Each May, the downtown area is flooded with art by Savannah College of Art and Design students. For most of the year, the college's public face is comprised of big events and occasional controversies.
But in spring, the general public has a chance to see some of the work that's been created behind the walls of those secured SCAD buildings.
One of the most intriguing shows this weekend is "Into the Fold: An Exploration of Southern Spirituality" by Lauren Flotte and Jahmad Balugo at the city of Savannah Cultural Arts Gallery at 9 West Henry St.
Flotte's photographs were taken at St. Philip Monumental AME Church on Jefferson Street, and Balugo's work focuses on the vernacular architecture of Savannah's neighborhood churches.
"Into the Fold" runs through the end of May, with the official reception scheduled for May 10, from 5 to 7 p.m. Gallery hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
From May 10 through June 2, SCAD's Alexander Hall at 668 Indian St. hosts a juried exhibition of seniors' work. You might have to flash an I.D. to the security guard on the way in, but the show is free and open to the public.
"Silver & Ink," the annual juried exhibit of work by SCAD's photography students, continues through June 2 at the Gutstein Gallery at 201 East Broughton St.
May is also a busy month at a variety of private gallery spaces that routinely make themselves available to students and to up-and-coming artists, including Ashmore Gallery at 412 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Non-Fiction Gallery at 1522 Bull St. and Sicky Nar Nar (yep, that's the name) at 125 West Duffy St.
For those of us out of the student loop, getting good information about these upcoming shows can be tricky. Some aren't well promoted - and some not promoted at all. Some announcements appear on Facebook only a day or two before exhibitions open.
I've written about the nonprofit Desotorow Gallery many times over the years and have even purchased work there, but I only get notifications of events about half the time.
But sometimes it's the fresh, new and unexpected that is most worth seeing, even if it's hard to find.
Bill Dawers writes City Talk in the Savannah Morning News and blogs at Savannah Unplugged (http://www.billdawers.com). He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.