This is the spectacular 10-year anniversary for the downtown artist-run co-op Kobo Gallery.
That's no small feat for a sometimes fickle art market like Savannah, but Kobo has proven its success with consistent quality offerings from artists working in a range of mediums. Dec. 14 will also mark the gallery's 10th Holiday Bash, and as founder Heather Lindsey Stewart explains, it's a substantial milestone they're rightly proud of.
"This holiday opening is riding on the heels of our 10th year in business, as well as recently being named best gallery from Savannah Magazine," says Stewart. "We have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season. This event is a way for all of us to come together and thank our clients and patrons who have supported us through the years."
This year there will be more than 100 works of art, jewelry, fibers and sculpture available at a variety of price points, as well as handmade ornaments to benefit members affected by Hurricane Irma.
"Since we work as a co-op, the co-op doesn't make money - the artists make the money," says Stewart. "Since we wanted to increase our cash flow for things like advertising, we were constantly brainstorming about how to bring in extra money for the gallery. So about four years ago I came up with the idea for each artist to create a line of original ornaments to be sold during the holidays. Everyone agreed to let 100 percent of their sales benefit the gallery.
"This year, member Jan Pagratis felt we should help two of our own instead. David Kaminsky (a current member) and Betsy Cain (David's wife and former member) practically lost everything in their home after Hurricane Irma's flood waters. Everyone agreed wholeheartedly to engage in ornament-making again this year with the proceeds going directly to David and Betsy."
Stewart points out that the ornaments are also a way to take home an artist's work you may like, even if you aren't able to afford a larger piece. Regardless of your aesthetic predilections, Kobo Gallery's 10th Holiday Bash presents an occasion to celebrate a great success story of local art.
"I've been here since the beginning, so I have witnessed the growth of this co-op, which started on a wing and a prayer," says Stewart. "We have grown from five artists to a solid 14-member base with many artists having international press and national accolades. We just celebrated our 10th-year anniversary with a retrospective show representing all of our artists from the beginning to our current members.
"Keeping a brick and mortar business up and running these days is a hard task as we all compete with internet sales and prime shipping. We have created a welcoming and beautifully curated space for ourselves, but more importantly, we share it with those who come into Kobo looking for a piece of artwork that speaks to their heart."
This is an excellent opportunity to shop local and support working artists, not to mention to give a one-of-a kind gift you can be sure no one else will be giving.
"In this day and time, people have become more aware of buying local, which helps to feed the local economy," says Stewart. "In this gift-giving season, I feel that Kobo Gallery is a great place to support local artists by finding a gift that was crafted by a creative mind and hard-working hands."
IF YOU GO
What: Kobo Gallery's 10th Holiday Bash
When: 5-8 p.m. Dec. 14
Where: Kobo Gallery, 33 Barnard St.
Cost: Free admission, artwork for sale