Roots Up Gallery is going through a transitional stage. Francis Allen, co-owner of the gallery with wife Leslie Lovell, passed away at the end of August, and just as Allen is transitioning into his next phase, the gallery itself is transitioning, as well.
On Sept. 27, Roots Up Gallery will open the doors to its new space in the Design District at 412-C Whitaker St. at West Jones Lane. While the gallery enjoyed success in its former location at the corner of Liberty and Bull streets, the new digs in the Design District could prove to be even more fruitful.
"Francis and I were so fortunate to have found the original space - thanks to The Book Lady - providing us the opportunity to create our dream of Roots Up," says Lovell. "Over the years, people found their way to us and really got the feel and joy of what Roots Up is all about: Presenting a world of soulful art borne from within."
The move was somewhat unexpected, but Lovell says she thinks divine intervention took place. She feels the new space will honor her husband's legacy in the Savannah arts community and ensure his influence will be felt for years to come.
While the new location isn't at the geographic center of downtown, it's only a stone's throw away from where they were previously, with arguably more locally owned businesses per square foot than before. That includes a number of other art hubs like Location Gallery, as well as a several antique stores, fashion boutiques and a variety of other locally owned offerings within walking distance.
"The Design District is full of like-minded, supportive businesses," says Lovell. "It is so nice to hear our neighbors expressing their excitement to have us join them."
And unlike their previous second-floor location, the new gallery features a wide-open interior with huge walls and glass doors looking out onto the street.
"Our new gallery space gives us full street visibility, which is a huge plus," says Lovell. "Second-story access has many drawbacks if you are not solely a destination business. The interior space gives us much more flexibility to showcase larger bodies of work, as well as small works through vignettes. All in all it will be a much more cohesive space that will enable guests to take the gallery in and meander through, finding nice surprises along the way."
There will be an official grand opening event, but that is yet to be scheduled. You can check their Facebook page or rootsupgallery.com for updates. In the meantime, stop in anytime beginning Sept. 27 and support one of the best local galleries featuring regional and folk art Savannah has to offer.
IF YOU GO
What: Roots Up Gallery new location
When: Starting Sept. 27
Where: 412-C Whitaker St.