Ready to buy some cool art and help the Ronald McDonald House of the Coastal Empire?

Then mark your calendars for the free Local Art Showcase & Vendor Pop-Up Shop from 5-7 p.m. July 19 at the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center. The artwork will be on display through Dec. 7.

In addition, nearly 60 pieces of art from the Carts with HeART program are on permanent display at the center. They are all made by the families and patients who benefit from the art carts made possible by the Savannah Children’s Museum, Ronald McDonald House and the Children’s Hospital at Memorial.


“Every piece of art is something different, from painting to mosaics, to using sands,” said Bill Sorochak, Ronald McDonald House executive director.

“The carts go directly to the patients, to the rooms; lot of the Ronald McDonald House patients. And we got to expand the program to have the cart come to the Ronald McDonald House to work with the families,” he added. “It helps take their minds off what is probably the most difficult time in their lives.”

When Cate Cox with the Convention Center heard about the Carts with HeART program, she jumped into action.

“I heard they were looking for a space to have their Ronald McDonald House children’s artwork displayed permanently and I said yes before I even thought to ask!” Cox said, laughing.

Then she took it even further and added the artwork to Thursday’s showcase.

“We have jewelry stores, we have clothing stores, a local distillery, Capital Bee Company,” Cox said. “And I knew the Carts with HeART artwork had to be part of it.”

There is artwork from 25 local artists already on display at the center along with permanent installations from Carts with HeART and Savannah artist Robert Morris. Local vendors Mamie Ruth, Salt & Shore Company, 13 Secrets, Impeccable Pig, Nourish Savannah, Kendra Scott and Ghost Coast Distillery will also be there as part of the pop-up shop.

The center’s food provider SAVOR will offer hors d’oeuvres and there will also be a cash bar. Local blues/bock band Draucker will be on hand with live music.

Otium Studios will also provide a free yoga class from 6:15-7 p.m. July 19 on the lawn overlooking the Savannah River. Interested parties are asked to bring their own mat.

“Our front lawn is literally the best view of Savannah,” said Cox. “It’s all the hustle and bustle without all the noise. It’s all the beauty from this nice, quiet view across the river. Plus, it’s much easier to park.”

Cox says the Local Art Showcase & Vendor Pop-Up Shop is part of the Convention Center’s commitment to showing off all Savannah has to offer.

“We’re a part of the community,” she said. “We are all about promoting Savannah, celebrating our city, our neighbors and local businesses and helping our kids, too.”

Each Carts with HeART framed work of art is available for purchase for $70. Proceeds go directly back to the Carts with HeART program. Sorochak said it’s one more way to help the families and kids at the Ronald McDonald House.

“We helped more than 300 families with more than 4,700 meals and overnight stays last year. Every penny raised and donated for the Ronald McDonald House stays right here in the Coastal Empire,” he says. “That includes the Carts with HeART program.

“We’ve had fun with it! Contests, giving out prizes, looking for the opportunity to let our families have a little normalcy,” Sorochak added. “It’s also awesome for the siblings that stay with us when school is out. The art program helps our parents be parents to all of their kids, not just those getting treatment. This lets families be families.”