I write this bi-weekly art column because I’m passionate about art and supporting local artists.
This holiday season I want you to be passionate too! I’ve compiled a list of local galleries and encourage you to plan a fun afternoon (or two) making the rounds. Instead of searching on Amazon or clicking on a pop-up ad in your Instagram feed, please consider purchasing a piece of jewelry, a ceramic mug or sculpture, or a painting from a local artist this December…As numerous social media memes attest, there are no global supply chain issues when you buy local art!
Not only will a Savannah connection give greater meaning to your art, but having a robust arts scene is good for the well-being of our city as a whole.
My alphabetically ordered list is far from exhaustive, and I apologize in advance to galleries I have omitted.
Neither does it make mention of the many businesses such as La Terra Natural Oils and the Gallery Espresso coffee shop, which promote local artwork all year long: thank you.
Cedar House Gallery, 122 E. 36th Street, cedarhousegallerysav.com
Downstairs public galleries and upstairs private art studios are housed inside the gorgeous childhood home of local realtor Celia Dunn. Check out their Instagram for news of regularly occurring shows and enjoy wandering through the beautifully restored mansion.
City Market, between Ellis/Franklin Squares, savannahcitymarket.com
City Market’s upstairs Art Center is home to over two dozen artists who deserve local support! Some of my favorites include the sweet grass basket maker Jery Taylor, and painters David Laughlin, Brian MacGregor, and Luba Lowry. Most locals are familiar with the street-level Signature Gallery co-op., still going strong as it approaches its 30th year, and the fun, eclectic A.T. Hun Gallery where you can pick up a highly collectible ‘Pete the Cat’ painting by Savannah-based artist James Dean.
Daedalus Gallery, 408 Bull, daedalusgallery.com
This little jewel of a gallery is home to work by husband and wife painters Jacqueline Carcagno and William Weyman (1940-2015). A native of Provence, Carcagno studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, and creates impressionistic work richly shaped by Zen painting. Weyman, deeply influenced by Cezanne, was the co-founder of the Marchutz School in Aix, and has left a legacy of beautiful and richly colored abstract and impressionistic paintings.
Gallery 209, 209 E. River Street, gallery209savannah.com
Situated in an 1820’s cotton warehouse, Gallery 209 has been operating for almost 50 years (!) with two floors packed with original art. Some of my favorite artists include ceramicist Derek L. Larson and jeweler Kristen Baird.
George Davis Fine Art & Antiques Gallery, 408 Bull, georgedavisantiques.com
Primarily a design services and antiques store (located next to the Daedalus Gallery), this crowded little space offers a surprisingly impressive collection of contemporary paintings which includes SCAD professor Jeff Markowsky’s masterful plein airs.
Grand Bohemian Gallery, 700 Drayton, kesslercollection.com
Director Carmen Aguirre has done an outstanding job of incorporating local art into what otherwise might have been a very tourist-oriented, generic gallery. Located inside the Mansion on Forsyth Park, Aguirre regularly displays work by such super-talented locals as Stacie Jean Albano, Heather L. Young and Julia Christian.
Kobo Gallery, 33 Barnard, kobogallery.com
I just love this little space! The artists are diligent about replenishing and rearranging their work so there is always something fresh and new to see and buy. Long time members include painter Daniel E. Smith, wood sculptor Dicky Stone, fibers artist Doris Grieder, jeweler Nancy Boyd, and photographer David Kaminsky.
Laney Contemporary, 1810 Mills B. Lane Boulevard, laneycontemporary.com
Definitely the sexiest gallery on the list, I adore everything about this amazing space housed inside a brutalist concreate bunker of a building that more people need to discover for themselves! Owner Susan Laney showcases contemporary emerging artists, while representing such Savannah luminaries as Betsy Cain, Marcus Kenney, and Katherine Sandoz, and has the rights to sell images by our city’s photography icon Jack Leigh. Don’t miss supporting regional artists and makers at Laney Contemporary’s annual Holiday Shop on Friday, December 10 from 6 – 9 p.m., continuing through December 22.
Location Gallery, 251 Bull, locationgallery.net
Energizer-bunny curator Peter Roberts constantly promotes and hangs exciting group shows featuring a plethora of local artists, many of whom would not otherwise be represented in a gallery. All shows benefit a Savannah non-profit. Currently, the giant and self-explanatory “$300 & Under”(benefiting WRUU Community Radio) offers a no-excuses opportunity to pick up a special gift for yourself or a loved one at an affordable price tag.
Reynolds Square Gallery of Fine Art, 31 Abercorn, reynoldssquarefineart.com
Offering a quiet oasis from the bustle of downtown, this beautifully appointed gallery represents some of Savannah’s most collectible artists including acclaimed sculptor Susie Chisholm, photographer Mark Uzmann, and painters Joe Saffold, Betsy Cain, June Stratton, and Sharon McIntosh.
Roots Up Gallery, 230 West Bay, rootsupgallery.com
Newly relocated to a beautiful downstairs space inside CorkHouse, Leslie Lovell continues to curate an exceptional collection of outsider Southern Folk Art, and “soulful” work from trained artists in a variety of mediums.
Savannah Gallery of Art, 304 East Bryan, savannahgalleryofart.com
The subject of my last column, this newly opened space houses a rich variety of paintings, woodwork, jewelry, and photography. This month’s Spotlight artist is William Kwamena-Poh.
Sulfur Studios, 2301 Bull, sulfurstudios.org
Consistently upping their game, Sulfur Studios consistently highlights and supports exciting emerging local artists through their main gallery, Sulfur Shop, 26 private artist studios, Drive Thru Art Box @ Green Truck Pub, and their ON::View Artist Residency. A project of nonprofit ARTS Southeast, their mission is to make Savannah a destination for art and culture in the Southeast. Currently the Gallery is featuring “White Elephant VII,” the 7th Annual Supporter Holiday Exhibition of affordable art created by its supporters. Everything is priced at $200 and under!
Tatiana von Tauber Gallery, 509 Barnard, vontauber.com
Von Tauber, art educator and co-host of WRUU’s talk show “Women on Top,” recently took a leap of faith by opening this namesake gallery to display her own erotic and sexually charged art. Perhaps her sensual paintings will make a perfect holiday gift for the love interest in your life? Stop by to find out.
Tiffani Taylor Gallery, 11 Whitaker Street, tiffanitaylor.com
One of the most prolific and commercially oriented artists in the city, this SCAD graduate’s sun-filled gallery houses a vast collection of original paintings, giclee and “lifestyle collection” items such as scarves, phone cases, baby wear and ceramics. Definite gift potential if you like her feminine, spiritual, and joyful style often inspired by her stays in France and Italy.
Of course, countless artists of all stripes are represented by the Landings Art Association and by the venerable, hundred-year-old Savannah Art Association which now has three spaces in which to highlight members’ work: the gallery at the Savannah Hilton-Head International Airport, Pace Lighting & Home Store off Chatham Parkway and Alexander’s Bistro, a new coffee shop opening this weekend at 1201 Bull.
Finally, let me give a shout-out to the Irritable Pelican Artisan Gallery on Tybee Island; Merchants on Bee (by Grayson Stadium) which has become an affordable gallery space for many local artists; and Marsh & Co on Wilmington Island, a fabulous boutique for makers, artists, and vendors.
Again, my apologies to galleries I have omitted. Feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] or on Instagram @bethelogan