Calling all artists!

The City of Savannah’s Cultural Resources Department will be kicking off their free ongoing lecture series on Thursday, Oct. 10th, focusing on one the city’s biggest talking points in recent years — public art.

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Most local artists already know of the miles of red tape the city has previously used to tie up prior public art projects due to the ever-present concerns of local homeowners and historical preservation enthusiasts. Currently the Starland neighborhood's up-and-coming mural project plans to feature pieces by eight separate artists, temporarily decorating the walls of the former Starland Dairy until it undergoes it’s scheduled development by its’ current owners. However, despite it’s location just outside the Historic District, the project still awaits the required approval of the Historic Sites and Monuments Commission, who plan to tackle the issue on Oct. 3rd.

City of Savannah Cultural Resources Director Lisette Garcia-Arrogante believes the topic is once again primed to be brought to the forefront of the community. “I’m excited to get the conversation going in the city, I see that there’s a lot of interest and we hope that we can facilitate any conversations that are on public art,” she said.

“It seems that this subject is in alignment with recent local interest so it just worked out that we decided to start the first series on public art," explained Arrogante. "We’re hoping to have a well-rounded series where someone who is or has been interested in how the process works can come to the first lecture, then the second lecture would help them find the funding and resources they need and the third will assist the artist in accomplishing their project.”

The first lecture in the series will be moderated by local arts critic and writer Kristopher Monroe while featured panelists include Clinton Edminster owner of Starlandia Art Supply and founder of the Starlandia Mural Project, local artist and muralist Jose Ray and Ryan Jarrels, the Cultural Resources Planner for the Metropolitan Planning Commission.

 

“It’ll be a well rounded group of panelists,” said Arrogante, “We have the perspectives of an artist, a community organizer and an administrator.”

While the Starland Mural Project is fighting to fund itself and push its way through city legislature, the City of Savannah’s Office of Business Opportunity in collaboration with the Director of Cultural Resources is working on what Arrogante calls a “creative place making project” known as Arts on Waters. The project will be comprised of curated storefronts in a city of Savannah owned strip-mall located at the intersection of East 37th St and Waters avenue, and will also feature a mural project on the adjoining Family Justice Center.

“Keep an eye out” said Arrogante, “we’ll be putting out a call for artists to submit proposals for both the curated storefronts as well as the mural project shortly.”