Another First Friday Art March last week found the expanding underground art galleries south of Gaston brimming with bright young things and usual suspects. Much of the talk in the galleries centered around Desotorow Gallery's announcement that they received their first grant from the city to expand their non-profit efforts to support artist exhibitions.
The gang at Desotorow has been in charge of organizing the gallery efforts south of Gaston, and as of January 2014 will change their name to Art Rise Savannah.
Lauren Flotte, president of Desotorow, explains, "Art Rise Savannah will expand the Desotorow fellowhips beyond our own gallery into others and support thirty-day fellowship exhibitions for artists."
The newly-named organization is also now ready to solicit members from levels of $35 and up. This is great news in a city where SCAD MFA grads must pay for their thesis exhibitions.
Additionally, the Art Rise Savannah website will offer an online chronicle of the arts called Savannah Art Informer.
Inside Desotorow Gallery, Sami Lee Woolhiser's fellowship exhibition "Translations" explores relationships between materials, images, form and viewers.
Of her work, the artist says that "working in painting, installation and sculpture, the medium of a piece is determined by the work itself. It knows what it is and what it should be."
Her exhibition is up for a month and provokes viewers to think about the relationships between materials and forms. On my way out, she gave me the best take-away art quote of the night: "Making things is never a waste of time." Hear, hear!
More explorations of materials through were found at Non Fiction Gallery's packed house of enthusiasts for an exhibition by the dynamic duo of Akiyo Kaneko and Daniela Izaguirre titled "Kokeshi." The objects examine what the artists call "the disconnected story of human relationships" through the eyes of Japanese Kokeshi dolls.
The interactive installation of fiber sculpture is worth a look. But moreover, the overall mixture of fibers, painting, sculpture and installations is shrouded in a mysterious aura from a faraway land. This one is highly imaginative, to say the least.
Art marchers found a new twist in the mix of items on display at Sicky Nar Nar, with a standing room only trunk show of vintage clothing and an art historian reading tarot cards. Funky fashion and fortunes all in one place! This is in keeping with this upscale, hippified gallery's goal to welcome new ideas.
The rising tide of Savannah's underground art scene, now augmented by Art Rise Savannah's increased funding of exhibitions, will be something to watch. I question whether the Hostess City's charmed, yet dirty, face is going to be scrubbed up a bit by these efforts.
I am reminded of T.S. Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock:
Let us not ask, "What is it?"
Let us go and make our visit.
In the room
The women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo
Surely, the yellow fog of Prufrock's world still rubs its muzzle on the window panes of these new galleries, but surely things are bound to change. Get out and make the visit and join the metamorphosis of art galleries south of Gaston. For more info visit www.artmarchsavannah.com.