coffeehouse throughout March. The show featured the prints, drawings, and paintings of Gordon Rabut, Lucas Rager, and Mariel Zayas-Bazan. Mariel was kind enough to sit down and discuss her work and the exhibit at large.

"I think we're all searching for authenticity," said the spirited SCAD senior, whose small frame conceals a commanding presence. She was commenting on the thematic and stylistic continuities present in the three bodies of work on display. Meticulous detail, references to nature and a general angsty tone linked the thirty or so exhibited pieces, achieving a consistency that nonetheless preserved the integrity of each artist's individual work.

Mariel through her practice reaches for the tangible, the raw and the real. Reflecting on technological saturation and the pervasiveness of media and advertising, she seeks out a way to cope with constant techno-immersion. In short, Mariel asks us to find ways to keep our feet on the ground.

A writing major and printmaking minor, Mariel pursues freelance publication in addition to her endeavors in the visual arts, and has published on several occasions with Inked magazine. She deploys text and image in tandem, utilizing the one to accomplish what the other cannot. Through her writing and her prints, she compels audiences to take on a critical perspective, urging separation, distance, and deliberate ways of looking at the world.

Between the two, Mariel and fellow "In the Pines" artist Lucas Rager have almost nine years of work experience at Gallery Espresso, which is nestled at the southeastern end of Chippewa Square on Bull Street. Monthly exhibitions show off the work of local and international artists alike.

Manager and Gallery Director Juliana Peloso, an artist herself, was particularly excited to discuss the coffeehouse's 20 year anniversary coming up in July. Look for an exclusive employee exhibition to commemorate that proud achievement, and be sure to check Gallery Hop for continuing coverage of Gallery Espresso's monthly art exhibits and events.

Preview: First Friday Art March @ Foxy Loxy Print Gallery & Café

The weekend marked the last opportunity to see work from Ashantilly Press of Darien, GA, on display at the Foxy Loxy Print Gallery and Café in midtown's Thomas Square neighborhood.

Loyal patrons gathered for its weekly Saturday night Fire and Wine, where bottles of wine are half price and marshmallow roasting paraphernalia are provided by the house.

After meeting its Kickstarter campaign goal last Friday night, raising enough money to add exhibition space and customer seating upstairs at the historic Victorian property, the folks at Foxy Loxy are busy this week preparing the gallery's next exhibit.

The next show's opening reception will be a stop on this month's First Friday Art March on April 5.

On every first Friday of the month, several art related businesses between Forsyth Park and Victory Drive organize an art hop featuring exhibition openings, live music and special promotions.

The Art March's success is one of the chief indications of how local art and local business are redefining the area south of Forsyth (the acronym SoFo is starting to catch on) into a center of Savannah's creative scene.

Nearly a dozen businesses have forged a creative network in the blocks beyond Forsyth. Staying grounded, thinking local and acting with an interest in community development, midtown's artists and entrepreneurs are putting the area's culture and activities on the map.

Get to know the world beyond the Park this Friday, April 5—check out artmarchsavannah.com for information about participating businesses and for a map of the stops.

Gallery Espresso's next exhibit, "I Have Seen Such Beautiful Things," features mixed media collages by recent SCAD graduate Mallory Moran. It opens April 1 and runs through May 1.

Check next week's Gallery Hop for a review of this month's Art March.

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Jared Butler

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