Folklore is made of legends and stories, passed down oral traditions through families and communities of people. It’s a quiet walk upon the forest floor, coming upon new worlds just in reach, as the owl coos above and the fox slips slyly out of sight. Around the bend, or in this case, the coffee shop at the edge of Forsyth Park, magic is momentarily suspended in a body of work created by local artist Rebecca Sipper. “Folklore” takes on an unconventional form, currently on display at The Sentient Bean. The reception will take place this Friday from 6-9 p.m.
Sipper comes from a long line of artists, learning at a young age the power of color and the magic of art. “I kind of made them the way my dad and I would paint when I was younger," she said.Get Savannah arts and culture news delivered to your inbox: Sign up for our morning, afternoon and Dine newsletters
"He would sit us down and, he was busy, he didn’t have a lot of time, but I can remember a few times sitting at the dining room table and he would just mix up cheap powdered tempura paints and he would just let us paint on wood boards, like whatever he had leftover from a project and then he would sometimes take our stuff and just put lines on top and that’s exactly how I did this. I didn’t think about it but I do put the color down first..mine are water colors...I would dip them in the water and smash them about, that would be the background color, and then I’d put the lines on top.”
“I’ve been an artist for a long time, I really like getting older," Sipper added. "Your insides start to fall apart your muscles start to rip... It’s refreshing." Sipper speaks from the soul about the strength it takes to be an artist. Putting a lot of thought into the little details, she dubs herself “the Dot Queen” or “stippling is the artist’s term I guess”. She discusses the meditative aspects of her works, stippling, experimenting, and the magic behind them.
“I wanted to call it ‘Magic Spirit Guides’ or something but I didn’t want to scare people off,'' she quips. This is Sipper’s first show in this medium, though she’s been sustaining herself solely on her work since 2008. She goes on to discuss the feelings of vulnerability, the mental back and forth of putting her works on display for the public, and the idea of feeling “nervous and raw” when showcasing the works of your soul, an understandable and common sentiment among artists.
“I do want people to feel magical. I do want kids and younger people to see it and find it approachable. You’re really true to yourself as a kid, you’re really still yourself and there’s a lot of things we do as adults that we try to accommodate. Like, even when I went to frame this, I went to Michael’s first and it broke my heart," she said. "I literally laid on the floor and cried, and my soul died. What am I going to do? I cannot hang this show with sucky frames from Michael’s. I called my friend Sheridan and asked him to please help me. I just wanted him to router the wood so I could drop glass in it. And he came up with these absurdly amazing frames.”
Sipper’s pieces are all framed in reclaimed wood. From fencing to scraps ”the frames are as important as the pieces themselves,” she says. With help from friends, a focus on environmentally friendly materials, and trial and error with plate glass, the works are now displayed in frames as enchanting as the pieces they hold.
Sipper’s works will be on display at the Sentient Bean until Jan. 7th, 2020. This collection is presented by Sulfur Art Services, a project of Sulfur Studios which presents local art in local business. This event is free and open to the public.