Liz Juneau of Rock Paper Scissors Arts Collective thrives in the Parkside neighborhood of Savannah, glowing as she describes her community, “Everybody’s an artist. Everybody’s a creative (person) here.” Moving to Savannah in 2013 and hoping to recreate the ‘art show house show’ niche she started as a jeweler in Alexandria, La., she began hosting art shows in her own home.
“It allows people to shop at their own pace. The fun of trying something on and getting an honest opinion," she said. "I think people want that, there’s something innate about that, wanting a connection.” Providing hand-crafted pieces from a collective of artists in the Savannah community, the initiative is a gift that keeps on giving. “People want to know the process, they want to know the passion behind the pieces," Juneau added.Get Savannah arts and culture news delivered to your inbox: Sign up for our morning, afternoon and Dine newsletters
Rock Paper Scissors is a rotating collective of nine local artisans that started organically in the Savannah community. “We’re just about supporting each other basically. It’s about supporting each other in their art but also, how do you get your name out there, how do you market yourself, how do you use social media?” Juneau said. In a quickly changing art market where artists are “vying for the art dollar” these are valid questions that seem to find a solution within this collective. Where one artist may be brilliant with marketing, another may host the next show. “Everyone comes with a skill set, everyone has something that they can give," Juneau added. "It’s a matter of giving and receiving. Mostly giving, wanting to support.” From papier-mâché to hand spun wool fiber artists, there is something unique for everyone at the Shop. Art. Parkside. event.
Juneau is an artist. She talks about taking ownership of that word, coming into the confidence that’s needed when you don’t come from a collegiate background in the field. Taking the elitism out of a title meant for all creatives, Juneau has crafted her art with years of practice and expertise. She talks about coming to Savannah and what she’s noticed with artists in her community.
“You have two things going on: you have a lot of creatives that don’t have a lot of faith in their work, and even if they have that confidence to sell, well then, 'How am I gonna do that, where am I gonna do that?' So I feel like there’s this gap, a lack of confidence and a lack of venues,” Juneau said. And to those that think there aren’t established artists in Savannah, or there isn’t a vibrant and alive art scene in Savannah outside of the ‘tourist’ scene, Juneau has an answer: “Look outside of the box for artists. Look for artists in places you wouldn’t think. Don’t hesitate to come to an art show at somebody’s home.”
Juneau creates pieces, finds places for those pieces, and when there is no place, she creates that too. She sells her works from her home as well as local businesses around Savannah. “The Jepson Museum gift shop (is) a hidden jewel of Savannah that’s very well curated and I don’t think people realize how well curated it is," she said. "Also, the Tybee Cottage Art Gallery, run by Crystal Travaille, is accessible and more cooperative for local artists.” Three of the nine rotating artists involved in Rock Paper Scissors Art Collective are featured in the Tybee Cottage Art Gallery.
Shop. Art, Parkside will be taking place on Small Business Saturday, a national initiative to support local businesses the day after Black Friday. Along with supporting artists, shopping locally creates jobs, conserves and reduces energy, and keeps Savannah unique by creating a market that encourages creativity and sustains variety that in years to come will make your local shopping market even more diverse than a big box store or an online shopping platform.
Shop. Art. Parkside is hosted by the Rock Paper Scissors Art Collective and takes place twice a year in the spring and fall.