Telfair Museums' perennial exhibit, "I Have Marks To Make," returns for its 23rd year with some exciting displays and new features.
Though the exhibit has evolved over the past two decades, the program's mission has remained the same. The yearly display of artwork from several local art therapy and outreach programs has acted as a bridge between Telfair and the Savannah community since its inception.
"It's really focused on the Savannah community," curator and Telfair Education Studio programs manager Kip Bradley said. "Especially how art and therapy work together. It features people directly from the community as opposed to professionals. It's people who are doing art for art's sake."
Each year, the artwork is as varied as the organizations involved. From veterans to at-risk youth, the exhibit features the gamut of art styles and artists, and includes organizations that Telfair does outreach with as well as organizations that have art therapy programs.
This year, artwork will be included from Rehabilitation Hospital of Savannah; Coastal Center for Developmental Services; St. Joseph's/Candler Rehabilitation; Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools Department for Exceptional Children; the city of Savannah's therapeutics program; Savannah Speech & Hearing Center Stroke Survivors Group; Savannah Center for Blind and Low Vision; Department of Veterans Affairs Primary Care Clinic; Goodwill's ADVANCE Acquired Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program; and the Ruth Byck Adult Daytime Care programs. New to the program will be work from children at Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelter.
"It's a real diverse show," Bradley said. "There's traditional paintings; crazy mixed media sculptures; tile, glass, stone work pieces. We've also been doing some plaster casting. It's really an exceptionally diverse group of work.
"Every year, it's always really exciting. One of the coolest aspects we do, in addition to the artwork, is a poetry reading. This year we have a bunch of new ones and people are going to read their poems and give little speeches about how art has impacted their lives."
In addition to the display and readings, a poetry journal will be handed out with stories of how art has impacted the persons involved in the various programs. The exhibition will be on display from Dec. 10 through Jan. 2. An opening reception is planned for 2 to 5 p.m. Dec. 10, with a poetry reading discussion about art therapy at 3 p.m.
"It serves some purpose," Bradley said. "It helps them work through issues, and overcome issues. I think you see that a lot with the veterans. The veterans use art's healing properties. They're really engaged and seems to help them overcome some of the PTSD and other issues they have."
IF YOU GO
What: "I Have Marks To Make"
When: Dec. 10-Jan. 2; opening reception 2-5 p.m. Dec. 10
Where: Jepson Center, 207 W. York. St.