Art March aligns receptions for Savannah artists, and some guest artists, at several restaurants, coffee shops and galleries into one art crawl.
August's event showcases a new fine art T-shirt company (13 Bricks Clothing Company), screenprinter extraordinaires (The Maker Collective), photographer Rachel Raab (The Soda Shop) and painter Isak Dove. It's a great night of community, art, music and supporting local that continues to gain popularity.
If you haven't been yet, this month is a great chance to experience it firsthand. The Maker Collective, a three-artist team made up of Kay Wolfersperger, Ben Stanley and Elmer Ramos, will be showing their Burn, Bleed, Choke, Trap exhibit at The Foxy Loxy CafÃ©.
Wolfersperger explains the shows premise: "I wanted to avoid creating another show card reciting 'Prints by so and so.' 'Burn, bleed, choke, trap' are pre-press terms - you burn the screen, add a bleed for prints so colors extend to the edge of the page, trap is when colors overlap slightly in the pre-press stage and choke is a type of trapping in which colors underlap.
"Coincidentally, the screenprinting process can be grueling and physical - all the more appropriate to embrace the duality of these words in this context," Woldfersperger said.
Wolfersperger will soon be selling her original designs printed on kitchen towels at Foxy Loxy this fall, while studio mate Stanley is developing a new body of mixed media work and Ramos is creating lithographic and screenprints for an upcoming solo show.
IF YOU GO
What: First Friday Art March
When: 6-9 p.m. Aug. 2
Where: Eight SoFo (South of Forsyth) locations, with art crawl ending on Desoto Avenue
Wolfersperger appreciates the exposure Art March provides because "it gives the artist community a chance to showcase their work and talent to others who may not normally seek it out. If you provide consistency with presenting your work, i.e. a time (first Friday of the month) and place (each business on the map) it becomes a reliable event."
But she points out that Savannah's creative economy has not yet reached its full potential.
"I love adages - the most appropriate one for our art scene is, 'When the going gets tough, the tough get going.' That's how I wish more people acted here. I hear from colleagues and clients that small businesses and artists alike are discouraged easily and lack follow-through when jobs or opportunities are demanding.
"This reputation is suffocating the artist and small business community here. I advocate artists to step up and meet the demands of our clients and community so we can forge a new reputation of exceptional creativity and quality."
At The Sentient Bean, Rachel Raab's show "Two-Faced" is comprised of about 25 decalcomanias on panels Raab inserted into a recycled silkscreen.
"Two-faced is a motto I feel works well with the art, because these portraits started as a photograph and end up as a simple graphic element. If you see the original, it's two very different images, implying the two faces of one person," Raab said.
"Plus, photographs are also very difficult to keep from getting damaged after the fact, so I've simplified portraits I've taken to one color and applied them to a hard substrate. That way there's no glossy print to be scratched or canvas to be ripped," she said.
She recently moved from Savannah to Miami Beach for art school but still offers design and branding services through The Soda Shop.
A SCAD photography major, Raab said, "Photography is still my passion. The brainchild of all my work. After graduating from DBC in 2004 with an A.S. degree in photographic technology, I couldn't make money if I wasn't shooting weddings, which I had no interest in. So, I started doing graphic design for friends and small businesses, using Photoshop at the time 'cause that's all I knew. Then I applied to SCAD for photography and minor in graphics. It is where the universe led me."
Her designs have evolved "into smaller slimmer versions for artomat (retro cigarette machines stationed worldwide that dispense art). Since the move to Miami, my art has been pretty stagnant. I've been focusing a lot on 12inchnotes.com (records repurposed into journals) and getting the new chapter of my life organized."
Since her departure to Miami, The Soda Shop is "now an artist cooperative more than a print shop," but she's grateful for her time in here and will always call it home.
"Savannah gave me the ability to work with a ton of creative people in a small area. I didn't have to go far for anything.
"This is huge, having people to support and believe in what you are doing. This affected my drive to do more work. SCAD was also a great influence and inspiration to keep producing. We were able to promote, network and collaborate so easily with such a creative force coming from all the faculty, student and alumnus," Raab said.
At Anahata Healing Arts, you'll find Isak Dove's paintings on display, which he said are "very focused on the ethereal. Dreamlike.
"The subject is almost always the woman ... sometimes alone, sometimes with birds, trees, beach or a whole plethora of dreamy, weepy skeletal women. It's hard for me to put the topic into words. That's why I paint ... to say what I cannot otherwise speak," Dove said.
She's excited to be part of Art March because she "likes what's going on in the Starland District. I'm all about building it up. I started out in the area showing my work in the Desoto Strut shows. There is a lot of art out there that just plays it safe, that aims to be easy.
"I'm excited for a bit of a different scene here in Savannah, and happy that all these people are coming together to make it happen."
Dove recently moved from Switzerland and is also working on a show for Thinc Savannah.
"My muse is nudging me. I feel a whole new breed of work coming on," Dove said.